Dominance In Conference Play Makes Wichita St. Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Southern Illinois

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 12:59 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 12:59 PM UTC

Let’s look at the numbers and Trends for this intriguing game between Southern Illinois & Wichita St. to see if there are any strong leans or solid NCAA basketball picks to offer up.

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Final Score Prediction: Wichita State 80 - Southern Illinois 53
Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Wichita State -15½; Wichita State -8½ -115 First Half
Best Lines Offered: at Bookmakerat The Greek


The 21st-ranked Wichita State Shockers take a 10-game Win Streak into the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, kansas on Wednesday evening where they face upstart Southern Illinois University in what looks what could be a very tough spot on the schedule in Missouri Valley Conference play for the Road underdog Salukis. With the Shockers so dominant in conference play and at Home here, is backing the hosts the automatic play? It seems so. 


Odds Overview
Southern Illinois at #21 Wichita State: The #21-ranked Wichita State Shockers (18-5, 10-0 in MVC) welcome Southern Illinois (18-5, 7-3 in MVC) to Charles Koch Arena in a big Missouri Valley Conference showdown and chance for the Salukis to knock off the conference’s big dogs on Wednesday night. Offshore NCAA basketball odds boards opened up with host Wichita State as huge 15½-point favorites (Bookmaker) with the Total (Points) for this game from the Sunflower State opening up at 142½ (Bookmaker). The First Half odds see host Wichita State as healthy 8½-point favorites (-115, The Greek).


Southern Illinois Salukis
Southern Illinois (12-9 ATS, 11-8 O/U) and 3rd-year Head Coach Barry Hinson are having a wonderful season but seem to have hit a Speed Bump lately, L2 straight, including their last outing, a 67-58 setback at Northern Iowa on Sunday. In that Loss in Cedar Falls, the Salukis were miserable from both the Field (24-62, 38.7%) and from 3-Point range (4-18, 22.2%) and only had two members of their Starting 5 in double-digit scoring in FG Anthony Beane (16 points) and Sean O’Brien (14 points). The other three SIU starters only combined for a total of 16 points—G Tyler Smithpeters (8 points), C Bola Olaniyan (6 points), G Mike Rodriguez (2 points)—and the Southern Illinois (12/1 to win NCAA Championship, PaddyPower) Bench only provided 12 points in the revealing Loss to an under .500 team, though hard to beat at Home. Although they have been dynamite ATS in this series, the Salukis have L9 of the L10 SU to Wichita State and are always the odds underdogs with last year’s (Wichita State minus) 8 being the lowest number in (at least) the L10 years in this series.

Putting the Southern Illinois schedule under the microscope here in The Lab reveals that this team has played some really bad teams, probably a huge reason my Salukis are 18-5 SU heading in here. An 18-5 mark is cakewalk when you’re playing paltry basketball teams like Ken Pomeroy 213th-ranked Loyola-Chicago (10-12), 248th-ranked Saint Louis (8-13), 297th-ranked Air Force (10-12), 310th-ranked North Texas (7-14), 333rd-ranked SEMO (5-17), 343rd-ranked Bradley (3-20) and 350th-ranked Florida A&M (6-15), among others (including Sam Houston State). Some quick readers may talk or think that SIU has a shot at the Big Dance and they might with a monster upset here or a miracle run through the MVC Tournament, but playing so many weaker-than-weak teams can only leave a College Basketball team very vulnerable come February and March. The Salukis peaked at 18-3, should get trounced here and may be a good team to fade from this point forward, especially if they keep shooting so poorly. Baskets still don’t make themselves, Bubba.


Wichita State Shockers
Wichita State (12-7-0 ATS, 11-8 O/U) and 8th-year Head Coach Gregg Marshall (220-81 SU) are always the strongest team in the MVC and usually the only school which has a legitimate chance to make the Sweet Sixteen come March and the #21 Shockers (66/1 to win NCAA Championship, Ladbrokes) enter this game on a nice 10-game Win Streak and already beat these dogs less than a month ago in their own kennel. Wichita State (74.7 AF-61.7 AA) has W18 straight games in the MVC and Head Coach Marshall (122-50 SU vs. Missouri Valley Conference) can break the school’s all-time Win record with a W on Wednesday night at Charles Koch Arena. Marshall has led the Shockers to 30-win seasons three straight years now and honestly has to be considered one of the best coaches in the game right now with his proven track record at this Midwest school. On Sunday in their last game, Wichita State won 78-65 (WSU -3½, 138½) as star G Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 32 points and became the first Shocker player in over 50 years (1963) to go 15-for-15 from the Charity Stripe. Wichita State also got 9 and 8 points from starting Gs Ron Baker and Evan Wessel respectively while starting F’s Shaquille Morris (2 points) and Zach Brown (0 points) combined for just 2 points. Unproductive. And it was that FT shooting from VanVleet and his teammates (24-27, 88.9%) that got Shockers’ backers their money at the betting windows because Wichita State was just 38.7% (24-62) from the Field and only 6-21 on 3’s (28.6%). G Conner Frankamp added 10 points from the Shockers Bench which totaled 27 points and was another big reason for the win and easy Point Spread cover.


Best Betting Approaches, Series Trends & Why Corn Stalks Over Egyptian Dogs?
Last month, the Shockers routed the Salukis in Carbondale, 83-58, easily covering the 8-point spread (Total 137½) and this final scoreline from Wichita on Wednesday may look very similar. Here in Wichita last season, the Shockers won 67-55, but failed to cover the massive 18½-point number (Total 116) and SIU has been very good against the Point Spread in this series, going 20-7 ATS over the L27. And the Salukis are 7-1 ATS in their L8 Road games, but this seems like an awful tough spot for Southern Illinois (Walt Frazier’s alma mater) who have L2 straight and are at that point in their season where the rubber meets the road. The Shockers have W23 consecutive MVC games here at Home at Charles Koch Arena and this may be a good game to back the Shockers on the 1st Half line (Wichita State -8½ -115, The Greek) as last month (Jan. 14) in Little Egypt and humid Carbondale—where the Humidity checks in at 99.9% every day—Wichita State led SIU, 38-22 at Halftime and the Shockers held a 13-point (41-28) lead after 30 minutes in this game last season. The Shockers and the crowd will no doubt be up for this one and Wichita State only allowed 52.1 ppg racking up a 23-game MVC Win Streak here at Home where it clobbered opponents by an average of 19.4 ppg. The Shockers are also 20-9-2 ATS in their L31 games played on a Wednesday, have W49 of their L51 MVC dribbles overall and with Coach Marshall (122-50 SU vs. MVC) more than likely breaking the school win record of Wichita State Hall of Fame Coach Ralph Miller with a victory here against the Salukis, expect extra concentration and dedication from the players and extra, extra noise from the raucous Home crowd.

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