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Southern Illinois vs. Evansville - 1/28/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Evansville Purple Aces (17-4) at Southern Illinois Salukis (18-3)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm (SIU Arena)

The Line: Southern Illinois Salukis +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Evansville Purple Aces will travel to SIU Arena to take on the Southern Illinois Salukis this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Evansville Purple Aces had their four game snapped and dropped to 17-4 (6-2 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Indiana State Sycamores, 82-65, this past Sunday. Indiana State used a 15-2 run to end the first half to gain a 45-31 leading into the break and never allowed Evansville to get within 8 points of the lead throughout the 2nd half. Evansville shot 43.4% from the field and 45.5% (5-11) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Purple Aces struggled defensively as they allowed the Sycamores to shoot 47.4% from the field and 60.9% (14-23) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Purple Aces was D.J. Balentine who had 20 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Purple Aces have been led by D.J. Balentine (21.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.5 apg), Egidijus Mockevicius (17.0 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg), and Jaylon Brown (11.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.1 spg). Offensively, Evansville is averaging 77.9 ppg on 52.0% shooting from the field and 36.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Purple Aces average 4.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.47. Defensively, Evansville is holding their opponents to an average of 66.3 ppg on 40.7% shooting. The Purple Aces have a rebound margin of 5.1 and average 4.1 blocks per game.

Southern Illinois vs. Evansville - 1/28/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Southern Illinois Salukis won their 4th straight game and improved to 18-3 (7-1 MVC) on the season after defeating the Missouri State Bears, 80-65, this past Sunday. Southern Illinois was able to get out to a 45-31 halftime lead and never let Missouri State get within single digits in the 2nd half. Southern Illinois shot 47.5% from the field and 38.9% (7-18) from beyond the arc in the victory. The Salukis allowed the Bears to shoot 44.3% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 15-13 margin. Leading the way for Southern Illinois was Bola Olaniyan who had 17 points and 6 rebounds. On the season, the Salukis have been led by Anthony Beane (19.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg), Sean O’Brien (12.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.9 apg), and Mike Rodriguez (9.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 spg). Offensively, Southern Illinois is averaging 77.1 ppg on 47.6% shooting from the field and 37.0% shooting from beyond the arc. The Salukis average 6.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.92. Defensively, Southern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 68.6 ppg on 43.8% shooting. The Salukis average 7.5 steals per game and have a turnover margin of 2.8.

The Purple Aces are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Salukis are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. MVC opponents.

Evansville is one of the better MVC teams this season and have been led by big man Egidijus Mockevicius, who is pretty much a lock for a double-double a game, and D.J. Balentine who generally leads the team in scoring. Southern Illinois came into the season with a lot of questions but have surprisingly been one of the best teams in the MVC season thanks to an efficient offense led by Anthony Beane.  Southern Illinois has been outstanding this season and even though Evansville has struggled a bit recently on the road, I think the Purple Aces will be too much for the Salukis to handle and that Evansville covers this small spread on the road. Take Evansville to cover. 

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Evansville Purple Aces -1.5

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