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Tennessee-Martin vs. Eastern Illinois - 1/24/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Eastern Illinois at Tennessee-Martin
Date & Time Thursday January 24, 2019, 8:30 PM (EST)
Skyhawk Arena
Martin, TN
The Line
UT Martin Skyhawks -1.5 -- Over/Under: 152.5
TV Channel
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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Illinois Panthers will travel to Skyhawk Arena to take on the UT Martin Skyhawks this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Eastern Illinois Panthers improved to 11-8 (4-2 OVC) on the season after defeating the Austin Peay Governors, 85-83, this past Saturday. Eastern Illinois was down by a 70-56 margin midway through the 2nd half, however, was outstanding offensively down the stretch and was able to secure the come from behind victory after the Panthers Shareef Smith hit the game winning jumper with just :04 seconds left in regulation. Eastern Illinois shot 54.5% from the field and 62.5% from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Panthers was Josiah Wallace who had 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.

On the season, Eastern Illinois is averaging 72.6 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 8.4 three-pointers per game on 37.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Eastern Illinois has been led by Josiah Wallace (15.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.1 apg), Mack Smith (12.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), Shareef Smith (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.3 spg), and Ben Harvey (9.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 apg).

Defensively, Eastern Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 75.9 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -1.6 and a turnover margin of 1.0.

The UT Martin Skyhawks lost their 8th straight game and dropped to 5-12 (0-6 OVC) on the season after being defeated by the Morehead State Eagles, 85-77, this past Saturday. UT Martin had no answers for the Morehead State offense and couldn’t fight back after the Eagles took a 53-34 lead with 15:00 minutes remaining in the 2nd half. UT Martin shot 55.2% from the field, however, allowed Morehead State to shoot 59.6% from the field & 45.0% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Skyhawks was Derek Hawthorne Jr. who had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

On the season, UT Martin is averaging 76.8 ppg on 43.6% shooting from the field. The Skyhawks are averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game on 32.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UT Martin has been led by Preston Parks (12.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg), Quintin Dove (11.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg), Fatodd Lewis (10.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg), and Derek Hawthorne Jr. (10.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.8 spg).

Defensively, UT Martin is allowing their opponents to average 82.6 ppg on 49.8% shooting from the field. The Skyhawks have a rebound margin of -1.9 and a turnover margin of 0.4.

The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Skyhawks are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. OVC opponents.

Eastern Illinois has won 5 of their last 7 games, however, the Panthers haven’t been anything special on either end of the court this season as they currently rank just 206th in scoring offense, 272nd in scoring defense, and 287th in defensive FG%. It’s been a tough season for the Skyhawks as they are still searching for their 1st conference win and although their fast-paced style of play has UT Martin ranked 102nd in scoring offense, the defense has really struggled as they currently rank just 344th in scoring defense & 348th in defensive FG%.

I’m not completely sold on this Eastern Illinois team as they certainly can give up points and can struggle offensively if their three-pointers aren’t falling. UT Martin is not a great team, however, the Skyhawks generally have played much better at home this season and as I was impressed with their last home game against a good Austin Peay team, I think the Skyhawks will do enough in this one to cover this small home spread.  

UT Martin Skyhawks -1.5

Brett has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2014 and currently focuses on College Basketball, College Football, and Fantasy Sports!

We have to deal with Brett being a New England sports fan as he is from New Hampshire so you can imagine how willing he is to talk about Boston sports.

Brett loves diving into the numbers/analytics of his match-ups to provide you with not only great information but most importantly, winners!

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