Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. SIU Edwardsville Cougars - 3/4/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
SIU Edwardsville Cougars (12-15) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (16-13)
College Basketball: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 9:30 pm (Nashville Municipal Auditorium)
The Line: Eastern Illinois Panthers 0 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The SIU Edwardsville Cougars and Eastern Illinois Panthers will face off at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in first-round action of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
SIU Edwardsville finished the season with a 12-15 record and earned the 7th seed with a 8-8 record in the OVC. SIU Edwardsville made the conference tournament for the first time last season, and was projected to once again have an opportunity to make the conference tournament as they returned the majority of their line-up that led them to be 7-9 in conference play last year. SIU Edwardsville is ranked 292nd in the RPI Standings and has played the 274th ranked SOS. SIU Edwardsville played well towards the end of the season beating three OVC teams that are currently in the conference tournament, however, dropped a tough game at Austin Peay (3-13 in the OVC) about a week ago.
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On the season, SIU Edwardsville averaged 68.3 ppg (ranked 153rd) on 43.2% shooting (ranked 186th). The Cougars averaged 7.1 three-pointers per game (ranked 85th) on 38.2% three-point shooting (ranked 47th). SIU Edwardsville averages 13.5 turnovers per game (ranked 248th) and shot just 67.0% from the free-throw line (ranked 243rd). Defensively, SIU Edwardsville is allowing their opponents to average 66.9 ppg (ranked 187th) on 42.2% shooting (ranked 137th). The Cougars averaged 4.4 bpg (ranked 72nd) and 6.4 spg (ranked 152nd). Leading the way for the Cougars on the season was Kris Davis (14.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg) and Rozell Nunn (9.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.7 apg).
Eastern Illinois finished the season with a 16-13 record and earned the 6th seed with a 9-7 record in the OVC. The Panthers weren’t projected to do much after losing their leading scorer from last year’s team and although they did struggle on the offensive end, they had one of the better defenses in the conference. Eastern Illinois is ranked 165th in the RPI Standings and has played the 160th ranked SOS. Eastern Illinois was able to beat some of the tougher OVC competition this season in Belmont and Eastern Kentucky and also picked up a very nice road win against Cleveland State in late December.
On the season, Eastern Illinois has averaged 61.7 ppg (ranked 303rd) on 43.6% shooting (ranked 173rd). The Panthers average 6.8 three-pointers per game (ranked 120th) on 40.4% shooting (ranked 70th). Eastern Illinois shoots only 63.7% from the free-throw line (ranked 323rd) and commit 12.0 turnovers per game (ranked 107th). Defensively, Eastern Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 62.0 ppg (ranked 67th) on 40.4% shooting (ranked 70th). The Panthers average 4.3 bpg (ranked 73rd) and commit just 16.3 personal fouls per game (ranked 46th). Leading the way for Eastern Illinois has been Trae Anderson (13.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg) and Chris Olivier (13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.4 bpg).
The Cougars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Panthers are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
Eastern Illinois and SIU Edwardsville split their two games this year. Eastern Illinois was able to defeat SIU Edwardsville in a close low scoring battle in late January, however, lost to SIU Edwardsville by a 80-63 margin a couple of weeks ago. Basically, this game is going to come down to the performance of the Eastern Illinois defense, as they don’t have the offensive to try and keep up or out score any teams. I’m expect this game to be a close one, however, SIU Edwardsville was only 1-12 away from home and I tend to take the better defensive teams when it comes to pick-em games. Take Eastern Illinois to win this one and advance.