Saint Louis Billikens at Minnesota Golden Gophers – NCAAM December 20

Saint Louis (6-0) at Minnesota (6-1)

Series

The Gophers have a 2-1 lead in the series as the Billikens won the last meeting in 1995. Minnesota is 13-7 all-time vs. Atlantic 10 teams. SLU is 6-0 for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Saint Louis is 1-7 in their last eight meetings with Big Ten competition.

Vs. The Spread

The Billikens have won 11 in a row SU and they are 9–0 in their last nine ATS. The total has gone OVER in five of SLU’s last six games. The Gophers check in at 1-4 ATS in their last five outings as the total has gone OVER in their last 10 of Minnesota’s last 13 contests. Saint Louis is 6-0 ATS while Minnesota check in at only 2-4-1 ATS.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Saint Louis -2 (-110) -130 O 145½ (-110)
Minnesota +2 (-110) +110 U 145½ (-110)

Last Time Out

The Billikens outscored North Carolina State, 32-14 over the last 11 minutes and took an 80-69 decision on Thursday. Guard Javonte Perkins scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half as SLU shot 59 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes. Jordan Goodwin had his 28th career double-double and his fifth in the last six games with 16 points and 15 boards. The short-lived 10-point deficit in the first half was the Billikens largest deficit of the season.

The Gophers were humbled by No. 13 Illinois, 92-65, on Tuesday night in their Big Ten opener. Redshirt senior Brandon Johnson led the Gophers with eight rebounds. Minnesota had major problems on the inside with Illini center Kofi Cockburn who had 33 points and 13 rebounds. Leading scorer Marcus Carr led the Gophers with 16 points although he was only 3-of-13 from the field.

Bill Pay

Saint Louis Billikens LogoSaint Louis is known for it’s defense and rebounding, but the Bills are averaging 87.8 points per game which is 21st nationally and their (+24.5) scoring margin is sixth nationally among teams who have played six or more games. This is a veteran Billikens team that is superbly coached by Travis Ford, who led them to the NCAA Tournament two years ago and they most definitely would have been in with the 23-8 ledger last season if not for the cancellation on the tournament due to COVID-19. Javonte Perkins and Jordan Goodwin are a major matchup problem for opponents as they play well off of each other and as Perkins shoots 56 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from behind the arc.

Gopher Gabble

Minnesota Golden Gophers LogoBillkens use what amounts to a stretch-4 in the 6-6 Perkins at the forward so with his athleticism and the physicality of Hasahn French, Minnesota could once again have problems inside as Liam Robbins is just not athletic enough to handle either player. Marcus Carr should be an all-Big Ten first teamer by the end of the season as he averages 22.3 points per game and is totally capable of going off for a night in the 30s or even 40 points. SLU will use their athleticism and physicality on the perimeter to send different players with different styles of defense at him so that he does not find a rhythm. Utah transfer Both Gach has a nice start in averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. Gach could be the challenge for Saint Louis on defense.

Winner: Saint Louis (-2) 75, Minnesota 66
Over-Under: Take UNDER 145½

The Bets
Saint Louis Billikens -2
-110
UNDER 145½
-110
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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.