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South Dakota State vs. Western Illinois - 3/3/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Western Illinois Leathernecks (12-15) at South Dakota State Jackrabbits (25-6)

College Basketball: Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm (Denny Sanford Premier Center)

The Line: South Dakota State Jackrabbits -14.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: MDCO; ESPN College Extra

The Western Illinois Leathernecks and South Dakota State Jackrabbits will face off at the Denny Sanford Premier Center this Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Men’s Championship.

The Western Illinois Leathernecks lost 4 of their last 5 games of the regular season and finished the year with an overall record of 12-15. Western Illinois struggled in conference play this season and earned the 8-seed in the Summit League Tournament after finishing conference play with just a 3-11 record. It was a struggle on both ends of the court this season for the Leathernecks and outside of their home win against Fort Wayne in OT, Western Illinois was largely uncompetitive against the best teams in the Summit as the Leathernecks went 0-6 against the top-3 teams in the Summit this season. On the season, Western Illinois is averaging 72.3 ppg on 46.7% shooting from the field. The Leathernecks are averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game on 35.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Western Illinois has been led by Kobe Webster (16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.6 apg), Dalan Ancrum (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.0 spg), Brandon Gilbeck (10.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.5 bpg), and C.J. Duff (8.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg). Defensively, Western Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 72.0 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Leathernecks have a rebound margin of 0.1 and a turnover margin of -1.0.

See Who The Top Handicappers In The World Have in This Game...CLICK HERE
South Dakota State vs. Western Illinois - 3/3/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits closed out their season with impressive wins against South Dakota and Fort Wayne to finish their regular season with an overall record of 25-6. The Jackrabbits won their last 8 games of the regular season and earned the top-seed in the Summit League Championship after finishing conference play with an impressive 13-1 record. South Dakota State comes into this matchup with one of the best offenses in the country as not only do they have the best big-man in the Summit in double-double machine, Mike Daum, the Jackrabbits have also been outstanding from beyond the arc this season as they rank in the top-11 of both three-pointers made per game and 3P-FG%. On the season, South Dakota State is averaging 85.3 ppg on 47.4% shooting from the field. The Jackrabbits are averaging 10.7 three-pointers per game on 40.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, South Dakota State has been led by Mike Daum (23.6 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.4 apg), David Jenkins Jr. (15.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.6 apg), Reed Tellinghuisen (12.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Tevin King (9.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.8 spg). Defensively, South Dakota State is allowing their opponents to average 74.6 ppg on 43.3% shooting from the field. The Jackrabbits have a rebound margin of 3.8 and a turnover margin of 0.5.

The Leathernecks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss however, are just 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games. The Jackrabbits are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.

South Dakota State easily handled Western Illinois in both matchups this season as the Jackrabbits won by a 98-70 margin on the road in mid-January and more recently won an 82-62 matchup at home about two weeks ago.

Western Illinois was led by their defense that ranked 165th in scoring defense and 112th in defensive FG% however, the Leathernecks defense has struggled as of late as in their last 4 losses, Western Illinois has allowed their opponents to average 83.0 ppg. South Dakota State has one of the most explosive offenses in the country as the Jackrabbits rank 7th in scoring offense, 49th in FG%, and 11th in three-pointers made per game and 3P-FG%. South Dakota State had no problems defeating Western Illinois in both matchups this season and as I just don’t see how Western Illinois will be able to stop the Jackrabbits offense, I’m taking South Dakota State to cover this large spread.

See Who The Top Handicappers In The World Have in This Game...CLICK HERE

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