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Wichita State will be looking for its first win of the season when it travels to Alumni Hall to take on Providence. This is part of the Veterans Classic and the Shockers are entering with an 0-1 record after losing to Louisiana Tech. Meanwhile, the Friars beat Siena 77-67 on that same night.
Providence Starts Off Season With A Bang
Providence entered the season with serious concerns as the team only returned two starters from last year’s 21-14 team. People assumed that Providence would finish somewhere in the middle of the Big East as a result. However, the team started off the season with a win over Siena which should lead to some morale increases in the locker room.
— PC Men's Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) November 7, 2018
In that game, Providence was led by freshman guard A.J. Reeves who scored 29 points on just 13 shots. He made seven three pointers and looked like the offensive weapon that the Friars definitely needed. Although it was just one game, Reeves looked like a stud who can be called upon in big moments when the team need him to. Look for Reeves to have an impact on this game as well. As a whole, the Friars shot over 50% from the three point line and 54.7% from the field. However, Siena is significantly worse than Wichita State on the defensive end so look for these percentages to be a bit lower this Friday.
Wichita State Loses Opening Game
Wichita State had won 22 straight home openers entering this season’s matchup against Louisiana Tech. However, that streak ended once Wichita State went ice cold from the field. The team, as a whole, only shot 37% from the field and 28% from the three point line. A large reason for the team’s struggles was its youth as the team only returned one starter from last year’s team which won an impressive 25 games.
— Wichita State MBB (@GoShockersMBB) November 7, 2018
Wichita State’s offense is led by senior forward Markis McDuffie who was extremely solid last season. Last season, McDuffie averaged 8.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting around 44% from the floor. However, in the first game of this season, McDuffie was awful. He only scored eight points despite taking 11 shots as he shot an abysmal 27% from the floor. Although it is just one game, McDuffie will need to step up if this team has any hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament. Look for him to be more assertive offensively against Providence as a result.
- Friars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
- Friars are 19-9 ATS in their last 28 neutral site games.
- Shockers are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Shockers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Shockers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Entering this season, both teams are nowhere near as good as they have been in recent years. However, Wichita State lost significantly more talent that Providence did and it showed in the team’s first game. This team lost to Louisiana Tech as home and now have to play a quality Providence team on a neutral site. I expect Providence to take care of business and to cover the number since the Friars are a significantly better all-around team. I’ll gladly lay the points with the favorite in this one.
Prediction: Providence -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Although Wichita State is replacing a lot of talent, the team will most likely shoot a lot better from the floor in comparison to the team’s first game. Wichita State only scored 58 points in its first game but I expect them to reach the high-60s in this game. I expect Providence to score at least 70 so the over should be able to cash in this matchup.
Prediction: Over 139.5