UIC at Missouri State Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/2/23

Missouri State Bears (16-14) vs UIC Flames (12-19)

Game Info: Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 9:30 pm (Enterprise Center)

Betting Odds: Missouri State Bears -7 -- Over/Under: 132.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The UIC Flames and Missouri State Bears will face off in the first round of the MVC Tournament from the Enterprise Center on ESPN+. Missouri State leads the head-to-head series, 14-5. After winning the last two matchups.

Illinois-Chicago closed the season at 12-19 after losing to in-state foe Southern Illinois. The Flames traded leads with the Salukis for 40 minutes, but they ended up falling by three, 68-65. UIC is scoring 67.5 points per game, while allowing 71.5 ppg, and shooting 41.7% from the field.

UIC won three of seven games in February, and they’ll look to avenge a four point loss to the Bears here Thursday. The Flames are powered by the backcourt pairing of Jace Carter and Tre Anderson. Carter scored 22 points in each of the two last games, and he leads UIC in scoring (16.7), while grabbing 7.0 rpg. Anderson went for 21 points in the narrow loss to SIU, and he’s second on the team at 13.2 ppg. Junior big Toby Okani grabbed a season-high 14 boards against the Salukis, and he leads the team in rebounding (7.1), while scoring 11.1 ppg.  

Missouri State finished at 16-14 after defeating Indiana State in Terre Haute. The Bears held onto a firm halftime lead, and beat the Sycamores by four, 66-62. Missouri State is scoring 65.8 points per game, while allowing 63.7 ppg, and shooting 43.4% from the floor. 

Mizzou State won their final two games to finish in the top half of the emerging Missouri Valley Conference. The Bears lean on their defense, with Donovan Clay leading the way. The senior swingman scored 15 points in five of the last six games, and after flirting with a triple-double in the win over Murray State, he leads the Bears in scoring (11.9) and assists (3.5), while grabbing 5.6 rp. Former OU guard Alston Mason scored a team-high 19 points in first win over UIC. 

Illinois-Chicago is 17-11-2 against the spread this season, with a 16-14 over/under record. Missouri State is 16-13-1 ATS this year, with a 11-19 o/u record.

Missouri State comes into another pedigree spot, and while I believe they’ll advance in the tournament, UIC might give them a really good game. The Bears play collectively, and while it can be effective, they lack a pair of gunners like Jace Carter and Tre Anderson, and that firepower should give the Flames a fighting chance. Spot UIC the points in the first round of the MVC Tournament.

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

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