Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#687 Belmont vs.
#688 Evansville
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Kevin V.

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The Belmont Bruins (15-6, 8-2 MVC) pay a visit to Evansville, Indiana and the Ford Center on Wednesday to play against the Evansville Purple Aces (4-17, 0-10 MVC) in a Missouri Valley Conference game. Belmont is tied for first in MVC with Southern Illinois and defeated the Bradley Braves 78-76 on Saturday for their sixth consecutive victory. Evansville is the polar opposite of Belmont, as the Purple Aces are last in the MVC standings. The Purple Aces wer32

22defeated by the Drake Bulldogs 97-61 on Saturday. Evansville has lost each of its last eight games. Belmont and Evansville do not have any players listed on their respective injury reports.

 

Belmont must make more stops on defense

Belmont is tied for first in the Missouri Valley Conference but the Bruins are giving up too much at the defensive end. Belmont is allowing an average of 70.3 points (210th) per game, while opponents are shooting 44.7% (267th) overall and 34.1% (223rd) from three-point land. Belmont's offense is scoring an average of 74.8 (121st) points per game, while shooting an above-average 46.3% (88th) overall and 40.4% (2nd ) from behind the three-point line. 

 

Ben Sheppard is the leading scorer for Belmont with an average of 18.5 points per game. The guard is shooting 46.1% overall and an impressive 41.6% from behind the three-point line. Sheppard has made 57 of 137 attempts from three-point land. The second leading scorer is Cade Tyson with an average of 13.0 points per game. Tyson is shooting 45.3% overall and 42.5% from long range. Each of the top three scorers for Belmont are shooting between 41.6% and 48.7% from three-point land. Sheppard is the leader in assists with an average of 3.4 dishes per contest. Belmont averages 31.0 rebounds per game led by Sheppard with an average of 5.0 boards per contest. Ja’Kobi Gillespie is the leader in steals with an average of 1.6 per game, while the rim protector is Even Brauns with an average of 1.5 block shots per game.

Evansville is playing poorly at both ends of the court

Evansville is scoring an average of only 61.9 (353rd) points per game, with a field goal shooting percentage of only 39.8% (351st) and a three-point shooting percentage of just 32.5% (264th). On defense, Evansville is allowing an average of 75.2 (322nd) points per game, while opponents are shooting 47.1% (346th) overall and 37.7% (346th) from behind the three-point line.

Kenny Strawbridge Jr scores an average of 15.4 points per game to lead Evansville but is shooting only 38.6% overall and 25.3% from behind the line. Marvin Coleman II scores an average of 10.6 points per game, which is second for Evansville, but is shooting only 37.7% overall and 37.3% from long range. Each of the top four scorers for Evansville are shooting 39.7% or less. Coleman is the leader in assists with an average of 2.7 dishes per contest. Evansville averages 32.2 rebounds per game led by Yacine Toumi with an average of 5.7 boards per contest. Strawbridge is the leader in steals with an average at 1.2 per game and Preston Phillips has a team-high 0.5 blocked shots per game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Evansville has struggled since the start of the season as the Purple Aces are a disappointing 4-17 straight up and have failed to cover the spread in 15 of 21 games. Although Belmont is only 11-8-1 ATS, the Bruins are an impressive 15-6 straight up and leading the Missouri Valley Conference with Southern Illinois. Evansville's defense is allowing an average of 75.2 points per game which is nearly 14 points more than the Purple Aces are scoring per game at 61.9 points. Belmont has covered the spread in each of its last two and in five of the last six, while Evansville has covered the spread in just two of its last 10. Evansville has one of the poorest shooting teams in the nation at 39.8% overall

Prediction: Belmont Bruins -12.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Although Evansville is not scoring many points, the Purple Aces are giving up points at a high rate, allowing an average of 75.2 points per game and 47.1% shooting. The total has finished over in each of Evansville's last 11 games and in 16 of the Purple Aces' last 21 games. Therefore it is hard to bet against the over in this situation, regardless of who Evansville plays. The total has finished over in each of Belmont’s last three games.

Prediction: OVER 144.5
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Written By Kevin Vallego , "Kevin V."

Kevin grew up in a sports-only household. Every afternoon was set to watching any sport that was on T.V. After years of watching sports he got introduced to the betting world, and soon stats, trends, and odds were Kevin's best friends. Now, almost 2 decades later, His life revolves around sports, writing about them, and betting on them. We are glad to have Kevin on our Winners & Whiners & StatSalt teams and you should be happy that we have him as well.