The Wichita State Shockers open their Missouri Valley conference tournament campaign against Evansville, upset winners Thursday night. The Shockers already beat the Purple Aces 81-67 at home and 84-68 on the road in games played last month.
Expect a huge point spread here, but beware the Aces who ride a 10-2 against-the-spread streak in 12 games vs. WSU.
Wichita State was expected to open as significant favorites in their conference playoff opener. The line was late because Evansville played late Thursday night. (Line updates and matchup report details).
Why Wichita State can cover the spread
With that 2-0 edge in the regular season, and this being the first game on the docket for Friday's tournament quarterfinals, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) will be anxious to get its postseason journey underway.
The fact it's the first game on the board is a plus for a well-rested Wichita State team. Wichita State is in on ATS win streaks of 5-0 in conference play, 4-1 against losing teams and a perfect 7-0 on neutral courts.
Why Evansville can cover the spread
Momentum carried over from the night before can be a blessing sometimes. And after the Purple Aces (14-18, 6-12) dispatched No. 8 seed Drake, 69-61, to open the Missouri Valley Conference tournament Thursday night, they could very well shock the Shockers by coming out fired up for this game.
The Aces have now covered four of five, all in conference play.
Wichita State No. 2, Evansville No. 316 (per Odds Shark Power Ranks)
Evansville played Thursday night and now has to wake up and take on top-seeded Wichita State? Something doesn't seem right with the timing and while the smart pick might appear to be to lay the points with the No. 2 team in the nation, the Shockers might be overinflated because it's the early game.
The Shockers lost the title game of this event last year to Creighton, so they'll be strategic in wanting to win this tournament. Besides, the Aces have covered six of the last seven meetings.
- Wichita State is 7-1 ATS past eight games as favorites
- Evansville is 8-3 ATS past 11 games as underdogs
- Evansville is 10-2 ATS in past 12 meetings with WSU