BANKER (Miss. Valley St. vs Southern Univ.)
This total is way too low in my opinion. I’ve bet against Mississippi Valley State a lot in the past few years as they are typically one of the worst teams in the nation in offense and defense, but this year they have actually been much better ATS. However, one thing that has still remained is their atrocious defense and up-tempo/helter skelter style of play that leads to fast breaks all over the place. Southern has already played Arkansas Pine Bluff, who is a similar team in talent to mission’s valley state and that game turned into a rout with points all over the place in a 99-51 win. I think this game will be very similar in style. Mississippi Valley State has been playing very high scoring games in SWAC play despite the bad offensive percentages from the teams. In this game, they’ll face southern who is surprisingly at the top of the SWAC standings nearly halfway into conference play.
Mississippi Valley State has already played 2 of the perennial SWAC powers in Texas Southern and PVAM and those games ended with 153 and 166 points. Both going well over the total. I expect southern to push the pace and force turnovers left and right leading to layups and open outside shots. One thing that southern does really well offensively is shoot the 3. They are ranked 29th in the nation in 3-point shooting and mission valley state is dead last in the nation (358th) in 3-point percentage defense. Mississippi Valley State is also ranked last in effective FG% defense, 354th in defensive adjusted efficiency, and 346th in 2-point percentage defense so they’re really bad at defending all three levels. I expect southern to knock down shots at a high rate and Mississippi Valley State should be able to make enough shots to push this game over the total.
Howard is a team out of the MEAC who is much improved this season as they come into this game with a 7-8 record but have played many close games and played very tough games. They nearly took down Notre Dame and 6 of their 8 losses have been by 10 points or less. In this game they’ll face a Coppin State team who has been bad defensively and even worse on offense. They are ranked 306th in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 317th in offensive effective FG%, and 334th in 3-point percentage so they have really struggled to score the ball. On the other side of the ball, Coppin state is ranked 227th in defensive efficiency, 286th in 3-point percentage defense, and 329th in offensive rebounding percentage so their lack of height really hinders their ability to rebound the basketball. Howard is a solid offensive team as they rank 58th in offensive effective FG% and 28th in 3-point shooting as a team. I expect Howard to be able to score at will on this porous Coppin State defense and come away with a win.
Score Prediction: 81-73 Howard
Weber State is a very solid team out of the Big Sky conference who currently sits atop the standings, but they’ll face Southern Utah on the road who is right behind them at 2nd place, so this is a very important game for both teams. Weber State is peaking at the right time as they have won 4 of their last 5 games and all 4 were by double digits. They have been winning games with their high-powered offense as they take very good care of the ball and always work to get a quality shot. They rank 35th in lowest turnover percentage, 11th in lowest steal percentage, and 1st in lowest block percentage. Weber state will have a significant height advantage in this matchup and should be able to use this to control the paint and grab a much-needed road win to stay atop the big sky standings. Score Prediction: 78-74 Weber St.