Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Belmont: 3/3/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at Belmont: 3/3/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Brian Spurlock -USA TODAY Sports

Belmont Bruins (24-3) vs Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars (9-16)

Game Info: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Ford Center)

Betting Odds: Belmont Bruins -20 -- Over/Under: 148 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars and Belmont Bruins will square off at the Ford Center in the Quarterfinals of the OVC Championship this Wednesday night.

The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars finished their regular season with an overall record of 11-15 and earned the 8-seed in the OVC Championship after finishing conference play with a 9-11 record. SIU-Edwardsville struggled on both ends of the court this season as the Cougars finished their regular season ranked just 285th in scoring offense, 237th in scoring defense, & 247th in rebound margin. SIU-Edwardsville started the season with a 3-4 record, however Covid-19 hit the Cougars are and SIU-Edwardsville had just 1 game over a 5-week period in the heart of the season. SIU-Edwardsville took advantage of an easy schedule to start conference play with a 5-5 record, however, the Cougars struggled down the stretch losing 6 of their last 7 regular season games.

On the season, SIU-Edwardsville is averaging 65.9 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Cougars are averaging 6.1 three-pointers per game on 32.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, SIU-Edwardsville has been led by Sidney Wilson (13.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 apg), Mike Adewunmi (12.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Shamar Wright (9.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 apg), & Courtney Carter (7.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 spg). SIU-Edwardsville will be without Sidney Wilson who left the team for personal reasons and still will be without Cam Williams & Carlos Curtis due to injuries.

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Defensively, SIU-Edwardsville is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Cougars have a rebound margin of -1.6 and a turnover margin of -2.4.

The Belmont Bruins finished their regular season with an impressive overall record of 24-3 and earned the 1-seed in the OVC Championship after finishing conference play with a 18-2 record. Belmont lost to Samford early in the season, however, Belmont showed how they were clearly the best team in the OVC as the Bruins reeled off 21 straight wins and clinched the regular season OVC Championship after being Tennessee Tech to go 18-0 in the conference. Belmont was solid on both sides of the ball this season, however, they were led by their offense that currently ranks 14th in scoring offense, 17th in FG%, & 40th in three-pointers made per game.

On the season, Belmont is averaging 82.1 ppg on 49.5% shooting from the field. The Bruins are averaging 9.0 three-pointers per game on 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Belmont has been led by Nick Muszynski (15.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 bpg), Luke Smith (12.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.1 spg), Ben Sheppard (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), & Grayson Murphy (10.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 5.4 apg, 2.1 spg).

Defensively, Belmont is holding their opponents to an average of 68.8 ppg on 42.1% shooting from the field. The Bruins have a rebound margin of 0.6 and a turnover margin of 2.9.

The Cougars are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Bruins are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400 and 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games overall.

SIU-Edwardsville has played tough this season, however, this is team that is missing a ton of regulars, including their top scorer and clearly are not in the same class as Belmont. Belmont lost their last two regular season games, however, really did not have much to play for so I’m not concerned about that at all and between the fact that the Bruins defeated SIU-Edwardsville by a 114-62 margin in the regular season and I expect the Bruins offense to have another big day against the Cougars, I’m taking Belmont to cover this large spread. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick Belmont Bruins -20

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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