The Idaho State Bengals (14-15, 9-9 BigSky) and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (11-18, 5-13 BigSky) square off in the Big Sky Conference Tourney at Reno Events Center. Idaho State is a 3.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 151 points. Tip-off is set for 8:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. Idaho State Bengals Odds Preview
In the Thunderbirds last outing, they lost a close one to the Idaho Vandals, 78-76. Jamal Aytes had a solid game for Southern Utah, contributing 17 points and seven rebounds. Idaho had a free throw rate of 0.250 (above their season average of 0.238). Southern Utah, meanwhile, had a much better turnover percentage (11.5 vs. 17.6).
The Bengals are trying to rebound after their 75-64 loss to the Montana Grizzlies in their last matchup. Brandon Boyd led Idaho State in scoring with 19 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Montana had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.5 (above their season average of 33.9). Idaho State, on the other hand, held the Grizzlies to an effective field goal percentage of 0.452 (below their season average of 0.515).
Idaho State could have their way on the offensive side of the ball as their elite offense goes up against one of the worst defenses in the nation. The Bengals currently rank 32nd in effective field goal percentage (0.555), while Southern Utah ranks 315th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.541).
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Southern Utah games have finished over 55.6 percent of the time, while 56.0 percent of games involving Idaho State have finished under. The Bengals have the sizable advantage straight up (SU) (14-15 vs. 11-18), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Idaho State is 15-9-1, while Southern Utah is 15-12 ATS.
Boyd has been playing at a high level as of late for Idaho State, averaging 18.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals over the last five games.
These two teams have met twice already this season, each winning once. Boyd put up 22 points and six rebounds in the most recent matchup, in which the Bengals lost 84-80, unable to cover as 2.5-point underdogs. The two teams combined to score 164 points, which was 15.5 points above the projected point total of 148.5 points. The Thunderbirds turnover percentage was their biggest advantage over the Bengals. Southern Utah had a rate of 3.9, while Idaho State posted a mark of 14.9.
Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. Idaho State Bengals Prediction
Basketball Prediction: SU Winner – Idaho State, ATS Winner – Idaho State, O/U – Over
- Southern Utah ranks 197th in rebounds per game (34.2) while Idaho State ranks 270th (32.0).
- The Bengals rank 234th in assists per game (11.9) while the Thunderbirds rank 240th (11.9).
- Idaho State is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Southern Utah is 1-4 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Bengals average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 0.8, up from 0.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Thunderbirds have scored an average of 75.0 points per game (0.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 83.8 points per game (2.6 above their season average).