Evansville +16 at Missouri State
I've noticed a lot of inflation on the favorites with these early season mid-major conference games. The betting market doesn’t seem to take into account the familiarity and tighter nature of league games. Winning by double-digits in leagues like the Horizon, Big Sky and Missouri Valley is difficult, especially early in the season when everyone is given a fresh start. I can get behind Missouri State on its home court laying double-digits in meaningless games against Arkansas-Little Rock or Pepperdine, but in conference play, in this type of price range, I’m looking the other way. Evansville is in the lower-tier of the MVC but on the rise. Last season, the Purple Aces really struggled early on including a 14-point home loss to Missouri State. But as the season wore on, they improved dramatically. In the second matchup at Missouri State, Evansville lost by 10 and in the conference tournament, the Bears won by only six. This season, Evansville is two wins from matching last year’s total. They have a road win at Butler and last time out battled to a 12-point loss at Northern Iowa. From a generic perspective, this line tells us that Missouri State would be around a 10-point favorite at Evansville which is crazy. Also keep in mind that Missouri State has a huge game on Sunday against fellow conference heavyweight Wichita State. I think there is enough here to take a shot with the underdog.