Mississippi Rebels vs. Illinois St. Redbirds
The Ole Miss Rebels and the Illinois State Redbirds face off on Wednesday in the NIT Tournament first round. The Rebels are -6 point favorites over the Redbirds with an over/under point total set at 129.
The Ole Miss Rebels looked like they had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament but Andy Kennedy’s team ran into a sharp shooting Vandy team in the SEC Conference Tournament that probably cost them a trip to the dance. Ole Miss is 12-5 in their out of conference games, 12-2 at home this season, and they played the 44th ranked schedule in the country. Terrance Henry is averaging 12.2 points, Murphy Holloway is averaging 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds, Jarvis Summers is averaging 10.2 points, and Nick Williams is averaging 10.1 points. As a team the Rebels are averaging 66.1 points and they are shooting 43 percent while defensively they are allowing 65.3 points and their opponents are shooting 39.9 percent. Mississippi had won five in a row before the Vandy loss.
The Illinois State Redbirds won three of their last four games to finish the season strong as Tim Jankovich’s team finished in a five way tie for third place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings. Illinois State is 11-4 in out of conference games, 3-8 on the road, and they played the 110th ranked schedule in the nation. Jackie Carmichael is averaging 13.8 points and 9.6 rebounds, Tyler Brown is averaging 13.1 points, and Nic Moore is averaging 9.1 points. As a team the Redbirds are averaging 68.3 points and they are shooting 43.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.4 points and their opponents are shooting 40.8 percent. Illinois State has shown they can beat good teams when they knocked off Wichita State in the MVC Tournament but they didn’t do it consistently over the course of the season.
Ole Miss is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall, 5-2 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five non-conference games. Illinois State is 2-6 against the spread in their last eight road games, 9-4 against the spread against a team with a winning percentage better than .600, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record.
There isn’t much here that indicates this thing will stay under the total so my free will be on the over.