>The Drake Bulldogs (8-7, 2-0 MVC) will try to lengthen a five-game home winning streak when they take on the Illinois State Redbirds (8-6, 2-0 MVC) at Knapp Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 148.5 points with Drake set as a 4-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Illinois State Redbirds vs. Drake Bulldogs Betting Preview
>The Redbirds barely escaped the Indiana State Sycamores in their last contest, 84-81. Milik Yarbrough was the games leading scorer with 29 points on 9-for-19 shooting. Illinois State played a flawless game. They had a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 31.1 (above their season average of 22.4) and a free throw rate of 0.258 (above their season average of 0.234). For those same stats, Indiana State was 24.3 and 0.227, respectively.
>In the Bulldogs last game, they topped the Southern Illinois Salukis, 70-67. Nick McGlynn played well for Drake, recording 17 points and seven rebounds. Drake played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.213 (matching their season average) and a turnover percentage of 10.5 (better than their season average of 15.7). Southern Illinois had marks of 0.070 and 13.1, respectively, for those same stats.
>Drake could struggle to create turnovers. Illinois State ranks 122nd in the NCAA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 18.1 percent), while Drake forces the 86th-fewest turnovers (17.9 percent).
>Games including these teams have a tendency to finish over the projected point total. Illinois State games have finished over 72.7 percent of the time, while Drake games have finished over 58.3 percent of the time. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (8-6 for Illinois State; 8-7 for Drake), but the Bulldogs have the edge against the spread (ATS). Drake is 7-4-1 ATS, while the Redbirds are 5-6.
>Yarbrough has been solid over the last five games for Illinois State, averaging 23.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
>This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Redbirds won both games last season. In the most recent matchup, Illinois State won 82-53. Illinois State had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.653 vs. 0.339). Drake, meanwhile, did a great job of making free throws (11-13; 84.6 percent).
Illinois State Redbirds vs. Drake Bulldogs Betting Prediction
>Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois State, ATS Winner – Illinois State, O/U – Over
- The Redbirds average 3.8 blocks per game, which ranks 84th in the NCAA. The Bulldogs rank 109th in blocks allowed per game (3.8).
- Illinois State is 27th in the NCAA with 5.1 steals allowed per game while Drake is 41st with 5.3 steals allowed per game.
- Illinois State is 4-3 ATS on the road with 6 overs and 1 under.
- Drake is 2-0 ATS at home with 1 over and 1 under.
- Illinois State averages 27.3 three pointers per game, which ranks 20th in the nation. Drake ranks 197th in three pointers allowed per game (23.8).
- The Bulldogs average 16.0 assists per game, which ranks 57th in the nation. The Redbirds rank 172nd in assists allowed per game (14.6).
- Drake ranks 160th in rebounds allowed per game (36.0) while Illinois State ranks 257th (41.0).
- Drake is 2-2 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Illinois State is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Bulldogs have been outscored by an average of 2.0 points in their last five games. For the season, Drake has defeated opponents by an average of 2.0 points.
- During their last five games, the Redbirds have scored an average of 80.0 points per game (4.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 78.4 points per game (2.5 above their season average).