LaSalle Explorers vs. Xavier Musketeers
The LaSalle Explorers and the Xavier Musketeers open their A-10 schedules as they meet for an early start game on Wednesday. The Musketeers are -2.5 point favorites over the Explorers with an over/under point total set at 139.5.
The LaSalle Explorers have won three games in a row and eight of their last nine and appear to have a full head of steam heading into conference play. While LaSalle has played the 319th ranked schedule they have taken care of business and John Giannini’s team is a perfect 7-0 at home thus far. Ramon Galloway is averaging 15.2 points and 4.5 rebounds, Tyreek Duren is averaging 13.4 points and 4.2 assists, Earl Pettis is averaging 13.2 points and 4.4 rebounds, and Sam Mills is averaging 12.2 points. As a team LaSalle is averaging 74.3 points and they are shooting 46.7 percent while defensively they are allowing 61.5 points and their opponents shoot 38.5 percent. The bulk of LaSalle’s wins have come against teams with an RPI worse than 150.
The Xavier Musketeers were on the brink of a top 10 ranking but since their on-court brawl with Cincinnati Chris Mack’s team has lost four of five games. Though the Musketeers have played some tough teams over that stretch, it’s clear the suspensions have had an impact and they are going to need to rally to get back on their feet. Tu Holloway is averaging 18.4 points and 4.8 assists, Mark Lyons is averaging 17.2 points, and Kenny Frease is averaging 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. As a team Xavier is averaging 71.3 points and they are shooting 45.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.7 points and their opponents shoot 38.6 percent. Xavier clearly has shown they have what it takes to compete against the top teams in the nation but they will need to play strong until March to have a chance to see what they can do in the NCAA Tournament.
LaSalle is 5-1 against the spread in their last six home games, 4-1 against the spread following a win, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five A-10 games. Xavier is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight road games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five A-10 games, and 0-5 against the spread in their last five games overall.
Xavier hasn’t shown anything of late to where they can be trusted and I’m not willing to lay points with them.
LaSalle Explorers +2.5 Xavier Musketeers