The Drake Bulldogs (16-13, 10-6 MVC) will travel to Redbird Arena to challenge the Illinois State Redbirds (15-13, 9-7 MVC) in their home finale. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 149 points with Illinois State opening as a 3-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
Drake Bulldogs vs. Illinois State Redbirds Odds Preview
The Bulldogs defeated the Missouri State Bears in their last matchup, 67-63. Reed Timmer was the game’s high scorer with 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting. The Bulldogs were 9-11 from the free throw line (81.8 percent) and held the Bears to an effective field goal percentage of 0.418 (below their season average of 0.498).
In the Redbirds’ last game, they topped the UNI Panthers, 79-75. Illinois State rallied around Milik Yarbrough, who was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points on 8-for-17 shooting. The Redbirds had a phenomenal effective field goal percentage of 0.663 (above their season average of 0.502) and had a turnover percentage of 13.6 (better than their season average of 17.0).
It could be a tough game for Illinois State on the offensive glass. The Redbirds currently rank 264th in offensive rebounding percentage (26.2 percent), while Drake ranks 91st in defensive rebounding percentage (73.4 percent).
Both of these teams have typically finished over the projected point total. Games involving Drake have finished over 57.7 percent of the time, while 60.0 percent of Illinois State games have gone over. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (16-13 for Drake; 15-13 for Illinois State), but the Bulldogs have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Drake is 16-9-1 ATS, while the Redbirds are 12-13.
Timmer has really been playing well over the last five games for Drake, averaging 24.8 points per game.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 149 points in that game, which was just over the projected point total of 147. The Bulldogs won 87-62, covering as 4-point favorites. The Bulldogs dominated every facet of the game. They had a superb free throw rate of 0.262 and a solid turnover percentage of 9.1. The Redbirds were 0.063 and 17.3, respectively, for those same stats. In the victory, Timmer led all scorers with 28 points.
Drake Bulldogs vs. Illinois State Redbirds Prediction
Free Pick: SU Winner – Drake, ATS Winner – Drake, O/U – Over
- The Redbirds average 6.8 steals per game, which ranks 78th in the NCAA. The Bulldogs rank 97th in steals allowed per game (6.0).
- Drake is 9-7-1 ATS on the road, while Illinois State is 6-5 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 9 of the Bulldogs’ 17 road games, while 6 of the Redbirds’ 11 home games have gone over.
- Illinois State averages 26.7 three pointers per game, which ranks 28th in the nation. Drake ranks 209th in three pointers allowed per game (23.1).
- The Bulldogs average 15.2 assists per game, which ranks 68th in the NCAA. The Redbirds rank 193rd in assists allowed per game (14.4).
- Drake ranks 172nd in rebounds allowed per game (35.2) while Illinois State ranks 280th (38.9).
- Illinois State is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Drake is 4-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Redbirds’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.4, up from 1.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 72.6 points per game (1.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 68.6 points per game (4.5 below their season average).