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Evansville Purple Aces vs. Illinois State Redbirds - 2/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Illinois State Redbirds (18-11) at Evansville Purple Aces (19-10)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Ford Center)

The Line: Evansville Purple Aces +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: The Valley

The Illinois State Redbirds will travel to the Ford Center to take on the Evansville Purple Aces this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The Illinois State Redbirds improved to 18-11 (10-7 MVC MVC) on the season after defeating the Southern Illinois Salukis, 73-56, this past Wednesday. Illinois State shot 47.2% from the field and 45.0% (9-20) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Redbirds was DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell who had 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Illinois State is ranked 90th in the RPI Standings and has played the 95th ranked SOS. On the season, the Redbirds have been led by Daishon Knight (14.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg) and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (12.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 spg). Illinois State is averaging 69.0 ppg (ranked 134th) on 43.8% shooting (ranked 157th). The Redbirds average 6.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 207th) and shoot 71.7% from the free-throw line (ranked 74th).  Illinois State is holding their opponents to an average of 62.0 ppg (ranked 70th) on 41.8% shooting (ranked 120th). The Redbirds average 7.6 spg (ranked 47th) and have a rebound margin of 4.7 (ranked 43rd).

Evansville Purple Aces vs. Illinois State Redbirds - 2/28/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Evansville Purple Aces dropped to 19-10 (9-8 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the 10th- ranked Northern Iowa Panthers, 68-57, this past Wednesday. Evansville shot 47.7% from the field and 37.5% (3-8) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Purple Aces was D.J. Balentine who had 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal. Evansville is ranked 102nd in the RPI Standings and has played the 146th ranked SOS. On the season, the Purple Aces have been led by D.J. Balentine (18.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.2 apg) and Egidijus Mockevicius (12.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.3 bpg). Evansville is averaging 69.4 ppg (ranked 120th) on 48.3% shooting (ranked 18th). The Purple Aces average 15.7 apg (ranked 20th) and shoot 74.5% from the free-throw line (ranked 23rd). Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 64.2 ppg (ranked 119th) on 43.0% shooting (ranked 177th). The Purple Aces commit 17.1 personal fouls per games (ranked 86th) and have a rebound margin of 1.3 (ranked 143rd).

The Redbirds are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. win and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Purple Aces are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.

Illinois State has won their past three games and have been getting it down on the defensive end as they are holding their opponents to just 54.3 ppg in that span. Evansville wasn't able to pull the upset as they did earlier in the season against Northern Iowa, and has not dropped 5 of their last 8 games. Illinois State had no trouble with Evansville at home earlier this season as they were able to beat the Purple Aces by a 77-51 margin in which they held Evansville to 32.7% shooting from the floor and 0.0% shooting (0-10) from long-range. Evansville is should be able to put up a better fight in this one, however, I think Illinois State is the team in the MVC that no one wants to see in the conference tournament as they have the talent and defensive to beat anyone in the conference. I think that the Red Bird defensive continues its strong run and that they cover this small road spread. Take Illinois State to cover. 

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Illinois State Redbirds -1.5

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