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Saint Louis vs. Ball State - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Ball State Cardinals (21-14) at Saint Louis Billikens (11-21)

College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Chaifetz Arena)

The Line: Saint Louis Billikens +2 -- Over/Under: 137.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports Midwest

The Ball State Cardinals will travel to Chaifetz Arena to take on the Saint Louis Billikens this Friday night in the MGM Grand Main Event - Campus Game.

The Ball State Cardinals and Coach James Whitford was the most improved team in the MAC last season as after getting just 2 wins in the 2014-15 season, the Cardinals finished in a tie for 1st place in the MAC-West with 10 conference wins. Ball State was one of the most dangerous teams in College Basketball from beyond the arc and will return the majority of their starting five in Franko House (12.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg), Ryan Weber (10.5 ppg), Jeremie Tyler (9.1 ppg), and Francis Kiapway (8.6 ppg).  Ball State will miss big-man Bo Calhoun who averaged 10.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg and will once again have little depth in the frontcourt. Ball State will hope that Trey Moses (5.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) will help replace Bo Calhoun and that the Cardinals can once again be one of the better defensive team in the MAC after holding conference opponents to an average of 66.8 ppg.

Saint Louis vs. Ball State - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Saint Louis Billikens suffered another 20-loss season in 2015-16 and decided to replace longtime coach, Jim Crews, with former Oklahoma State coach, Travis Ford. Ford will to bring energy to a program that has had trouble finding ways scoring the basketball over the past two-seasons. Saint Louis will no longer have Ash Yacoubou (11.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg), Miles Reynolds (8.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg), and Milik Yarbrough (7.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg) however the Billikens will return three starters in Jermaine Bishop (8.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg), Mike Crawford (10.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg), and Reggie Agbeko (6.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Coach Ford will hope that returning Austin Gillmann (3.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg) and Matt Neufeld (1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg) will continue to improve and help the Billikens improved from their 2015-16 turnover margin of -4.7.

The Cardinals are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Friday games. The Billikens are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 Friday games and 9-25-1 ATS in their last 35 home games.

Travis Ford has a huge rebuilding project on his hands with St. Louis and until he is able to get some of his guys into the program, it might take the Billikens a few years before they can once again be a contender in the A-10. Ball State is a solid team on both ends of the court and although they have questionable depth in the frontcourt, this shouldn’t be a disadvantage against a St. Louis team who also struggled down low last season. I’m surprised that Ball State is such a light favorite in this one and feel good taking Ball State in this spot. Take Ball State to cover. 

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Ball State -2

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