18-10 overall, 10-6 conference, 3rd Atlantic 10
Against the spread
10-12-1 (4-6 home, 5-5-1 away)
11-12 (6-4 home, 5-6 away)
2005 Season Summary
The La Salle Explorers were just 10-19 straight up in 2004-05 but did cover 14 out of 26 lined games, proving to be a quiet value throughout the season and particularly down the stretch with 7 covers in their final 11 games.
Sneaking under the radar screen
Since La Salle isn’t known as a basketball powerhouse, if they are known at all, the had the ability to often be sneaking under the radar screen of the mainstream gambling public as they often provided excellent value against better known teams who were more often than not made overlays against the Explorers by the oddsmakers. Coming off such a poor straight up record in the 2004-05 campaign made it likely that, once again, La Salle would offer the sharper college basketball gamblers excellent value early on.
La Salle began the 2005-06 campaign with three consecutive straight up wins in games that were not on the basketball betting boards. In their first two lined games of the season they got the cash both times. They first won a neutral site game against Drexel 62-50 as 3-point dogs and that was followed by a 70-58 win at James Madison as 3.5-point chalks. Another unlined win followed, as the Explorers were quietly clicking at 6-0 straight up and 2-0 against the spread.
The word was getting out
Despite that fact that La Salle had built up that 6-0 record against mostly weak competition, the word was still getting out and that would cause their value to go down on the basketball betting boards as a result. At home against Florida International, La Salle took a 70-61 win as 14.5-point overlays. In their next game at Villanova, the Explorers were exposed in a 57-98-blowout loss as 17-point dogs. After yet another unlined straight up win the Explorers were upset at home by Hofstra 70-71 as 3-point chalks for their third straight loss against the oddsmakers.
Having been exposed as pretenders, La Salle retained some value in their next two games. First came an 84-61 win over hapless Duquesne as 14.5-point home chalks and that was followed by a 67-56 win at Richmond in a pick’em affair for a brief rebound of two straight covers.
Back in the tank
Unfortunately, La Salle could not retain momentum and they went right back into the tank starting with a 52-64 loss against Charlotte as 1.5-point home chalks. Next was 52-68 loss at Temple as 7-point dogs. The losing continued at home with a 68-71 defeat at the hands of Rhode Island as 5.5-point favorites. Things continued to deteriorate with a 54-66 loss at Saint Joseph’s as 6-point dogs. The bleeding finally stopped with a 56-73 loss/push at Pennsylvania. At this point LaSalle had lost five consecutive games straight up, blowing four of the five against the spread.
There is nothing like a sustained straight up losing streak that will sour the gambling public on a team, which of course means that they often become bargain values as the oddsmakers will adjust their lines to meet public demands. La Salle began a stretch of five consecutive payoffs with a 68-61 pick’em home win over Massachusetts. This was followed by a 75-66 win at Duquesne as 7.5-point chalks. Next was a nice 62-56 upset home win over Temple as 3.5-point dogs. The momentum continued at UMass with a strong 65-44 win as 6-point dogs. The streak closed with a most impressive 79-70 win at Xavier as 11.5-point dogs.
Too little too late
As is so often the case in gambling, by the time the public had caught up with La Salle it was a case of too little too late as their value was all used up. The Explorers were now overlays as proven by a 74-62 win over St. Bonaventure as 14-point chalks. They barely missed the cash in a 74-71 win over Dayton as 4-point home chalks, proving their depleted value. Next at George Washington, the Explorers proved to be overmatched in a 65-77 loss as 11.5-point dogs. This was followed by a 74-83 debacle at Fordham as 2-point dogs. After getting the cash in a 65-52 win over Saint Louis as 4-point home chalks, La Salle failed 62-64 to Fordham as 3-point tourney chalks.