A Big Sky matchup takes place when the Idaho State Bengals (4-17) face the Idaho Vandals (5-17) at ICCU Arena on Thursday night in College Basketball action. These teams have struggled this season as they find themselves tied for last in the Big Sky Conference. The Bengals enter the matchup winless on the road and are fresh off a home loss to Montana State 72-54. After losing to Southern Utah 75-59 in their last outing, the Vandals enter their home contest on a three-game losing streak.
Idaho State Bengals Betting Preview: Bengals Searching for First Road Victory
After falling to the Montana State Bobcats 72-54 on Monday, the Idaho State Bengals fell to 4-17 on the season and 2-10 in the Big Sky. Idaho State had no answers on either end of the court for Montana State, and they were unable to claw their way back into the game after trailing 35-23 at halftime. Idaho State shot 31.8 percent from the field and 10.0 percent from beyond the arc, compared to 55.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc for Montana State. Tarik Cool led the way for the Bengals with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Idaho State is one of the worst teams in the nation on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Bengals are averaging 62.5 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting from the field this season. The Bengals are shooting 30.7 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 7.0 three-pointers a game. Tarik Cool is the team leader posting 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Meanwhile, Austin Smellie (7.7 ppg, 2.9 RPG, 1.8 APG) and Malik Porter (7.1 ppg, 4.4 RPG) have also paced Idaho State’s offense.
Idaho State’s opponents average 71.5 points per game on 46.8% shooting from the field on defense. The Bengals have a -2.3 rebound margin and a -2.6 turnover margin.
Idaho Vandals Betting Preview: Idaho Looks to Bring Home Record to .500
On Thursday, the Idaho Vandals slipped to 5-17 on the season after losing their third straight game to the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 75-59. Idaho struggled offensively against Southern Utah and couldn’t come back after falling behind 42-28 at halftime. Southern Utah shot 45.3 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, while Idaho shot 40.4 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc. Mikey Dixon led the way for the Vandals with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Vandals average 72.7 points per game on offense, placing seventh in the conference in scoring offense. The Vandals have scored at least 80 points six times this season and held opponents to fewer than 70 points four times. UI is shooting 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point range.
Mikey Dixon, a senior, leads the team to score 16.9 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from three, and 86.7 percent from the line.
Idaho’s opponents average 80.4 points per game on 47.9% shooting from the field on defense. The Vandals have a -2.5 rebound margin and a -3.0 turnover margin.
Betting Odds and Lines
MyBookie has the Idaho Vandals listed as the -3.5 point home favorite, while the total number of points is at 142 in the latest odds. In their previous 20 games, the Bengals are 5-15 ATS, including 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against Idaho. In their last 16 games, the Vandals are 11-5 ATS.
Free Betting Pick
Idaho State is one of the worst teams in college basketball. Despite this being one of their few winnable games this season, I can’t trust a Bengals team that is currently 1-10 on the road and ranks 334th in scoring offense, 319th in field goal percentage, and 333rd in defensive field goal percentage.
Idaho isn’t a strong team in and of itself, but the Vandals have been competitive this season, and their offense has been able to put up some nice points, ranking 142nd in scoring offense and 36th in 3P-FG percent. The Silver and Gold have also been more successful at home than on the road, with a 4-5 record and three wins in their past five games at ICCU Arena. That being said, I like the Vandals to cover a small home spread in this one.