The Illinois State Redbirds will travel to Carver Arena on Wednesday night in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup. The Redbirds are 8-13 (3-7) so far this season and are riding a three-game losing streak after a 71-51 home loss on Saturday against the Valparaiso Beacons. The Braves are 13-8 (6-4) right now and are coming off a 78-76 home loss against the Belmont Bruins on Saturday. These teams also play on February 8 in Illinois so this will be an interesting matchup to look at.
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Redbirds Need ImprovementThe Illinois State Redbirds have been struggling and lost to the Valparaiso Beacons 71-51 at home. They were dominated in the first half as they were outscored by Valparaiso 33-24. They struggled shooting the ball well as they were 19-of-56 (33.9 percent) overall, 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from the three, and 10 free-throw attempts. Junior guard Darius Burford led the team as in 32 minutes he finished with 23 points, two rebounds, one steal, and two turnovers. Defensively, they need to show a lot of improvement as they allowed 57.4 percent from the floor and 56.3 from deep here. Illinois State did decently well as they finished with six steals and three blocks throughout the game.
The Illinois State Redbirds are struggling this season on offense as they are 326th in the nation with 65.5 points per game thus far and shooting a decent 42.6 percent from the floor and are averaging 10.3 assists per game. Defensively, they are giving up 68.2 points per game, which is 156th in the country. They need to improve with 3.6 blocks and 5.9 steals per game thus far.
Feeling BraveThe Bradley Braves are coming off a tough 78-76 home loss against the Belmont Bruins and it doesn’t help when they allow 37+ points in each half. They did decently well shooting the ball as they finished shooting 48.2 percent throughout the game, 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, and 22 free-throw shots. Junior forward Rienk Mast led Bradley as in 31 minutes he finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and four turnovers. Defensively, they were brutal as they allowed the Bruins to finish 42.4 percent from the floor, 44.4 percent from three, and 12 free-throw attempts. The Braves were able to record eight steals and one block over the course of the game.
The Braves have been a decent offensive team with 71 points per game, which is 195th in the country, while also dishing out 13.2 assists per game. They’ve been shooting well at 46 percent from the field so far. On the defensive side of things, they are 21st in the nation with 61.5 points per game as well. They recorded four blocks and 7.4 steals per game this season to try to improve on that side of things.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
When looking at KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, there is a huge difference in the rankings as Illinois State is 265th in the sport with an -8.08 rating while Bradley is 85th in college basketball with a +8.65 rating up to this point. There is a huge difference offensively as of late with the Redbirds scoring just 57 points in their last three games while the Braves are averaging 78.8 points in their previous five games. All in all, go with the Bradley Braves to cover the spread in this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have been struggling throughout the previous few games as Illinois State is allowing 67.8 points in their last four games while Bradley is giving up 77 points in their previous three games. These programs have been shooting the three-ball pretty well also as the Redbirds are 225th in the country with a 32.7 three-point percentage while the Braves are 100th in the nation with a 35.4 three-point percentage so far. The over has hit in 15 of the previous 21 Redbirds games following a ATS loss as well as in each of the last five Braves games so go with OVER 128.5 POINTS in this game.