College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet Wright State-Illinois Chicago in Horizon League Semis

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Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cole Gentry

  • The updated odds for the Horizon League matchup between Wright State and Illinois Chicago makes the Raiders 6-point favorites.
  • Will Wright State roll in its first conference tournament game?
  • Eli Hershkovich gives his betting breakdown and picks below.

Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.

As the mid-major contests roll along, let’s head over to the Horizon League tournament semifinals and break down Wright State-UIC.

Wright State is playing its first game since the regular season, while the Flames covered their first two matchups (IUPUI, Youngstown State) in the tournament.

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Wright State vs. Illinois Chicago

  • Odds: Wright State -6.5
  • Over/Under: 145.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Location: Indianapolis (neutral court)

These two programs split their regular season series, with Wright State winning and covering (-11.5) in their most recent meeting on Feb. 14. In that one, the Raiders controlled the tempo by owning the glass (44-34) while holding UIC to 0.76 points per possession in the process.

Look for the Flames to make more of an effort on the glass, similar to their first matchup (41-39), and they have the size advantage to do so.

Keeping Wright State (and Loudon Love) off the offensive glass is key, but UIC boasts the highest defensive rebounding rate in Horizon League play. If they’re able to, it should lead to them playing at a more comfortable, slower tempo than what the Raiders prefer.

Although UIC isn’t too efficient offensively, its highest scoring percentage comes inside the arc — good for the second-highest rate in conference play. On the flip side, the Raiders have given up the highest 2-point scoring rate during that stretch.

UIC junior forward Michael Diggins was a non-factor in the second matchup because he wasn’t effective within a fast-paced game, but he posted 20 points in their contest on Jan. 12.

Wright State’s poor free-throw shooting could aid the Flames as well, especially if the Raiders have a late lead. Wright State has the third-lowest clip (67.0%) from the line in Horizon League play, and UIC has actually improved their percentage down the stretch despite its struggles overall.

Tired legs shouldn’t be much of a concern compared to other conference tournaments, since the Flames haven’t played since Thursday despite reaching the semifinals.

I’ll be backing UIC.

Pick: UIC +6.5

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