Illinois State vs. Bradley Betting Odds, Pick: Bad Teams Can Be Good for Bettors

Illinois State vs. Bradley Betting Odds, Pick: Bad Teams Can Be Good for Bettors article feature image
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Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Copeland

On a 53-game slate featuring matchups from the likes of the Big Ten, Big East and ACC, a Missouri Valley Conference battle has a pretty good chance of slipping through the cracks.

That doesn’t mean it can’t hold value, and if history is any indication, Illinois State vs. Bradley might just be offering some tonight.

Illinois State vs. Bradley Betting Odds, System Pick

  • Spread: Bradley -9.5
  • Over/under: 136.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

Odds as of Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.


For those not on top of their MVC knowledge at the moment, allow me to inform you that things have not been going so well for Illinois State lately.

The Redbirds’ five most recent games:

  • +2.5 @ Southern Illinois: L, 67-55
  • -2.5 vs. Missouri State: L, 67-63
  • +8.5 @ Indiana State: L, 65-52
  • +7.5 @ Drake: L, 84-74
  • +4.5 vs. Loyola Chicago: L, 62-50

Not only are they winless in their last five (and now 1-5 in conference play), they also failed to cover the spread in each of those games — and were getting points in four of them.

I’d imagine that’s not the most inspiring stretch for casual bettors and would expect to see the majority of tickets land on Bradley (13-6 overall, 4-2 in conference) tonight, especially once more recreational bets start to hit this game. Currently Bradley holds a 56% backing.

History, however, would suggest against that decision.

Teams that have gone both winless and coverless over a five-game stretch have actually been good to the bettors brave enough to back them in the following game.

Since 2005, such teams have covered at a 53.0% clip according to Bet Labs, a rate that shoots up in Illinois State’s current situation.

  • Road teams: 323-259-10 (55.5%), +46.7 units, 7.9% ROI
  • In-conference matchups: 521-453-12 (53.5%), +38.6 units, 3.9% ROI
  • Facing better opponents (by at least .300 win percentage points): 302-243-7 (55.4%), +41.7 units, 7.6% ROI

Throw the three filters together, and the perfect-storm scenario returns a 114-62-3 ATS record, good for 46.0 units and a 25.7% return on investment.

The system is a bit picky, but the filters generally fit a common theme of what makes an ugly, yet solid bet.

It’s also been consistent, returning a profit in 12 of the past 15 seasons leading into this one, and an Illinois State cover tonight would be its second cover this year in as many tries (Jan. 10, Iona +6.5 at Rider).

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