The Tennessee State Tigers (15-14, 10-8 OVC) and the Eastern Illinois Panthers (11-18, 7-11 OVC) battle in the Ohio Valley Conference Tourney at Ford Center. Tennessee State is a 3.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 127.5 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.
Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. Tennessee State Tigers Betting Preview
The Panthers were victorious over the SIUE Cougars in their last contest, 68-56. With 12 points and seven rebounds, Muusa Dama had a good outing for Eastern Illinois. The Panthers made 14 of their 19 free throws (73.7 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.540 (above their season average of 0.484).
The last time the Tigers played, they were defeated by the Belmont Bruins, 84-59. Delano Spencer was the top scorer from either team with 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Belmont was lights out from beyond the arc (20-38; 52.6 percent). Tennessee State, meanwhile, did a great job of making free throws (9-11; 81.8 percent).
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the nation’s slowest-paced teams clash. Tennessee State ranks 290th in possessions per game (67.0) and Eastern Illinois is 318th (66.0). Moreover, the 288th-ranked offense of the Panthers (offensive efficiency of 100.6) will face a difficult test against the 59th-ranked defense of the Tigers (defensive efficiency of 98.8).
Of Eastern Illinois’ 27 games that accepted bets, 15 have finished over the projected point total, while 12 of Tennessee State’s 23 games have finished under the projected point total. The Tigers have the sizable advantage straight up (SU) (15-14 vs. 11-18), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Tennessee State is 10-12-1, while Eastern Illinois is 10-17 ATS.
Montell Goodwin has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Eastern Illinois, averaging 18.0 points and 5.2 assists per game.
These two teams have already met twice this year, with the Tigers winning both. In the most recent contest, Christian Mekowulu scored a game-high 27 points and the Tigers defeated the Panthers 50-47 but could not cover as 5-point favorites. He also put up 10 rebounds. The two teams combined to put up 97 points, which was 31 points below the projected point total of 128 points. The Tigers played a nearly flawless game. They had an effective field goal percentage of 0.487 and an absurd free throw rate of 0.342. For those same stats, the Panthers were 0.344 and 0.292, respectively.
Eastern Illinois Panthers vs. Tennessee State Tigers Betting Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Tennessee State, ATS Winner – Eastern Illinois, O/U – Under
- The Panthers rank 200th in assists per game (12.6) while the Tigers rank 269th (10.8).
- Eastern Illinois ranks 197th in rebounds per game (34.3) while Tennessee State ranks 248th (33.0).
- Eastern Illinois ranks 99th in three pointers allowed per game (20.7) while Tennessee State ranks 271st (25.4).
- The Panthers rank 43rd in blocks per game (4.3) while the Tigers rank 154th (2.9).
- Tennessee State ranks 57th in steals per game (7.2) while Eastern Illinois ranks 129th in steals allowed per game (6.3).
- Tennessee State is 1-3-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Eastern Illinois is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Tigers’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 3.2, up from 0.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Panthers have scored an average of 68.0 points per game (1.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 69.0 points per game (0.9 above their season average).