MVC foes will collide when the UNI Panthers (8-4) take on the Southern Illinois Salukis (8-5) at McLeod Center. UNI is an 8.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 125.5 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 28, 2017.
Southern Illinois Salukis vs. UNI Panthers Odds Preview
The last time the Salukis played, they were victorious over the Duquesne Dukes, 74-64. Sean Lloyd led Southern Illinois in scoring with 19 points on 5-for-8 shooting. The Salukis had an absurdly low turnover percentage of 5.8 (better than their season average of 17.1) and held the Dukes to an effective field goal percentage of 0.394 (below their season average of 0.491).
The Panthers are trying to rebound after their 77-67 loss to the No. 9 Xavier Musketeers in their last game. Bennett Koch was the games high scorer with 26 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Xavier did a great job of converting from the free throw line (15-19; 78.9 percent). UNI, meanwhile, forced the Musketeers into a turnover percentage of 21.0 (above their season average of 15.4).
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the NCAA’s slowest-paced teams battle. UNI currently ranks 305th in possessions per game (67.5) and Southern Illinois is 280th (68.5). Additionally, second chance points could be tough to come by for the Salukis. They rank 289th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage at 25.7 percent, while the Panthers are 18th-best on the defensive glass (defensive rebounding percentage of 76.6 percent).
Neither team has shown a tendency in terms of going over or under the projected point total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (8-5 for Southern Illinois; 8-4 for UNI), but the Panthers hold a slight edge against the spread (ATS). UNI is 3-5 ATS, while the Salukis are 3-5.
This is the first time these teams will meet this year, after the Panthers won both games last season. In the most recent matchup, UNI won 49-41. The Panthers dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an absurd free throw rate of 0.349 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.395. For those same stats, the Salukis recorded marks of 0.033 and 0.325, respectively.
Southern Illinois Salukis at UNI Panthers Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – UNI, ATS Winner – Southern Illinois, O/U – Over
- The Panthers allow the ninth-fewest assists per game (9.9) while the Salukis rank 41st (11.2).
- Southern Illinois ranks 105th in steals per game (6.5) while UNI ranks 119th in steals allowed per game (6.8).
- On the road, Southern Illinois is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- UNI is 1-2 ATS at home with 2 overs and 1 under.
- UNI ranks 107th in three pointers attempted per game (23.3) while Southern Illinois ranks 231st (18.4).
- The Panthers rank 71st in rebounds per game (38.2) while the Salukis rank 151st in rebounds allowed per game (35.5).
- Southern Illinois averages 4.3 blocks per game, which ranks 58th in the NCAA. UNI ranks 91st in blocks allowed per game (3.4).
- UNI is 1-3 ATS with 3 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Southern Illinois is 1-1 ATS with 1 over and 1 under.
- The Panthers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.0, down from 8.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Salukis have scored an average of 76.0 points per game (3.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 65.2 points per game (3.0 below their season average).