The Western Illinois Leathernecks (1-0) will be at home in Western Hall when they go head-to-head against the Eastern Illinois Panthers (0-1). The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 147 points with Eastern Illinois set as a 4.5-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, and it can be seen on ESPN 3.
Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. Western Illinois Leathernecks Betting Preview
The Panthers lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in their last outing, 72-68, but did cover as 11.5-point underdogs. Jajuan Starks put together a solid game for Eastern Illinois, contributing 12 points and six rebounds. Nebraska had a much better free throw rate (0.404 vs. 0.190). Eastern Illinois, on the other hand, had a better effective field goal percentage (0.444 vs. 0.430). The two teams combined to score 140 points, which was under the O/U total of 147.5.
In the Leathernecks last game, they blew out the St. Marys (MN) Cardinals, 109-68. With 31 points on 12-for-15 shooting, Brandon Gilbeck was the games high scorer. Western Illinois dominated every facet of the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.290 and a turnover percentage of 9.7. For those same stats, St. Marys (MN) had marks of 0.082 and 31.2, respectively.
Western Illinois might have a difficult time finding the bottom of the net as they square off against one of the nations best defenses. Dating back to the 2016-17 season, Eastern Illinois ranks 95th in defensive efficiency while the Leathernecks rank 256th in offensive efficiency.
The Panthers are 14-16 straight up (SU) and 15-13 against the spread (ATS) since last season. Vegas has been spot on when setting the O/U total of Eastern Illinois games since last year, with an even split between overs and unders.
The Leathernecks, on the other hand, have records of 9-20 SU and 9-15 ATS since last season. Vegas has had a tendency to set the total low when Western Illinois has been involved over that same period as 62.5 percent of their games have ended over the projected point total.
The Panthers won both games against the Leathernecks last season. In the last matchup, Eastern Illinois won 63-49. The Panthers played a perfect game. They had a free throw rate of 0.175 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.465. For those same stats, the Leathernecks were 0.102 and 0.364, respectively.
Eastern Illinois Panthers at Western Illinois Leathernecks ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Eastern Illinois, ATS Winner – Western Illinois, O/U – Over
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Panthers average 15.1 assists per game, which ranks 68th in the NCAA. The Leathernecks rank 184th in assists allowed per game (13.6).
- Eastern Illinois ranks 69th in three pointers attempted per game (23.7) while Western Illinois ranks 70th in three pointers allowed per game (19.3).
- Eastern Illinois ranks 76th in steals per game (6.9) while Western Illinois ranks 249th (4.9).
- The Panthers average 37.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 81st in the NCAA. The Leathernecks rank 237th in rebounds allowed per game (36.9).
- Western Illinois ranks 22nd in blocks allowed per game (2.5) while Eastern Illinois ranks 138th (3.4).