Drake enters this matchup in a three-way tie for second place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings with a 7-5 mark through their first 12 games. Meanwhile, aren’t far behind with a 6-6 record in league play. Can the Salukis make up ground in the MVC standings with a victory at home over Drake on Tuesday night?
Bulldogs tied for second place in MVC standings
Drake got back on the winning track over the weekend with a pivotal 83-77 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers. Nick McGlynn scored a team-high 22 points, while DJ Wilkins added 18 for the Bulldogs in the win.
Highlights of Drake's 78-66 win over Evansville.
Nick McGlynn had 20 points, 10 rebounds.
That's three straight for the Bulldogs.
— SoundOFF (@SoundOFF13) January 24, 2019
Darian DeVries has guided Drake to an impressive 18-7 overall record in his first season as head coach and the Bulldogs enter Tuesday’s matchup ranked No. 136 in the latest KenPom rankings. Drake has scored 106.5 points per 100 possessions for the season (123rd in the NCAA), but that number has dropped to just 102.7 points per 100 possessions through their first 12 league contests (4th in the MVC). The Bulldogs sport the second-best effective field goal percentage in the conference at 53.4 percent, but turnovers have held them back on offense, as they have coughed up the basketball on whopping 21.0 percent of their offensive possessions (9th in the MVC).
On defense, Drake has surrendered 102.9 points per 100 possessions for the year (151st in the NCAA) and 100.3 points per 100 possessions versus MVC opponents (6th in the MVC). While things haven’t always been easy for the Bulldogs on the defensive end this season, they’ve done a fantastic job of defending the 3-ball, limiting opponents to just 33.1 percent shooting from deep during conference play (1st in the MVC).
Salukis even up conference record at 6-6
Southern Illinois won for the third time in their last four games on Saturday, defeating Evansville 78-73 behind a balanced scoring effort, as all five Salukis players finished in double-figures scoring on the night. Kavion Pippen led the team in scoring with 18 points, while Aaron Cook finished with 15 points and seven assists to help the Salukis keep pace in the MVC standings.
2️⃣ days until tip | Last year, Kavion Pippen (@kavionp33) went from projected backup to All-MVC in his first season at SIU. The senior has high aspirations for 2018-19.
— Saluki Basketball (@SIU_Basketball) November 7, 2018
Barry Hinson’s squad comes in ranked No. 167 in the latest KenPom rankings after splitting their first 12 games of the conference season. The Salukis have scored just 103.7 points per 100 possessions for the season (180th in the NCAA) and 102.8 points per 100 possessions during league play (3rd in the MVC). The Salukis have also had trouble squeezing the orange, turning the ball over on an ugly 21.1 percent of their offensive possessions (10th in the MVC). However, they’ve been able to make up for some of those lost possessions by hauling in a league-leading 31.0 percent of their missed field goal attempts on the offensive glass (1st in the MVC) and shooting a healthy 37.6 percent from 3-point range (4th in the MVC) during the conference season.
On defense, Southern Illinois has given up 103.9 points per 100 possessions for the year (175th in the NCAA) and 103.7 points per 100 possessions during league play (9th in the MVC).
- Salukis are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- Salukis are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Salukis are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Bulldogs are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS win.
- Bulldogs are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. Missouri Valley.
- Bulldogs are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bulldogs have dominated this series as of late, going 13-6-1 against the spread in the last 20 meetings in this series and 7-2-2 against the spread in their last 11 visits to SIU Arena. Drake appears to have been hitting their stride as of late and they’ve also won three of their last four on the road. Take the Bulldogs to cover the number on the road against SIU on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Pick: Drake Bulldogs +4
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have gone over the projected total in four of their last five meetings. The Salukis have gone over in five of their last six conference games and they’ve been much better offensively than they have been at getting stops during league play. Meanwhile, Drake has gone over the projected total in each of their last five Tuesday games, which has me leaning towards the over this MVC matchup on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Over 139