The UL Monroe Warhawks covered the spread vs. a very good UNLV team on Monday and they now find themselves as big underdogs vs. an Indiana State Sycamores team not used to covering big numbers.
In a non-conference matchup on the NCAA Basketball odds that may be closer than the giant line would indicate on Wednesday night, the UL Monroe Warhawks (1-11 overall, 1-6 away) pay a visit to the Indiana State Sycamores (8-2 overall, 4-0 home) at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, IN at 7:05 ET.
Indiana State may be 8-2, but the Sycamores are just the fifth highest ranked team from the Missouri Valley Conference on the Pomeroy Ratings, reporting home at number 90 overall. The Sycamores play at a very slow pace, ranking 234th nationally with 66.2 possessions per game, and they rank 131st in adjusted offensive efficiency.
UL Monroe comes out of the Sun Belt Conference, as conference that is lightly regarded but underrated on the betting lines right now, as it is currently a blazing 56-37-2, 60.2 percent against the spread in non-conference games this early season! The Warhawks themselves are a nice 3-1-1 against the number in true road games so far.
The most recent Monroe road cover came vs. an excellent UNLV team on Monday, so we see no reason why the Warhawks cannot cover this enormous number in what should be a slow-paced contest.
The point spread at Bodog has St. UL Monroe as a big +18 underdog for this contest at current odds of -110.
Not only does Indiana State play at a snail’s pace, but it only ranks 217th in the country in two-point percentage and it does not get many second opportunities either, ranking a disgusting 330th in offensive rebounding percentage. Therefore, it certainly comes as no surprise that the Sycamores rank just 224th in the nation in scoring at 65.9 points per game.
So how does a team like this go 8-2? Well, six of the eight wins came vs. teams ranked no higher than 107th on the Pomeroy Ratings and a seventh win came vs. a non-lined opponent named Maryville.
Granted, the eighth was a nice upset of Vanderbilt 61-55 at Nashville on Saturday as a 10-pont underdog, but the Sycamores took advantage of a Commodores’ team still without its starting center, and that big win also puts them in a letdown spot here returning home to face a team with a 1-11 record.
As mentioned though, the Warhawks have been competitive for the most part, especially on the road, and Monroe is a good enough defensive rebounding team (79th with a rebounding percentage of 29.9 percent) that it can keep an already poor offensive rebounding Indiana State team off the glass rather easily. That means that the Sycamores would need to shoot an insane percentage from the floor to cover a big spread like this, especially with limited possessions
Finally, because the Sycamores have always played at a slow tempo, they have only been double-digit favorites four times since 2007 and they went 1-3 ATS on those rare occasions.
NCAA Basketball Pick: UL Monroe +18 (-110)