MVC foes will clash when the Illinois State Redbirds (8-7, 2-1 MVC) challenge the Missouri State Bears (13-3, 3-0 MVC) at Redbird Arena. Missouri State opened as a 4.5-point favorite, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 137.5 points. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
Missouri State Bears vs. Illinois State Redbirds ATS Preview
In the Bears last outing, they beat the UNI Panthers, 62-55. Alize Johnson was the top scorer from either team with 24 points on 8-for-19 shooting. The Bears, who came into the game averaging an offensive rebounding percentage of 35.2, had a phenomenal mark of 43.6 and had a free throw rate of 0.333 (above their season average of 0.190).
The Redbirds are trying to rebound after their 87-62 loss to the Drake Bulldogs in their last outing. With 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Illinois State’s Milik Yarbrough had a solid performance. Drake’s 0.262 free throw rate was their biggest strength over Illinois State, who had a mark of 0.063. The Bulldogs mark was above their season average of 0.230, while the Redbirds was below their season average of 0.236.
The inefficient offense of Illinois State (252nd in the NCAA with an offensive efficiency of 101.7) will square off against the elite defense of Missouri State (27th in the nation with a defensive efficiency of 92.6). The Bears figure to have the edge on that side of the ball. Additionally, the Bears, who rank 27th in offensive rebounding percentage (35.8 percent), will try to take advantage of the Redbirds, who rank 291st in defensive rebounding percentage (68.0 percent).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. Games involving Missouri State have finished under 69.2 percent of the time, while 75.0 percent of Illinois State games have gone over. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Bears have a sizable advantage. They are 13-3 SU and 8-5 ATS, while the Redbirds are 8-7 SU and 5-7 ATS.
Yarbrough has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Illinois State, averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Redbirds won both matchups last season. In the most recent contest, Illinois State won 67-66. Illinois State had a much better turnover percentage (11.4 vs. 17.2). Missouri State, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.157 vs. 0.068).
Missouri State Bears at Illinois State Redbirds Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Illinois State, ATS Winner – Illinois State, O/U – Over
- The Bears rank 66th in blocks per game (4.3) while the Redbirds rank 85th in blocks allowed per game (3.3).
- Missouri State is 22nd in the nation with 5.0 steals allowed per game while Illinois State is 34th with 5.3 steals allowed per game.
- Missouri State is 5-3 ATS on the road with 5 unders and 3 overs.
- Illinois State is 1-3 ATS at home with 2 overs and 2 unders.
- Missouri State ranks 12th in rebounds per game (41.5) while Illinois State ranks 268th in rebounds allowed per game (41.1).
- The Redbirds rank 18th in three pointers attempted per game (27.9) while the Bears rank 207th (18.9).
- Missouri State ranks 11th in assists allowed per game (9.8) while Illinois State ranks 192nd (15.0).
- Illinois State is 2-3 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Missouri State is 3-2 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Redbirds average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.2, down from 2.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 65.0 points per game (7.0 below their season average) and allowed an average of 57.4 points per game (4.0 below their season average).