NC State Wolfpack at Saint Louis Billikens – NCAAM December 17

North Carolina State (3-0) at Saint Louis (5-0)

Series

This is the second matchup in the history of the two schools as the Billikens defeated the Wolfpack, 83-80, in the second round fo the 2014 NCAA Tournament. N.C. State hasn’t played in 14 days and has had five games postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 protocol. Saint Louis has had only one cancellation and the Billikens have won 10 games in a row, dating back to last February.

Vs. The Spread

The Wolfpack is an enigma with the over/under as the total has gone UNDER in four of the last five games, but four of the last five North Carolina State road games have flow by the number, so they have been OVER. NCSU is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight vs. Atlantic 10 opponents. SLU checks in at 8-0 ATS in it’s last eight games as the total has gone UNDER in 10 of the Billikens’ last 14 vs. ACC opponents.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
NC State +4.5 (-105) +180 O 143 (-105)
Saint Louis -4.5 (-115) -210 U 143 (-115)

Last Time Out

The Pack last played on Dec. 3 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Ct. where they rolled to a 90-69 decision over UMass-Lowell. Jericole Hellems and freshman point guard Cam Hayes had 17 each for the Wolfpack who held the Hawks to 39.6 percent from the floor.

SLU’s Jordan Goodwin scored 22 points and grabbed 11 boards as he notched the 27th double-double of his career as the Billikens belted Indiana State, 78-59. Yuri Collins is playing well on the point for coach Travis Ford as he recorded 10 assists and three steals. Saint Louis held the Sycamores to 35.8 percent from the field.

Wolf Tracks

North Carolina State Wolfpack LogoThis is the fourth time in his four years that coach Kevin Keatts is replacing the leading scorer at N.C. State as C.J. Bryce graduated after the 2019-20 season. He had plenty of offensive weaponry to vie for the task as Devon Daniels leads with 18.0 ppg. over the three contests. Jericole Hellems returns home to St. Louis where he starred at Chaminade High School. He is second in scoring at 14.0 ppg and he shoots 57.1 percent from the floor as the top four Wolfpack leading scorers are shoot at a 55.6 percent clip or higher. The Wolfpack only has nine available players for the game although State played 11 people in the first half of each of the first three games.

Bill Pay

Saint Louis Billikens LogoThe Billikens lead the A-10 in both scoring offense (89.1 ppg) and scoring defense (62.2 ppg), but the defensive end of the floor has generally been the identity of the program under Ford, who is in his fifth season. SLU has outrebounded it’s opponents by 9.2 per game while N.C. State is at (-0.3). N.C. State big men Manny Bates and DJ Funderburk have to be aggressive and go to the boards at a high level vs. Hasahn French (6.7 rpg) and Jordan Goodwin (10.2 rpg). Javonte Perkins is off to an excellent start as the Billikens’ leading scorer as he averages 19.4 ppg. while shooting 60 percent. Gibson Jimerson (43.4% – 3; 13.4 ppg) is a 3-point threat as well as a tough cover off the bounce. SLU is a favorite to vie with Richmond for the A-10 title as the Billikens return five starters and nine of their top ten scorers.

Winner: Saint Louis (-4.5) 75, NC State 63
Over-Under: Take UNDER 143

The Bets
Saint Louis Billikens -4.5
-115
UNDER 143
-115
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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.