Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:20 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Put this one in the “too good to be true” category and then be very careful if you were leaning to the host. The Redbirds and Salukis were expected to be contenders in the MVC this year but they head into this contest at Redbird Arena against each other at 9-8 overall and 2-2 in the MVC, trailing Valparaiso by two games. Thing is, Illinois State has more appeal because they’re at home they have the best player on the court in Milik Yarbrough and because the Salukis have lost 11 straight games at Redbird Arena, including one in overtime last season. To us, that’s all just useless fodder that people use to get behind a team. That the Salukis have lost 11 straight at this venue will only serve to motivate them more.
Every Illinois State scouting report is littered with the name Milik Yarbrough and for good reason. While his statistical production speaks for itself, the box score alone doesn’t paint a full picture of what a unique weapon he really is. One can count on one hand the number of 6’6 point forwards in college basketball who can slash and create as effectively as Yarbrough. Dude is creating a buzz around the country and NBA scouts are hovering.
Meanwhile, the Salukis are also 9-8 and their non-conference strength of schedule ranks 126th, which is almost identical to the Redbirds SOS of 132nd. However, the big difference is in the results, where the Redbirds lost by double digits to a bunch of teams like UIC, USF, Belmont, Georgia and SDSU while the Salukis started the year off by losing back-to-back games to ranked Kentucky and then they lost by single digits to ranked Buffalo. The Salukis would play Buffalo again and would lose again by just eight points.
SIU coach Barry Hinson is a star too. His demeanor shines through in the effort his players give on every possession and this edition is on the verge of being an MVC champion. Senior Armon Fletcher, one of the top players on SIU returned to the line-up last week after a six-game suspension. Hinson has all five of his starters back in action, which doesn’t even account for the reinsertion of Thik Bol or valuable bench pieces Rudy Stradnieks and Eric McGill. The Salukis are a defensive giant that have underachieved to such a high degree. We are now the beneficiaries of SIU’s pedestrian start and we’re not going to miss out on an opportunity to buy when its stock is so low. In the unlikely event that SIU loses here, buy them next game too.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
#607 Southern Illinois +100 (Risking 2.00 units - To Win: 2.00)