Missouri Valley Conference Odds: Bradley Slight Favorite
Conference Title On the Line Sunday
The Missouri Valley Conference odds will have Bradley as slight favorites to walk away with the regular season conference title. Bradley hosts Drake on Sunday in the game that should decide the MVC regular season. Drake and Bradley are tied with 14-4 conference records.
Indiana State is a game back at 13-5 in conference play. You may have to wait until the conference tournament is over to find odds to win March Madness for either team. As good as they are in the MVC, they’re a long way from the top contenders in the nation.
The Missouri Valley Conference is pretty much a middle-of-the-road conference this season. Ken Pomeroy has the MVC rated No. 16. The Sagarin college basketball ratings have the MVC at No. 13. There are four teams with 20 wins and Belmont has a chance to get there with 19 victories and two tough games ahead.
There are a few decent games during the week, but all eyes are looking ahead to Sunday.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Murray State (14-13) visits Missouri State in the lone MVC game on Tuesday. The Missouri Valley Conference odds have the Bears favored by 5.5 with a total of 136. There isn’t a huge difference between the two teams offensively but Murray State is atrocious on defense, with an adjusted efficiency rank of No. 294 in the country. Missouri State’s dreadful foul shooting (62.7%) makes it hard to take the Bears as a favorite.
Wednesday, Feb. 22
A must-win game for Bradley (21-8) but perhaps not quite as easy as it looks against Valparaiso (11-8). The Beacons are still playing hard and there is definitely the potential for a look-ahead to Sunday by the Braves. If Bradley comes out focused and ready to play, the Braves are clearly the better team. Bradley’s defense is especially strong and the Braves will be favored close to 10 points here with a total around 135. Bradley is poor from the foul line but it shouldn’t make a difference in this one.
Solid game here between Indiana State (20-9) and Belmont (19-10). Indiana State needs a victory and then some help to finish in a tie for the regular season title. The Bruins are looking to get the attention of one of the postseason tournaments. The college basketball point spreads should have Belmont a slight favorite with a total near 155. Both teams play at a quick pace and are solid offensively, so a high-scoring game won’t be a surprise. Belmont has scored at least 90 points in its last three home games.
A bit of a mismatch here, as Drake (23-6) is going to be a huge home favorite over Illinois State (10-19). The Bulldogs will be close to 16.5-point favorites and the total will be around 136. These are two of the better foul shooting teams in the country and free throws is about the only thing Illinois State does well offensively. Drake’s defense is solid and it does a good job preventing second chances. Much like Bradley, it could be a bit risky to lay this many points with the key game of the year in tap.
Sunday, Feb. 26
This is definitely the biggest Missouri Valley Conference game this season. As long as both teams take care of business against weaker foes on Wednesday, this one will be for the MVC regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Missouri Valley Conference odds will have Bradley about a 3.5-point favorite.
The Braves were soundly beaten at Drake last month. The Bulldogs broke out in a close game with a 31-8 run in the final 10 minutes of the first half and the game was essentially over. The Braves were 8 for 31 on 3-point attempts and Drake was 12 for 25 in the 86-61 Bulldog victory.
There isn’t a huge difference between the two teams. Drake is No. 107 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 57 on defense. Bradley is No. 132 on offense and No. 37 on defense. The Braves score 35.1% of their points from 3-point range but Drake is tough defensively against the 3-pointer. The Braves are better defending the 2-pointer. Drake does have a big edge if this one comes down to foul shots. The Bulldogs are No. 17 in the country. Bradley is No. 325.
The total here will be a bit on the low side, with the number about 132.5. With plenty on the line both teams could play a bit more deliberate than usual, but the number makes it tough to pull the trigger on the under. Bradley could very well win this game but it’s hard to pass up Drake and the points in what could be a tight contest.Follow us on Twitter
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