Boise State at La Salle Picks and NCAA Tournament Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/20/2013
This is honestly the first year I have ever cared about games played in Dayton. Normally they are just an afterthought, but this is a very good matchup. It features two very capable teams, and the winner has a real chance to do some damage in the second round and further.
Boise State vs. La Salle Betting storylines
Boise State is thought of by almost everyone as just a football school that plays on an ugly field and wins more games than they should. That doesn’t give their basketball team enough credit. If this team was on the East Coast where people could see them play more often, they would be seeded higher and would be getting much more respect.
They play in the incredibly tough Mountain West Conference, and the Broncos came out of it with a respectable 9-7 record. In conference play they beat UNLV, Colorado State and San Diego State, and they took New Mexico to overtime. They have a great nonconference win at Creighton, and they gave Michigan State a heck of a scare in East Lansing. These guys are feisty and seasoned. They struggled in the middle of conference play, losing six of nine, but rebounded to win five of their last six regular season games. Their only loss in that stretch was at UNLV, and they only lost by four. This is a solid, tested team.
Driving the team is point guard Derrick Marks. He showed just what he is capable of in that game at Creighton. He scored 35 points, outplayed Creighton’s all-American Doug McDermott, and was the singular reason for the win. He was huge in the big win against Colorado State as well, so he is obviously a big-game player — just what is needed in March. The other weapon the Broncos have is coach Leon Rice. He’s only in his third year with the team, but he was previously an assistant for Mark Few at Gonzaga for 12 years. That means he knows about preparing for the tournament, and about getting the most out of his talent.
You can tell I like Boise State, but they aren’t the only good team here. La Salle is another squad seasoned by playing in a very tough conference — the A-10 in their case. They have conference wins at VCU and against Butler — within four days, no less — so they are clearly dangerous. In nonconference play they had a nice win against Villanova and gave Miami a good test. They also crushed Penn State, for what that’s worth.
The Explorers have an outstanding backcourt led by three guards — Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren and Tyrone Garland — who score well over 60 percent of the team’s points. They are a three-headed monster that are together very tough to defend. They often play four guards at a time, and they even play five from time to time. It’s unlike what a lot of teams have seen. Boise State often plays four guards as well, though, so they will be more comfortable with what they see than other teams.
La Salle won’t have a lot of experience to rely on here. This is their first tournament bid since 1992.
Boise State vs. La Salle NCAA Tournament Odds and Betting Trends
The teams have never met before. La Salle has gone “over” the total in eight of their last 10 games played at a neutral site. The Broncos are a dangerous three-point shooting team, and they were 13-4 when they hit at least eight three-pointers.
Boise State vs. La Salle Picks and Betting Predictions
I’m looking forward to this one. La Salle is tough, and they are deep and talented in the backcourt. I just don’t think they quite measure up to the Broncos. Marks is the best player in the game, and the Broncos have beaten better teams than La Salle has. At these odds Boise state is the pick.
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