The second quarterfinal matchup of the MVC tournament is a battle between the No. 4 Missouri State Bears (16-15, 10-8) and No. 5 Bradley Braves (17-14, 9-9) on Friday.

Betting Line: The Bears are -2 favorites with the o/u set at 124.

Coming into the game, Missouri State is (12-18) against the spread, while Bradley is (13-17) They have each hit the over 13 times. However, the Braves have hit the under 16 times, while the Bears have hit the under 17 times.

The Bears swept the season series in two vastly different games. The first time the two programs met, the Bears, held on for a 69-64 road win in mid-January. Two weeks later, the Bears throttled the Braves by 18 points, 55-37. It’s safe to say if the Bears play that type of defense, they should advance into the semifinals.

Overall, the Bears won by an average of 62-50.5. That leaves a scoring margin of 12.5 points thanks to the huge home win. However, both teams will be at a neutral site. To compare, the Braves are (8-7) in road/neutral games, while the Bears are (5-11) in the same scenario. Missouri State went (0-2) during neutral site games this season. They lost by an average of 21 points. Meanwhile, the Braves went (2-0) in their neutral site games. They won those games by an average of eight points. That included a 13-point win over SMU.

Currently, Bradley is scoring 67.5 points per game in 2018-19. They are giving up 66 points per game. Meanwhile, Missouri State is scoring 69.3 points per game. Opponents are scoring 67.6 points per game against the Bears. Both teams are in the Top 100 of scoring defense, but the Bears are at No. 47 in scoring defense.

Keep in mind, the Braves are (7-5) as a road underdog. Still, you must be concerned with their last outing against the Bears. They were unable to score and that could be a problem with another off shooting day.

Key Players:

Darrell Brown leads the Braves with 15 points and 3 assists per game. He is shooting 46 percent from 3-point range. Brown also leads the Braves with 4.4 foul shots per game. However, he is only connecting on 72 percent from the charity stripe.

The Bears have three players averaging double figure points. Junior Tulio De Silva is leading the way with 14.7 points per game. De Silva is a capable shooter but he does the majority of his damage in the paint. He is shooting 56 percent from the field. Jarred Dixon and Keandre Cook each pour in 13 points per game.

Pick: Missouri State 68 – Bradley 63

 

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