NCAA Basketball Odds: Saint Joseph’s Hawks vs. Duquesne Dukes

St. Joseph’s Hawks at Duquesne Dukes
Wednesday, 1/4/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  Duquesne -1
Current Betting Line:  Duquesne -2
Opening Total:  148
Current Total:  148.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Big South Tournament
The Saint Joseph's Hawks and Duquesne Dukes open up Atlantic-10 Conference play Wednesday night

Saint Joseph’s is seeking its first win in a conference opener since the 2008-09 campaign and will look to bounce back from its 74-69 loss to the Harvard Crimson as 6.5-point road underdogs on Dec. 31.  Guard Carl Jones is the leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 in scoring 18.8 points per game.  The program ranks 37th in the RPI rankings, sporting one of the youngest teams in the nation, with no seniors.  Saint Joseph’s is 9-1 ATS on the year and 25-26 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Hawks have won 12 of the last 15 meeting in this particular series, including a 93-90 overtime win as 10.5-point underdogs on March 11, 2011.  Saint Joseph’s has garnered a perfect 7-0 home record this season, but is 1-3 on the road.  Offensively, the team has scored 80-plus points in three of the last five games, shooting a league-best 48.8 percent from the floor.

Duquesne scored a 118-72 win over Houston Baptist on Saturday and will look to improve to 4-2 in A-10 openers under head coach Ron Everhart.  The Dukes enter the new year with nine wins for the fourth consecutive season.  Everhart was very impressed with this team’s performance in a 75-64 upset win over the George Mason Patriots as four-point road underdogs.  “One of the things we talked about during timeouts was stay tough, be resilient,” he commented after the game.  Duquesne had lost 15 of 16 in this particular series before his arrival, but have split the last six series meetings under his watch.

The Dukes have started five different lineups in their past five games, with ten players starting at least once and nine averaging double-digit minutes.  Duquesne senior B.J. Monteiro was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after averaging 26.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in two games.  He will not be on the court for the next two-to-four games due to sustaining injuries from an off-the-court incident.  The program owns three wins over teams that made NCAA Tournament appearances.

Bettors will likely back the Dukes due to the favorite being 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings in this series, while the Hawks are 5-13 ATS when playing on Wednesdays.

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