16-13 overall, 10-6 conference, 4th Atlantic 10
Against the spread
15-10 (8-4 home, 7-5 away)
7-16-2 (2-9-1 home, 5-6-1 away)
2005 Season Summary
There was nowhere to go but up for the Saint Louis Billiken basketball program after they bottomed out in 2004-05 with a record of 9-21 straight up and 13-14 against the spread.
A valuable lesson in perception
Incredibly enough, however, the Billikens ended the 2004-05 season as phenomenal values as they covered 13 of their final 18 games against the spread including 8 of their final 9. Saint Louis provided college basketball gamblers a valuable lesson in perception as even though they were getting hammered straight up, this made them a value against stronger and more respected foes that were being made significant overlays against the weak Billikens.
Saint Louis’ problems in 1004-05 had much to do with a lack of experience but with a year under their belts it was expected that the Billikens would be ready to take the next step and reach respectability, if not a winning record for 2005-06.
Mixed messages early
Saint Louis began the season with a 69-45 home win over Eastern Illinois as 13.5-point chalks. This was followed by a 64-82 loss at Hawaii as 10-point dogs. Next was a 56-42 win over Southern Illinois as 2-point home chalks but that was followed by a poor 71-82 loss at Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a 7.5-point dog. Saint Louis was sending mixed messages early with a 2-2 mark both straight up and against the spread.
After an unlined straight up home win the Billikens lost at Ole Miss 64-77 as 4.5-point dogs. Another unlined win was followed by a strong 57-60 loss to Gonzaga as 5-point home dogs as the mixed messages continued to basketball bettors.
The Billikens remained a tough read
Saint Louis next hosted Big Ten contender Iowa as 4.5-point dogs and lost 50-60. This was followed by a 60-58 win over St. Bonaventure as 11-point home overlays for a second straight loss against the sportsbooks. The Billikens remained a tough read for gamblers as they then went out and got the cash in their next two games. First was a 64-69 win at George Washington as 11.5-point dogs and that was followed by a 50-48 win over Massachusetts as 1.5-point home chalks.
Saint Louis suffered one last dip with two failures in their next three games against the sportsbooks. They lost at Richmond 54-65 as 1-point dogs and that was followed with a 59-54 win at Xavier as 14-point dogs. They next were embarrassed at home by Saint Joseph’s 39-54 as 1-point chalks. This was the low point of the season for the Billikens who were about to take off with a strong run.
Clicking as a value
Saint Louis followed up the poor loss to St. Joe’s with a 64-54 win over Fordham as 6-point home chalks, which demonstrated what a bargain they had become. Next was a 58-53 win at Rhode Island as 3.5-point dogs. A strong 61-47 win over Xavier as 5-point home dogs followed as the Billikens were clicking as a value. Even a 44-46 loss at Dayton was still a payoff as Saint Louis was a 3.5-point dog.
Cash kept flowing in
Saint Louis next won at Duquesne 70-57 as 9-point chalks as they remained a bargain value on the betting boards. This was followed by a 56-51 win over Temple as 1-point chalks. The cash kept flowing in with a 73-62 win over Rhode Island as 7.5-point chalks. A 77-74 win at Charlotte as 6.5-point dogs capped off an incredible 8-game winning streak against the sportsbooks and tapped Saint Louis’ value out.
Eight straight payoffs have a way of attracting a lot of attention from both gamblers and oddsmakers and this was the case for Saint Louis who ended up losing their final three games both straight up and against the spread.