VCU at St . Louis Betting Preview, Selection, Odds

Game: VCU at St. Louis (+2)

Sharp: Dave Miller

Selection: St. Louis (+2)

VCU (17-9, 7-6 Atlantic 10) looks to maintain its dominance of an Atlantic 10 foe when it travels to take on Saint Louis (18-8, 7-6) at Chaifetz Arena on Friday night.

The Rams will be looking for their ninth straight win over the Billikens, and they've been able to claim the last eight matchups by an average of 13 points. The last Saint Louis win in the series occurred in February 2014.

Both teams have been scuffling as of late, however, and are looking to get back on the winning track, as the Rams have lost three in a row and four of five, while the Billikens have dropped three of four.

If you are familiar with VCU hoops, you know the Rams are going to be aggressive on defense. De'Riante Jenkins spearheads the unit and has been pestering opponents for years. It's a swarming style that's designed to force turnovers in the backcourt, create bad passes and rush shots. The Rams rank sixth nationally in defensive turnover percentage (25.4).

Offensively, the Rams have taken care of the basketball much better after some struggles earlier in the season. Junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva paces VCU (12.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game) and has posted back-to-back double-doubles. The Rams also rely on senior Marcus Evans, who followed head coach Mike Rhoades from Rice, as well as Maine transfer Issac Vann and Nah'Shon Hyland.

Meanwhile, Travis Ford's Billikens are led by do-everything junior guard Jordan Goodwin, who leads the team in scoring (15.7 points), rebounding (10.5) and steals (2.1). Last season, Goodwin's 127 offensive boards were the most by a St. Louis player since the stat began being tracked in the mid-80s. He's a coach's dream guard. He'll need some more support, though, from junior forward Hasahn French, who had a quiet game in the team's recent loss to UMass.

Despite their recent troubles, the Billikens have been very good at home, winning 16 of their last 19 games and going 27-5 on their home floor over the past two years. They are getting two points at home, which is tough to pass up with VCU going through its own struggles.


Search Blogs