UT Martin at Eastern Illinois
|Date & Time||Wednesday March 6, 2019, 7:30 PM (EST)|
Eastern Illinois +1.5 -- Over/Under: 150
The UT Martin Skyhawks and Eastern Illinois Panthers will square off at the Ford Center this Wednesday night in the 1st round of the OVC Men’s Championship.
The UT Martin Skyhawks finished their regular season with an overall record of 11-18 and earned the 7-seed in the OVC Men’s Championship after finishing conference play with a 6-12 record. UT Martin struggled during the middle of the season, dropping 12 of 13 games at one point while starting conference play with just an 0-7 record, however, the Skyhawks played some of their best basketball of the season down the stretch winning 5 of their last 8 games with an impressive 66-64 victory of the 3-seed Jacksonville State Gamecocks. UT Martin struggled defensively this season as the Skyhawks ranked just 339th in scoring defense & 343rd in defensive FG%, however, UT Martin was decent offensively as they ranked 100th in scoring offense, 134th in three-pointers made per game, and 34th in FT%.
On the season, UT Martin is averaging 75.8 ppg on 44.4% shooting from the field. The Skyhawks are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 34.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UT Martin has been led by Craig Randall (16.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.1 spg), Quintin Dove (12.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Preston Parks (11.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 spg), and Delfincko Bogan (11.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.4 spg).
Defensively, UT Martin is allowing their opponents to average 80.2 ppg on 48.3% shooting from the field. The Skyhawks have a rebound margin of -1.7 and a turnover margin of 0.3.
The Eastern Illinois Panthers finished their regular season with an overall record of 14-17 and earned the 6-seed in the OVC Men’s Championship after finishing conference play with a 7-11 record. Eastern Illinois had a decent start to their season and started conference play with a solid 6-3 record with a solid win over Austin Peay, however, the Panthers really struggled down the stretch losing 8 of their last 9 games. Eastern Illinois was solid offensively from beyond the arc as they ranked 92nd in three-pointers made per game & 47th in 3PFG%, however, the Panthers overall were below average on both sides of the ball as they currently rank just 201st in scoring offense & 300th in scoring defense.
On the season, Eastern Illinois is averaging 71.9 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 8.5 three-pointers per game on 37.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Eastern Illinois has been led by Josiah Wallace (15.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.0 apg), Mack Smith (12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.4 apg), Ben Harvey (10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Shareef Smith (8.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.2 spg).
Defensively, Eastern Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 76.7 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -1.4 and a turnover margin of 0.0.
The Skyhawks are 9-2 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Panthers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up loss, however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Eastern Illinois won both match-ups against UT Martin this season as the Panthers won at home by a 92-87 margin in OT and won at UT Martin by a 66-64 margin.
Eastern Illinois might have won the first two match-ups against UT Martin, however, this is a different Skyhawks team as outside of a blowout loss against Belmont, have been extremely competitive since Craig Randall was able to suit up for them. Eastern Illinois had a hard time beating the Skyhawks without Randall, and between the fact that Eastern Illinois ended their regular season with a loss the last place Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at home and that the Skyhawks offense should be able to put up plenty of points against the Panthers defense, I think taking UT Martin to cover this small spread is the play here. Good Luck!