The Denver Pioneers (6-23, 2-13 Summit) and Western Illinois Leathernecks (5-20, 2-13 Summit) will clash at Magness Arena to finish out the regular season. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Western Illinois Leathernecks vs. Denver Pioneers Betting Preview
In the Leathernecks’ last outing, they lost big to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, 113-70. With 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting, Ben Pyle led Western Illinois in scoring. Oral Roberts’ turnover percentage was their biggest strength over Western Illinois. The Golden Eagles had a rate of 8.5 (better than their season average of 12.6), while the Leathernecks posted a mark of 16.7 (above their season average of 13.4).
The Pioneers are hoping for a better outcome after their 58-51 loss to the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons in their last outing. Ade Murkey was Denver’s leading scorer with 20 points on 8-for-20 shooting. Purdue Fort Wayne held the Pioneers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 7.9 (below their season average of 21.0). Denver, meanwhile, forced the Mastodons into a turnover percentage of 24.5 (above their season average of 17.5).
It could be a tough game for Denver on the offensive glass. The Pioneers currently rank 347th in offensive rebounding percentage (20.5 percent), while Western Illinois ranks 75th in defensive rebounding percentage (74.4 percent). The Leathernecks should be expected to protect the ball well. They rank 8th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 15.1 percent), while the Pioneers force the 92nd-fewest turnovers in the nation (opponents’ turnover percentage of 18.0 percent).
These two squads have already met once this season. The Leathernecks won 86-80. Western Illinois’ free throw rate was their largest advantage over Denver. The Leathernecks had a rate of 0.321, while the Pioneers posted a mark of 0.276. In the loss, Jase Townsend led all scorers with 28 points.
Western Illinois Leathernecks at Denver Pioneers Odds Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Denver, ATS Winner – Western Illinois, O/U – Over
Denver ranks 196th in rebounds allowed per game (36.1) while Western Illinois ranks 264th (38.5).
The Pioneers’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 9.0, up from 7.9 for the season.
During their last five games, the Leathernecks have scored an average of 76.0 points per game (1.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 90.4 points per game (8.1 above their season average).