Drake Bulldogs vs. Evansville Purple Aces - 3/6/14 MVC Tournament First Round
Evansville Purple Aces (13-18) at Drake Bulldogs (15-15)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm (Scottrade Center)
The Line: Drake Bulldogs -1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Drake Bulldogs and Evansville Purple Aces will play Thursday in the first round of the MVC Tournament. These teams played back in January with Drake winning 94-66, and the meeting in February resulted in a 61-48 Evansville win.
The Bulldogs are a slow-paced team that wants to keep the game in the 60s if at all possible. They averaged 67.3 points on 44.5 percent shooting and allowed 68.9 points on 44.8 percent shooting. A total of 12 of their 15 wins this season came when they held their opponent to under 70 points. Offensively, they have four players who score in the double figures, and they shoot 39.3 percent from downtown as a team. The Bulldogs average 69 points and allow 65.3 points on neutral sites. They are 13-15 ATS overall.
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The Purple Aces are more of the faster paced team that wants to get up a lot of shots. On the season, they averaged 68.4 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allowed 72.6 points on 44.6 percent shooting. They’ve allowed 80 or more points 10 times this season and ended up losing eight of those matchups. Offensively, they rely heavily on sophomore guard D.J. Balentine, who averages 22.3 points per game. This will be their first neutral game and they are 13-12-1 ATS overall.
These teams are pretty evenly matched on both ends of the court give or take a couple of points here and there. And while the Bulldogs are probably the more balanced team, the Aces have that true star player who is capable of taking over a game and winning a few games during this tournament.
Balentine has scored 20 or more points 20 times this season, which include both meetings against Drake. It’s tough to bet against him in a game that’s pretty much a toss-up.
I’ll take Evansville and the points in what should be a well-played game.