A five-game home winning streak hangs in the balance for the Drake Bulldogs (8-7, 2-0 MVC), who will be 4-point favorites when they meet the Illinois State Redbirds (8-6, 2-0 MVC) at Knapp Center. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 148.5 points and action begins at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Illinois State Redbirds at Drake Bulldogs ATS Odds
Both teams barely defeated their last opponent. The Bulldogs defeated the Southern Illinois Salukis 70-67, while the Redbirds beat the Indiana State Sycamores 84-81.
Illinois State dominated every stat category in the game. They had a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 31.1 (above their season average of 22.4) and a free throw rate of 0.258 (above their season average of 0.234). Indiana State was 24.3 and 0.227, respectively, for those same stats. Drake, meanwhile, dominated nearly every facet of their game. They had a free throw rate of 0.213 (matching their season average) and a turnover percentage of 10.5 (better than their season average of 15.7). For those same stats, Southern Illinois was 0.070 and 13.1, respectively. Nick McGlynn was a key piece for Drake with 17 points and seven rebounds. Milik Yarbrough, meanwhile had a good game for Illinois State, finishing with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
Drake could struggle to create turnovers. Illinois State ranks 122nd in the NCAA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 18.1 percent), while Drake forces the 86th-fewest turnovers (17.9 percent).
Of the Redbirds’ 11 games that accepted bets, eight have finished over the total. Illinois State heads into the contest with records of 8-6 straight up (SU) and 5-6 against the spread (ATS).
Bulldogs games also tend to go over the total (58.3 percent). Further, Drake is 8-7 SU and 7-4-1 ATS.
Yarbrough has really been playing well recently for Illinois State, averaging 23.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists over the last five games.
The Redbirds dominated this series last year, winning both games. In the most recent matchup, Illinois State won 82-53. Illinois State launched 22 three pointers, making nine of them (40.9 percent), while Drake was 8-30 (26.7 percent). This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams.
Illinois State Redbirds vs. Drake Bulldogs ATS Pick
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois State, ATS Winner – Illinois State, O/U – Over
Illinois State ranks 20th in three pointers attempted per game (27.3) while Drake ranks 197th in three pointers allowed per game (23.8).
The Redbirds average 3.8 blocks per game, which ranks 84th in the NCAA. The Bulldogs rank 109th in blocks allowed per game (3.8).
Illinois State ranks 27th in steals allowed per game (5.1) while Drake ranks 41st (5.3).
The Bulldogs rank 57th in assists per game (16.0) while the Redbirds rank 172nd in assists allowed per game (14.6).
Drake ranks 160th in rebounds allowed per game (36.0) while Illinois State ranks 257th (41.0).
Drake is 2-0 ATS at home, while Illinois State is 4-3 ATS on the road.
The Redbirds have 6 overs and 1 under in 7 road games.
The Bulldogs have 1 over and 1 under in 2 home games.
The Bulldogs are 2-2 ATS over their last five games, while the Redbirds are 2-3.
In their last five games, Drake has 2 overs and 2 unders, while Illinois State has 4 overs and 1 under.
During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 71.0 points per game (7.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 73.0 points per game (3.0 below their season average).
The Redbirds have outscored opponents by an average of 1.6 points in their last five games. On the season, Illinois State has lost by an average of 0.6 points.
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