LaSalle Explorers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

The La Salle Explorers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers face off on Wednesday in a first round NIT Tourney game.  The Explorers are -3 point favorites over the Golden Gophers with an over/under point total set at 136.

The La Salle Explorers looked like they had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament but John Giannini’s team went 2-5 in February and they dropped in the standings. La Salle is 12-5 in out of conference games, 1-2 in neutral site games, and they played the 119th ranked schedule in the country. Earl Pettis is averaging 15.3 points, Ramon Galloway is averaging 14.2 points and 4.6 rebounds, Tyreek Duren Is averaging 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, and Sam Mills is averaging 10.7 points. As a team the Explorers are averaging 73.2 points and they are shooting 46.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 66 points and their opponents are shooting 41.4 percent. La Salle played the 119th ranked schedule in the country this year but with four teams from the A-10 making the NCAA Tournament they are hardly on the second tier anymore.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers had another fairly rough year as Tubby Smith’s team lost their best player early in the season and spent the rest of the season trying to regroup. Minnesota was 13-2 in out of conference games, 3-6 on the road this season, and they played the 44th ranked schedule this year. Rodney Williams averages 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds, Julian Welch averages 10.1 points, and Austin Hollins averages 8.8 points. As a team the Gophers are averaging 67.4 points and they are shooting 46 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.5 points and their opponents are shooting 41.2 percent. Minnesota lost seven of their last nine games this year.

La Salle is 12-3-1 against the spread in their last 16 home games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five non-conference games, and 6-0-1 against the spread in their last seven home games against a team with a losing road record. Minnesota is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games overall, 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, and 4-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record.

I have this game right around a pick and the three points are enough to get a cover here at the very least though I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota took this one.

Pick

Minnesota Golden Gophers +3 LaSalle Explorers

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