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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#687 La Salle +7 over Saint Louis 4:00 PM CT

Through a difficult early season schedule La Salle started the season 0-10. A-10 play didn’t help the cause as the Explorers sat at 3-14 on the year in mid-January including 1-4 in league play. La Salle has suddenly won five of six however to turn a major corner including a nice win over Duquesne on Wednesday. La Salle has three road wins in conference play and will be looking to avenge a seven-point loss hosting Saint Louis in early January. After a tough start in that game the Explorers competed well to win the second half of that contest but ultimately shot just over 41 percent against a tough Billikens defense.

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Since starting 5-0 in A-10 play Saint Louis has lost five of the past seven games including two home losses. This is an abysmal free throw shooting team and thus a hard team to trust as a heavy favorite. Four of seven A-10 wins for Saint Louis have come by seven or fewer points and La Salle’s fast pace could give the Billikens problems with the underdog nearly five percent stronger in effective field goal rate in A-10 games.

La Salle is top 3-point shooting team in the conference and surprisingly La Salle sits a spot ahead of Saint Louis in the A-10 defensive efficiency rankings. These teams have played similarly weak conference schedules and ultimately the league numbers paint these squads as nearly identically rated squads despite the contrasting records and valuations as the underdog points are very appealing. Home teams have won just 55 percent of A-10 games for one of the weakest conference home court edges in the nation as well.

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