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The Buffalo Bulls will be looking for its third win of the season when the travels to SIU Arena to take on the Southern Illinois Salukis. Buffalo enters this game with an undefeated record after pulling off a shocking road upset against West Virginia in its last game. Meanwhile, Southern Illinois lost its first game of the season on the road and will now be making its home debut this Monday.
Buffalo Shocks West Virginia
Last season, the Buffalo Bulls went 27-9 and even made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. This season, the Bulls were expected to build upon last year behind some veteran leadership as the team looks to make it back to the NCAA tournament once more. So far this season, Buffalo has exceeded expectations as the team is now 2-0 including a thrilling 99-94 overtime victory against the 13th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers this past weekend. In that game, Buffalo dominated the turnover battle as the team managed to rally in the second half to send the game into an extra session before pulling away late. The win is monumental to the team’s résumé for March and Buffalo has a serious chance to make it back to the NCAA tournament with a top 25 win under its belt already.
The Buffalo Bulls are led by a trio of seniors who helped carry the team to success last season. Guard CJ Massinburg, though, looks like the overall leader of the team. So far this season, Massinburg has been magnificent as he leads the team in points per game and rebounds per game. Massinburg is averaging 27.0 points per game along with 11.0 rebounds as he has definitely taken a massive step forward from last year. Buffalo is also blessed to have senior forward Nick Perkins on the roster who is averaging 13.0 points per game along with 9.0 rebounds while shooting an impressive 52.2% from the floor. Lastly, Buffalo’s senior guard Jeremy Harris is also starting his final collegiate season with a bang as he is averaging 12.0 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds. Together, Buffalo has a plethora of talent and experience that should lead this team to a ton of success this season.
Southern Illinois Loses Opener To Kentucky
Southern Illinois suffered a close loss against the #2 ranked Kentucky Wildcats in its first game of the season. Although the team ended up losing by double digits, the team only trailed by three points at halftime before getting dominated in the second half. The Salukis finished last season with a 20-13 record and are looking to compete for an MVC title. Despite losing its first game, the Salukis looked solid against an elite foe which would suggest some success in the future against less elite opposition.
The best of the best from our first win of the season. Highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ho6hxXYfKB
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 10, 2018
Southern Illinois is led by senior center Kavion Pippen. Last season, Pippen was solid as he averaged 12.1 points per game with a team-leading 5.9 rebounds. Against Kentucky, Pippen held his own as he scored 16 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists. However, Pippen was also extremely efficient against the Wildcats as he shot an impressive 46.7% against one of the best frontcourts in the country. Southern Illinois’ success will depend on Pippen throughout the course of the season. If he continues to play well, Southern Illinois will make some noise in its conference.
- Salukis are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Salukis are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Salukis are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS win.
- Bulls are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Bulls are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS win.
- Bulls are 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing more than 90 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Buffalo is the better all-around team and has a serious depth advantage over Southern Illinois. This Bulls team will be ranked at some point in the season due to its insanely talented offensive ability. The Bulls possess the leadership from multiple key contributors to thrilve in hostile environments and the team put that on display this weekend. If the Bulls can go into West Virginia and win, this team can win anywhere else in the country. Southern Illinois is good but Buffalo is a class above them. With a number as low as this, take the favorite before the line starts to climb.
Prediction: Buffalo -3
Full-Game Total Pick
This game will be determined by pace due to both teams’ desire to play different ways. Southern Illinois likes to slow the pace down while Buffalo likes to get out and run. I expect Buffalo to score at will due to its elite offensive weapons and I think that the Bulls will continue trying to leak out onto the break. Buffalo should score at least 85 and I think that Southern Illinois will score at least 70. As a result, I would lean towards the over.
Prediction: Over 152.5