Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Southern Illinois has quietly been playing their best basketball of the season over the past few weeks and the Salukis have been climbing the MVC standings sitting 11-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Southern Illinois has been playing with a lot of confidence on the road picking up back to back wins on the road against Missouri State and Evansville. These wins were sandwiched around a competitive home loss against Illinois State who’s been the hottest team in the conference. Southern Illinois has shown progress over the first couple months of the regular season and this unit has some decent offensive depth with Armon Fletcher leading the attack averaging 13.3 points per game.
The Drake Bulldogs have been a tough team to figure out so far this season, especially in conference play, as the Bulldogs stand just 5-13 overall, but a respectable 3-3 in league action. Drake has deficiencies on the defense end as this group ranks dead last in the MVC in total defense giving up 76.6 points per game on average. In their last outing Drake was throttled on the road losing to Northern Iowa by a final of 60-79 and this snapped a two game winning streak where the Bulldogs were coming off back to back wins at home against Evansville and Indiana State. Drake’s defense is concerning and on the offensive end this group has been led by Reed Timmer who’s averaging 16.4 points per game.
We like the confidence Southern Illinois has been playing with on the road as of late and this is another great chance for the Salukis to win on the road against what has generally been one of the weaker teams in the MVC throughout the regular season. We’ll side with SIU to come through on the road again today as they go on to win and cover the spread.
So Illinois -2.5 -110