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Toledo vs. Saint Joseph's - 11/11/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Saint Joseph's Hawks (11-20) at Toledo Rockets (17-17)

College Basketball: Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Savage Arena)

The Line: Toledo Rockets 0 -- Over/Under: 147.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Saint Joseph’s Hawks will travel to Savage Arena to take on the Toledo Rockets this Saturday night in College Basketball action.

The Saint Joseph’s Hawks had one of the tougher seasons under Phil Martelli as any injury plagued season left the Hawks with any overall record of just 11-20. Saint Joseph’s earned the 13-seed in the A-10 Tournament after finishing conference play with a 4-14 overall record and couldn’t get past the 1st round after being defeated by the UMass Minutemen, 70-63. Saint Joseph’s outlook is a positive one this season as the Hawks will have back both Shavar Newkirk (20.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 spg), and Lamarr Kimble (15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.5 apg) who both missed significant time due to injury last season. Also returning for the Hawks are experienced players James Demery (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.6 apg), Charlie Brown (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg), and Chris Clover (7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.0 apg). Saint Joseph’s will hope that Pierfrancesco Oliva, who missed all last season due to injury, and newcomer Taylor Funk can contribute off the bench for the Hawks. Saint Joseph’s struggled on both ends of the court last season after losing the majority of their talent and will look to improve on a scoring offense that ranked 258th last season (69.5 ppg), 297th in FG% (41.8%), and 203rd in scoring defense (73.1 ppg).

Toledo vs. Saint Joseph's - 11/11/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Toledo Rockets lost a ton of close games last year and couldn’t get anything going in the MAC Tournament or postseason play en route to an overall record of 17-17. Toledo earned the 7-seed in the MAC Tournament and couldn’t advance past the quarterfinals after being defeated by the Ohio Bobcats, 67-66. Toledo was invited to play in the CBI Tournament but couldn’t get far after losing to George Washington, 73-69. Toledo will come into this season in rebuilding mode as the Rockets lost three of their better players in Jonathan Williams (19.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.2 apg), Steve Taylor Jr. (15.3 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 3.7 apg), and Jordan Lauf (8.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.0 spg). Toledo does have some talent returning to build around in starters Jaelan Sanford (13.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg) and Nate Navigato (9.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.5 apg). The Rockets do have two quality transfers who will be eligible to play this season in Tre’Shaun Fletcher (Colorado) and Willie Jackson (Missouri). Toledo was solid on the offensive end last season as they finished their season ranked 54th in scoring offense (78.7 ppg), 25th in assists per game (16.2) and 25th in FG% (48.0%), however, will look to improve on the defensive end after finishing T-255th in scoring defense (75.5 ppg) and T-327th in turnover margin (-2.8).

The Hawks are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games, however, 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on the road. The Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games and is 8-6 ATS in their last 14 home games.

Saint Joseph’s is always one of the most well coached teams in the country and with basically everyone back and healthy, the Hawks are poised to once again compete for an A-10 title. Toledo has talent at both the guard and forward position in their returning starters in Jaelan Sanford and Luke Knapke, however, the Rockets will need to get contributions for their newcomers if they want to be in contention for a MAC Championship. Saint Joseph’s has the best player on the court in Shavar Newkirk and as it looks like the Hawks will be have everyone available for this game, I think the Saint Joseph’s opens up their season with a solid road win. Take Saint Joseph’s in this pick-em. 

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