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Illinois State vs. Evansville - 1/15/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Evansville Purple Aces (15-3) at Illinois State Redbirds (9-9)

College Basketball: Friday, January 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Redbird Arena)

The Line: Illinois State Redbirds +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 2

The Evansville Purple Aces will travel to Redbird Arena to take on the Illinois State Redbirds this Friday night in College Basketball action.

The Evansville Purple Aces won their 2nd straight game and improved to 15-3 (4-1 MVC) on the season after defeating the Drake Bulldogs, 84-65, this past Tuesday. Evansville was able to jump out to a 38-22 lead at halftime and never trailed in the victory. Evansville shot 53.3% from the field and had 16 assists in the win. The Purple Aces held the Bulldogs to 43.4% shooting from the field and outrebounded Drake by a 35-26 margin. Leading the way for Evansville was Egidijus Mockevicius who had a double-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a steal. On the season, the Purple Aces have been led by D.J. Balentine (20.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.6 apg), Egidijus Mockevicius (17.3 ppg, 14.0 ppg, 2.8 bpg), and Jaylon Brown (11.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.3 apg). Offensviely, Evansville is averaging 79.4 ppg on 52.3% shooting from the field and 35.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Purple Aces average 4.7 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.52. Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to 66.1 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 6.6 and a turnover margin of -0.1.

Illinois State vs. Evansville - 1/15/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois State Redbirds lost their 2nd consecutive game and dropped to 9-9 (3-2 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Southern Illinois Salukis, 81-78, this past Tuesday. Illinois State held a 56-44 lead early in the 2nd half but allowed the Salukis to go on an 11-2 run late in the game and couldn’t hold on for the victory. Illinois State shot 46.6% from the field and 46.4% (13-28) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Redbirds allowed the Salukis to shoot 46.2% (12-26) from three-point range and was outrebounded by Southern Illinois by a 37-31 margin. Leading the way for Illinois State was MiKyle McIntosh who had 25 points, 3 blocks, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal in 26 minutes off the bench. On the season, the Redbirds have been led by DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (15.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg), MiKyle McIntosh (10.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.9 apg), and Paris Lee (10.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.4 apg). Offensively, Illinois State is averaging 66.3 ppg on 41.1% shooting from the field and 32.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Redbirds average 6.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.92. Defensively, the Redbirds are holding their opponents to an average of 68.0 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Redbirds have a rebound margin of -1.8 and a turnover margin of 1.3.

The Purple Aces are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games. The Redbirds are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.

Illinois State was able to defeat Evansville three times last year however, the Redbirds seem to be feeling more if an impact with the departure of Reggie Lynch than expected and just don’t seem like the same team with saw play well down the stretch last season. Evansville has two of the best players in the MVC in Egidijus Mockevicius and D.J. Balentine and as they ranked 3rd in the country in both assists per game and FG %, I think the Purple Aces take out some revenge on Illinois State and covers this small spread. Take Evansville to cover. 

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Evansville Purple Aces -4.5

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