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Saint Joseph's vs. VCU - 1/5/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Virginia Commonwealth Rams (9-5) at Saint Joseph's Hawks (11-2)

College Basketball: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Hagan Arena)

The Line: Saint Joseph's Hawks -3 -- Over/Under: 141 See the Latest Odds

TV: American Sports Network

The VCU Rams will travel to Hagan Arena to take on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks this Tuesday night in College Basketball action.

The VCU Rams won their 4th straight game and improved to 9-5 (1-0 A-10) on the season after defeating the George Mason Patriots, 71-47, this past Saturday. VCU used a 15-2 run in the first half to take a 33-22 at halftime and put away George Mason with a 17-5 run midway through the 2nd half to take a 54-36 lead. VCU shot 40.9% from the field and forced George Mason to commit 22 turnovers in the victory. The Rams held the Patriots to just 32.1% shooting from the field and 28.6% (4-14) shooting from three-point range. Leading the way for VCU was Melvin Johnson who had 22 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals, and an assist. On the season, the Rams have been led by Melvin Johnson (18.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.6 spg), Korey Billbury (12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.5 spg), and JeQuan Lewis (9.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.6 spg). Offensively, VCU is averaging 74.6 ppg on 42.5% shooting from the field and 37.1% shooting from beyond the arc. The Rams average 7.5 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.22. Defensively, VCU is holding their opponents to an average of 64.8 ppg on 43.6% shooting. The Rams average 10.6 steals per game and have a turnover margin of 6.1.

Saint Joseph's vs. VCU - 1/5/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Saint Joseph’s Hawks won their 7th straight game and improved to 11-2 (1-0 A-10) on the season after defeating the Richmond Spiders, 77-73, this past Saturday. Saint Joseph’s used a big 2nd half in which they outscored Richmond by a 45-36 margin to get the comeback victory. Saint Joseph’s shot 45.0% from the field and 52.4% (11-21) from beyond the arc. The Hawks held the Spiders to 34.8% (8-23) shooting from three-point range and outrebounded Richmond by a 40-33 margin. Leading the way for Saint Joseph’s was Isaiah Miles who had a double-double with 17 points, 16 rebounds and an assist. On the season, the Hawks have been led by Isaiah Miles (17.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg), DeAndre Bembry (16.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.5 spg), 1.2 bpg), and Aaron Brown (9.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 apg). Offensviely, Saint Joseph’s is averaging 74.3 ppg on 42.8% shooting from the field and 42.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Hawks average 6.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover margin of 1.34. Defensively, Saint Joseph’s is holding their opponents to 68.8 ppg on 39.0% shooting. The Hawks have a rebound margin of 1.7 and a turnover margin of -0.5.

The Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. A-10 opponents and 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win. The Hawks are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

VCU may no longer have Shaka Smart at the helm however, the Rams are causing teams all sorts of problems with their defensive pressure as they rank 3rd in the country in steals per game. Saint Joseph’s is an experienced team that has arguably the best frontcourt in the A-10 with DeAndre Bembry and Isaiah Miles.  VCU will win the turnover battle in this one but as the Hawks are an experienced team which has a good defensive playing on their home court, I think they can limit the damage from the VCU pressure defense and get enough production from Miles and Bembry to cover this small spread. Take Saint Joseph’s to cover. 

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Saint Joseph's Hawks -3

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