The Rhode Island Rams (9-3, 1-0 A10) look to lengthen a six-game home winning streak when they clash against the La Salle Explorers (6-5, 1-0 A10) at Thomas M. Ryan Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 144.5 points with Rhode Island opening as an 11.5-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
La Salle Explorers vs. Rhode Island Rams Free Preview
The Explorers dismantled the Saint Louis Billikens in their last contest, 83-60. Pookie Powell was the top scorer from either team with 28 points on 12-for-19 shooting. La Salle dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a superb effective field goal percentage of 0.576 (above their season average of 0.509) and a free throw rate of 0.254 (above their season average of 0.216). For those same stats, Saint Louis put up marks of 0.371 and 0.226, respectively.
In the Rams last game, they blew out the George Mason Patriots, 83-64. Jared Terrell played a pivotal role for Rhode Island with 16 points and eight rebounds. Rhode Island played a nearly flawless game. They had a solid turnover percentage of 9.3 (better than their season average of 13.7) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 28.9 (below their season average of 30.1). For those same stats, George Mason was 16.4 and 18.4, respectively.
La Salle could have a difficult time creating turnovers. Rhode Island ranks 15th in the NCAA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.4 percent), while La Salle forces the 190th-most turnovers (19.3 percent).
Of La Salle’s 13 games, eight have finished over the projected point total, while 5 of Rhode Island’s 10 games have finished over the O/U total. The Rams hold the sizable advantage straight up (SU) (9-3 vs. 6-5), but the Explorers have the superior against the spread (ATS) record (7-5-1 vs. 5-4-1).
Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Explorers, it’s been Powell, who has averaged 22.0 points, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals, while the Rams have gotten solid contributions from Stanford Robinson (10.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals).
This is the first time these teams will battle this year, after splitting two games last season. In the most recent game, the Rams won 67-56. The Rams turnover percentage was their largest advantage over the Explorers. Rhode Island had a rate of 12.3, while La Salle posted a mark of 17.4.
La Salle Explorers vs. Rhode Island Rams Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Rhode Island, ATS Winner – Rhode Island, O/U – Over
- The Rams are 45th in the NCAA with 2.8 blocks allowed per game while the Explorers are 52nd with 2.8 blocks allowed per game.
- Rhode Island is 4-2 ATS at home, while La Salle is 3-3-1 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 4 of the Explorers 7 road games, while 3 of the Rams 6 home games have gone over.
- La Salle ranks 133rd in three pointers attempted per game (22.4) while Rhode Island ranks 238th (18.2).
- The Rams rank 26th in steals per game (8.3) while the Explorers rank 119th (6.2).
- Rhode Island ranks 21st in assists allowed per game (10.5) while La Salle ranks 81st (12.4).
- Rhode Island is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, La Salle is 3-1 ATS with 4 overs.
- The Rams average margin of victory in their last five games has been 9.4, up from 8.6 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Explorers have scored an average of 79.4 points per game (3.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 76.4 points per game (2.5 above their season average).