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Evansville vs Indiana State Picks and Odds

Jordan Horrobin

by Jordan Horrobin in College Basketball

Updated Mar 4, 2021 · 4:01 PM UTC

Evansville's Jawaun Newton brings the ball down the court
Evansville's Jawaun Newton (3) brings the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Valparaiso in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament Thursday, March 5, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
  • Evansville (9-15, 7-11 MVC) battles Indiana State (14-9, 11-7 MVC) on Friday, March 5, at 3:00 pm ET
  • The Sycamores swept a home-and-home series against the Purple Aces in mid-February
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and pick, can be found in the article below

“Arch Madness,” the second-coolest name in the world of college basketball tournaments, gets underway this week with teams from the Missouri Valley Conference vying for an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament.

On Friday at 3:00 pm ET, the 4-seed Indiana State Sycamores and 5-seed Evansville Purple Aces meet in a first-round matchup. Indiana State swept the home-and-home a few weeks ago, and now they’ll try to win the one that really matters. Here’s a look at the odds:

Evansville vs Indiana State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Evansville +5.5 (-116) OFF Over 134.5(-110)
Indiana State -5.5 (-106) OFF Under 134.5 (-110)

Odds as of March 4th at FanDuel.

How They’ve Fared Recently

Evansville ended its regular season on a winning note — that’s the good news. The bad news is that the win last Saturday over Missouri State halted a seven-game losing streak for the Purple Aces, which was a season-worst.

What can we say about Evansville? They are a polarizing team in a lot of ways. The Purples Aces are fourth in NCAA Division I in offensive assist rate and 10th in D-I in assist-rate allowed. Both of those are very good. But they are 343rd in effective field-goal percentage allowed (57.9%) and they allow threes at an alarming clip (41.2%, 347th in D-I).

The Purple Aces like to milk the clock (21.4 seconds per possession, 347th in D-I), which explains why they’ve only exceed 75 points three times this season.

Indiana State ended its regular season on a losing note — that’s the bad news. The good news is that the Sycamores have still won 10 of their past 12, entering the MVC tournament as one of the hottest teams.

They don’t have a lot of polarizing traits as a team, but they get to the foul line a lot (37.5% free-throw rate, 44th in D-I) and generate a lot of turnovers (21.9% turnover rate, 40th in D-I).

Oh, and Indiana State stole a 76-71 win against #20 Loyola Chicago back in January. That’s a far greater win than any on Evansville’s resume.

ATS Analysis

Evansville is 11-12-1 against the spread this season, and they’ve covered in exactly half of their past 10 games. The Purple Aces are the road team, technically, but because this game is at a neutral site (St. Louis’s Enterprise Center), home and road splits are irrelevant.

Indiana State is 12-9-1 ATS in 2020-21, with a 7-2-1 ATS mark in its past 10 games. The Sycamores have covered in five of their past six games as favorites.

The over has hit in seven of Evansville’s past eight games. But the under has hit in eight of Indiana State’s past 10.

Head-to-Head Matchup

Looking back over the past three seasons, Indiana State is 6-0 straight up and 5-0-1 ATS in this matchup.

Of course, this year’s matchups matter the most, when the Sycamores covered on Feb. 14 as 2.5-point favorites in a 76-70 win — and then again three days later as six-point favorites in an 87-73 win.

Combined in those games, Indiana State held a plus-three turnover edge and a plus-12 rebound edge while shooting 46.2% from three-point range. The Sycamores have simply owned the Purple Aces in recent years, and that should continue on Friday.

Pick: Indiana State -5.5 (-106)

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