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Southern Illinois vs. Missouri Prediction,
Preview,
and Odds - 12-15-2019

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#785 Southern Illinois
Salukis
#786 Missouri
Tigers

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Southern Illinois

4 - 6

17-15
ATS
13-17
O/U
68
PPG
66
OPPG

Missouri

5 - 4

15-14
ATS
15-16
O/U
67
PPG
67
OPPG

Featured Video from Scott Reichel

Today, non-conference action sees the Missouri Tigers host the Southern Illinois Salukis.

Both teams enter Sunday’s contest at, or just under .500, with Missouri standing 5-4 and Southern Illinois 4-6. The SEC’s Tigers have almost cleared the mid-major opponents on their schedule while falling vs. Butler, Oklahoma and Xavier. The one concerning loss on Missouri’s schedule comes recently vs. Charleston Southern. Meanwhile, Southern Illinois has split its last four after a four-game losing streak. The Salukis’ most recent win came Dec. 4 vs. 3-8 Norfolk.

Southern Illinois looks for offensive help vs. power 5 opponent

Picking up the offensive pace a bit of late, Southern Illinois has earned half its 2019-2020 wins in its past four games. Overall, the Salukis average a meager 64.9 ppg under first-year head coach Bryan Mullins. Unfortunately, that number ranks #307 nationally. Those limitations were exploited last Sat. 72-69 by the 3-9 Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Contrasted with today’s opponent, the Salukis enter Missouri reeling from an upset loss. Conversely, the Tigers played spoiler recently vs. Temple. Momentum definitely plays a major role in today’s large spread lean toward Missouri.

Any Southern Illinois chance to cover resides in its #57 ranked defense which allows just 62.8 ppg. Though, that’s a tall order for a mid-major on the road. Frosh Marcus Domask (14.8) ppg and senior Barrett Benson (11.3) lead SIU’s offensive charge as top-scorer Aaron Cook (15.0) remains sidelined.

Missouri seeks fifth 15-plus point win today

Missouri put together its finest performance this season Dec. 7 while giving 7-2 Temple its second loss 64-54. Sophomore reserve Javon Pickett added 16 points to lead a balanced Missouri effort vs. the Owls. During year three of Cuonzo Martin’s sideline tenure, Missouri is holding opponents to 59 ppg (#22 NCAA). Defensive efforts have sparked the Tigers’ five wins this year, and almost produced a Nov. 12 OT upset of nationally-ranked Xavier.

Mark Smith (11.8 ppg) leads Missouri’s deliberate offensive effort. Contrasted to their solid defensive stand, the Tigers average just 66.4 ppg and have been unable to score meaningful baskets vs. upper level programs. Still, Missouri boasts four wins this year by 15-plus points. That’s a heavy consideration coming into today’s contest.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Given each team’s contrasting momentum, I’ll advise taking Missouri today with the Cover. Again, the Tigers have gained four wins this season vs. opponents comparable to SIU by 15 points. From home, and with an impressive recent victory over Temple, all the indicators point toward a repeat large win today from the Tigers. Further, Missouri has become stronger as the year progresses and Southern Illinois enters today after an upset loss last weekend. Also, consider the Salukis are 0-3 away and Missouri is 4-1 from home. Take the Tigers to Cover vs. SIU.

Prediction: Missouri Covers

Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Opposite differing competition levels, each team prides itself on defense. The numbers see SIU and Missouri rate among college basketball’s elite statistical point-stopping units. However, Missouri is applying itself vs. much stiffer opposition than Southern Illinois. That stated, I feel today’s total will go just Over the modest 121 opening total. Look for Missouri to score in the low 70’s while keeping SIU in the low 50’s for a number that falls in the mid 120’s. Take the Over.

Prediction: Over

Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.

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