The VCU Rams look to stay hot when they visit the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in an Atlantic 10 Conference opener on Wednesday. VCU (7-2) has won five in a row and is coming off an 82-81 win over James Madison on Dec. 22. Saint Joseph’s (0-5), meanwhile, has lost eight straight dating back to last season. The Hawks, who have played three top-10 teams so far this year, were beaten by No. 10 Tennessee 102-66 on Dec. 21.
Tip-off from Hagan Arena in Philadelphia is set for noon ET. VCU leads the all-time series 8-5, but Saint Joseph’s holds a 3-2 edge in games played at home. The Rams are eight-point favorites in the latest VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 155. Before making any Saint Joseph’s vs. VCU picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s off to a profitable start in the 2020-21 season, going 16-12 on all its top-rated picks and returning almost $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s spread: VCU -8
- VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s over-under: 155 points
- VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s money line: VCU -400, Saint Joseph’s +310
- VCU: The Rams have forced 15 or more turnovers in every game
- SJU: The Hawks are averaging 8.8 made 3-pointers per game
Saint Joseph’s Hawks
Why VCU can cover
The Rams like to press their opponents and are turning foes over on 24.9 percent of possessions. VCU has finished 33rd or better in that category in nine of the past 10 seasons. Sophomore guard Nah’Shon Hyland has been red hot and leads the team, averaging 18.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He is hitting 92 percent of his free throws and 44.4 percent of his field goals. He has scored in double figures in 12 straight games dating back to last season.
Also leading VCU is junior forward Vince Williams Jr., who is averaging 10.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He is also solid at the line, hitting 82.9 percent of his free throws. Williams has scored in double figures in three consecutive games and in six of nine games. He has scored a season-high 15 points three times, including in the Rams’ last game against James Madison.
Why Saint Joseph’s can cover
Redshirt senior guard Ryan Daly leads the Hawks in scoring at 17.2 points per game. He is also averaging 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals per game. He poured in 30 points at Drexel on Dec. 17, and had 18 vs. Auburn on Nov. 26. Last season, Daly became the 14th Saint Joseph’s player since 1941-42 to average 20 or more points per game. His 20.6 average was the highest by a Hawk since Jameer Nelson’s 20.6 average in 2003-04.
Also powering Saint Joseph’s is junior guard Taylor Funk, who averages 15.2 points on 54 percent shooting from the floor, including 39.3 percent from 3-point range. Funk also averages 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals. Last season, Funk started seven games and finished with an 11-point, 11-rebound performance in a win at UConn before missing the final 25 games due to injury.
How to make VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with just three players expected to score in double figures. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 70 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Saint Joseph’s vs. VCU? And which side of the spread hits in over 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the VCU vs. Saint Joseph’s spread you need to jump on, all from the advanced computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.
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