January 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM #53069
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Wichita State Shockers (19-0) vs. Illinois State Redbirds (11-7)
Wednesday January 22
Redbird Arena – Normal, IL
Moneyline: No moneyline currently listed
Spread: Wichita State -10
O/U: No total currently listed
Everyone was surprised by Wichita State’s run last year but I am not sure anyone saw them being this good this year either. They are in rarified air ranked #5 in the nation and having a very real chance of finishing the regular season undefeated. If they are going to drop a game though odds are it will happen on the road and Illinois State could be pumped up by the fact that this game is going to be on TV and the Shockers crushed them the last time they met.
The Shockers may not have elite talent but the players they do have compliment each other well. Their most talented player is F Cleananthony Early who leads in points in rebounds – his production is pretty amazing considering he is only fourth on the team in minutes per game. Wichita State has a fantastic backcourt in Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, who runs the team from the PG spot. Both are young players so as good as they are this team can get even better.
Wichita State is one of the best cover team in the NCAAs with a 12-3-1 record ATS this season. That includes a 4-1 ATS record on the road as this confident team is looking to make a statement with each game on the schedule. 10 points is a lot to give up in a road conference game but the number is that high with good reason.
The Redbirds are usually right in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference and this year is no exception. They got crushed by Wichita State in an earlier matchup but they are 4-2 in the Valley and have won their last 3 in a row. One of the reasons this number is so high is that the Shockers actually covered a 17 point spread at home against Illinois State, winning by 19. The Redbirds will be looking as much for respect as anything else in this one.
Illinois State’s top two scorers, Daishon Knight and Zach Lofton, are terrible shooters, neither is making even 40% of his shots. That makes the Redbirds one of the least efficient teams around and that is not a good quality against a team like Wichita State. ISU should actually look to C Reggie Cynch more. The Shockers are not an overly big team and Lynch has exceeded his average point total in every game on their current win streak – it is no coincidence.
ISU is going to be in tough to keep this one manageable. Last time against Wichita State the game was over by halftime. At home they should be able to ride the wave of their fans and maybe exert a little pressure on Wichita State early. However, when it comes down to it the Shockers are far more talented and have a great killer instinct.
Spread Pick: Wichita State -10
O/U Pick: N/A
Score Prediction: Wichita State 74 – Illinois State 61
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