SIU Edwardsville Cougars vs. Belmont Bruins Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/26/14
Belmont Bruins (21-8) at SIU Edwardsville Cougars (11-17)
College Basketball: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Vadalabene Center)
The Line: SIU Edwardsville Cougars +7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Belmont Bruins hold on to a share of first in the OVC with a victory at the SIUE Cougars on Wednesday.
Even though Belmont doesn't possess the strong defense we have been accustomed to seeing the offense has picked up the slack and a first place tie in the Ohio Valley and another 20 win season is theirs. The defense and scoring came together nicely last time out in an 82-63 rout of Eastern Illinois with the Panthers held to under 41% shooting while the Bruins fired away at nearly 58% including a 13-25 mark from long range. Leading scorer JJ Mann poured in 21 points and grabbed seven pulls with a 20 point, seven yank effort coming from Craig Bradshaw while Drew Windler and Blake Jenkins contributed 16 and 15 points.
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It appears that SIU-Edwardsville is heading for a middle of the pack finish in the Ohio Valley unless a lot of things fall perfectly in place with one scenario having the Cougars finishing fourth. The Cougars playoff positioning took a hit with a 66-61 loss to last place Tennessee State last time out as the usually dependable offense struggled for consistency. SIUE connected at around 42% but were only 3-14 from distance while the Tigers 44% accuracy and eight bombs were enough to get the win. Kris Davis gave the offense 14 points with Keaton Jackson adding 12 with the duo going 11-15 from the floor while Rozell Nunn and Maurice Wiltz netted nine points apiece and ten pulls between them.
Belmont obviously wins big if they play their game because SIU-Edwardsville isn't an elite squad. The Bruins defense scares me, enough to look elsewhere although the over might be tempting when it's released...