South Dakota State is coming off back-to-back losses to North Dakota State (82-65) and South Dakota (91-89), and the Jackrabbits remain shorthanded without guard A.J. Hess and forward Ian Theisen. Both players remain sidelined for tonight’s game, which is a significant blow to a South Dakota State squad that lacked quality depth entering the 2016-2017 campaign.
Hess was averaging 11.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 30:34 minutes per game, while Theisen was averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17:05 minutes per game before suffering an ankle injury. IUPUI arrives in town with an efficient attack that is averaging 78.6 points per game on 39.8% shooting from the field.
The Jaguars are averaging an impressive 79.8 points per game (42.7% 3-PT%) in conference play and 77.0 points (44.3% 3-PT%) over their last five contests. I also like the fact that IUPUI has improved at the charity stripe, making 71.8% of its free throws in Summit League action and 72.2% in its last five games.
South Dakota State’s defense is 3.6 points per game worse than average this season (78.2 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.6 points per game) so the Jaguars will have an advantage at the offensive end of the floor. The Jackrabbits are also yielding an alarming 81.6 points per game (46.6% FG%; 38.1% 3-PT%) in conference play and 77.8 points (47.6% FG%; 38.6% 3-PT%) in their last five games overall.
South Dakota State’s subpar perimeter defense is welcome news for the Jaguars, who rank 17th-nationally in three-point field goal percentage and 35th in three-point field goals made per game (9.2). The Jaguars’ attack is also ranked a respectable 64th in scoring offense, while head coach Jason Gardner’s squad is 5-1 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5-points or less.
Finally, South Dakota State applies to a very negative 7-28 ATS system that invests against certain home favorites with revenge, provided they are coming off a game in which they lost straight-up as an underdog (but covered the point spread).
With the Jackrabbits standing at 1-8 ATS in their last nine games after losing two of their last three games, take IUPUI as Oskeim Sports’ Free Pick for Wednesday, February 15.
Oskeim Sports’ College Basketball Free Pick: IUPUI (+6) (-120)