|1.5 SLU (-110) @ Fanduel|
VCU will be playing their first game of the season without star Bones Hyland (20 ppg), who got injured late in the loss to George Mason. The guy is a great player, down the stretch of games they often just give him the ball and clear out. The next highest ppg guy is at nearly half of his output. To me, without Hyland VCU becomes extremely mediocre, and should really struggle against a good team.
So are the Billikens actually a good team? Last friday they weren't. In fact they were a true disgrace, getting annhilated at Dayton. This is a veteran team, a team with high talent for Mid Major that should be a tourney team. That didnt matter friday, in a truly pathetic showing.
The numbers suggest the Billikens are among the best in the country on the offensive boards. They also keep turnovers low at only 16% of possession. I'm expect VCU to look ugly in the halfcourt offense especially without Hyland. So a few less turnovers for them will be key. VCU ranks 281st in defense rebounding efficiency. This should not be a bad matchup for the Billikens, who blew out VCU last season.
Could it be the team is just choking away it's chance at an at large down the stretch, playing like total losers? Is that what's going to happen here? Perhaps. But ultimately, this is a veteran squad that's won a ton of games together. VCU is exceedingly beatable without Hyland. And the matchup is not a bad one. The Billikens get the benefit of the doubt here. Makes very little sense for them to be dogged here
**Note- I would still take this at the current line. If I lose with Billikens +1.5, pretty good chances Billikens -3/-3.5 will be a loss. It's either this vet Billikens team handles business here by 7+, or unfathomably fails and loses the game in truly pathetic fashion. I'm going with the former