Thursday College Basketball Best Bets: Southern Illinois at Oklahoma State

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 10, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Despite another unappetizing college basketball odds board, let’s break down my college basketball best bets for Thursday’s slate. Join our Discord betting channel (under the #roles server) and receive an immediate notification from Discord when I make a bet.

Click on any of the odds below to place a wager as well.

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Southern Illinois at Oklahoma State: Spread, Moneyline, Total

In the first edition of my college basketball power rankings, I noted that the Pokes will have a chip on their shoulder after they were banned from the 2022 NCAA Tournament. But first things first, they’re presented with a pesky Salukis bunch in their second contest.

SIU’s Defensive Principles

Although Bryan Mullins’ alma mater isn’t a household name across college basketball, this mid-major program should be in contention with Drake for the Missouri Valley regular season title.

The Salukis tallied a top-three defense in the conference last season. Mullins’ system employs pack-line fundamentals, forcing opponents to generate offense via mid-range and perimeter shots. That’s illustrated by Southern Illinois ranking No. 276 in regards to high-quality 3-pointers allowed in 2021-22 (via ShotQuality).

Although Oklahoma State boasts more floor-spacers than it showcased last season, that department still represents its biggest offensive liability. If SIU can force Bryce Thompson & Co. into quick shots in the halfcourt, it’ll put itself in position to implement its preferred methodical pace at the other end.

Mind you, this team possesses an ultra-experienced roster that won’t be fazed by a “power six” opponent. But given the Cowboys’ size advantage, gang rebounding is a major necessity.

For additional college basketball best bets, listen to the brand-new Outside Shots podcast.

Exploiting The Pokes

Mike Boynton’s squad utilizes some semblance of a zone defense ⁠— mixed in with a dose of ball pressure. However, its off-ball coverage is an area of concern, and that’s a strength of Mullins’ motion offense.

If two-guard Lance Jones continues to rediscover a more consistent shooting stroke, along with fellow seniors Trent Brown, Marcus Domask, and George Mason transfer Xavier Johnson, they should deliver enough offense to at least stay within a few possessions.

Related: Eli’s College Basketball Futures Bets

College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, I backed the Salukis at +8.5. You’ll find it in our aforementioned Discord channel. I’d play it down to +8.

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