Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#509 San Jose State vs.
#510 Southern Indiana University
Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 5:30pm EDT
Written by Chris King


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It’s a first-round matchup on the hardwood in the College Basketball Invitational down in the Sunshine State when a member of the Ohio Valley Conference faces off with one from the Mountain West. The 15th-seeded Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles are the “road” team as they take on the second-seeded San Jose State Spartans Saturday afternoon. Southern Indiana was beaten 68-54 by SIU Edwardsville in the first round of the OVC Tournament back on March 1, failing to cover as a two-point underdog, in their previous contest. San Jose State fell 64-49 to San Diego State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament Saturday, failing to cover as a 7.5-point underdog, in their previous contest. This marks the first time that the two programs have met as Division I programs on the hardwood.

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Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles Try to Pull Upset

Southern Indiana had a decent, if unspectacular, first season as a Division I program even with their loss in the first round of the OVC Tournament. The Screaming Eagles enter this game 16-16 overall and they went 9-9 in conference play on the season. Against SIU Edwardsville, Southern Indiana trailed by as many as six in the opening half only to rally to lead by one at halftime. The Screaming Eagles gave up a 17-3 run to start the second half to trail 46-33 with 12:03 remaining and played from behind the rest of the way. Southern Indiana got within two with six minutes remaining but gave up a 10-0 run over the next 4:37 to seal their fate. The Screaming Eagles shot just 29.2% from the field, including eight of 31 from three-point range, and lost the game in free throw opportunities. Southern Indiana hit eight of 12 at the stripe while SIU Edwardsville hit 22 of 35. Isaiah Swope led the Screaming Eagles with 15 points in the loss.

The Screaming Eagles enter this game 64th in the nation in scoring offense as they put up an average of 76.5 points per game. Southern Indiana is 16th in the nation in rebounding with 39 boards a night while they are 191st in assists by dishing out an average of 12.9 per game. The Screaming Eagles have issues on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 295th in scoring defense as they give up an average of 74.1 points per game. Isaiah Swope leads the team in scoring as he averages 15.6 points plus 3.6 assists per game. Jelani Simmons (13.7 points), Trevor Lakes (12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds) and Jacob Polakovich (12.4 points, 13 rebounds) each average in double figures. Tyler Henry, Gabe Solomon, Jeremiah Hernandez, Jack Campion, Jack Mielke and Kiyron Powell are all important depth pieces for coach Stan Gouard. Southern Indiana is shooting only 43.6% from the field as a team on the season. The Screaming Eagles knock down an average of 9.8 three-pointers a night (12th) and hit 37.7% of their attempts from beyond the arc, which is 22nd in the country. Southern Indiana struggles at the free throw line as they convert only 67.9% of their attempts on the season.

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San Jose State Spartans Look to Advance

San Jose State saw their four-game win streak snapped as they were knocked off by San Diego State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament in their previous game. The Spartans enter this game 20-13 overall and were 10-8 in conference play on the season. Against San Diego State, San Jose State led 8-7 four minutes into the game before getting outscored 18-4 over the next 13 minutes to go down 25-12 with 2:59 remaining in the half. The Spartans were down 13 at the half and couldn’t get closer than 11 in the second half as the Aztecs made life tough on the offensive end of the floor. San Jose State shot only 34.5% from the floor, including five of 19 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 13 times in the loss. Tibet Gorener led the Spartans with 15 points off the bench in a losing effort.

The Spartans are averaging 67.5 points per game on the season, which puts them 286th in the nation in scoring offense this season. San Jose State collects 37.9 boards a night (34th) while handing out 12.4 assists per contest. The Spartans are average on the defensive end of the floor as they are 73rd in scoring defense by allowing 66.6 points a night. Omari Moore leads the team with 17.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He is the lone player averaging in double figures for the Spartans this season. Alvaro Cardenas, Sage Tolbert III, Robert Vaihola, Ibrahima Diallo, Trey Anderson, Tibet Gorener, Myron Amey Jr. and Garrett Anderson are other rotation pieces for the Spartans this season. San Jose State is shooting 43.7% from the field as a team this season. The Spartans average 7.6 triples a night while shooting 32.6% from beyond the arc. San Jose State is cashing in just 67.3% of its chances at the charity stripe.

Amey Jr. (ankle) last played against UNLV on December 28 and likely is done for the year at this point in time.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Southern Indiana has been decent in year one of their transition to Division I but they have struggled on the defensive end of the floor. The Screaming Eagles have the benefit of facing a Spartans team that isn’t good on the offensive end but it’s going to be a challenge for them to put points on the board. San Jose State put together some solid play down the stretch before losing to San Diego State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Tournament. Southern Indiana loves to shoot from the outside but San Jose State can limit good looks from the outside, making things tougher for the Screaming Eagles. At the end of the day, San Jose State has advantages in size, experience and defense. That’s enough to give them the advantage here.

Prediction: San Jose State Spartans -9

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Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Southern Indiana enters this game having seen the over post a 19-10 mark in their 29 games with a posted total this season. The Screaming Eagles are 22nd in three-point shooting but they are just 291st in two-point shooting (48%), contributing to them ranking a dismal 241st in field goal percentage this season. Southern Indiana is 58th in offensive rebounding percentage (32.8%) and they enjoy running as they are 74th in adjusted tempo with 69.3 possessions a game. San Jose State has seen the over post a 17-15 mark in their 32 games with a posted number this season. We see that the Spartans are 126th in defensive efficiency, 89th in effective field goal percentage defense (48.7%), 23rd in offensive rebound percentage allowed (24.3%) and 42nd in two-point field goal percentage defense (46.3%) this season. They don’t force turnovers as they are 362nd, or dead last, in the nation by forcing turnovers on 13.2% of opposing team’s possessions. San Jose State is below average as they are 351st in tempo with 62.7 possessions a night. The Spartans take advantage of the Screaming Eagles’ defensive issues and help this one end up just over the number.

Prediction: Over 144.5

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.