The No. 4 seed Belmont Bruins will begin their 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title hunt when they face the No. 5 seed Indiana State Sycamores in the quarterfinals on Friday afternoon. Belmont earned a first-round bye in Arch Madness after finishing in fourth place in the conference standings, while Indiana State advanced with a blowout win against Evansville. The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 1 seed Bradley and No. 8 seed Northern Iowa in the semifinals.
Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The Sycamores are favored by 2.5 points in the latest Indiana State vs. Belmont odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under is set at 153. Before entering any Belmont vs. Indiana State picks, you'll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters Week 17 of the season 76-46 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,600 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Indiana State vs. Belmont spread: Indiana State -2.5
- Indiana State vs. Belmont over/under: 153 points
- Indiana State vs. Belmont money line: Indiana State -135, Belmont +115
- Indiana State vs. Belmont picks: See picks here
Why Indiana State can cover
Indiana State won seven of its final nine games down the stretch of the regular season, but it was still forced to play in the first round of the MVC Tournament on Thursday. The Sycamores used that game to generate momentum heading into the quarterfinals, rolling to a 97-58 win over Evansville. Robbie Avila led the way with 21 points on 7 of 9 shooting, knocking down all six of his free-throw attempts.
Cooper Neese scored 19 points and went 5 of 6 from 3-point range, while Xavier Bledson finished with 14 points. Indiana State has been one of the most profitable teams in college basketball over the past month, covering the spread in 10 of its last 11 games. Belmont has failed to cover the spread in seven straight March games and has not played since last Sunday, so it will have to knock off some rust on Friday afternoon.
Why Belmont can cover
Belmont secured a first-round bye in the conference tournament by beating Indiana State last Wednesday. Ben Sheppard hit a pair of free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining, helping complete a 19-point comeback. He finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Ja'Kobi Gillespie scored 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
The Bruins played their best basketball down the stretch of the regular season, winning four of their final five games. They won two of those games by at least 27 points, and they also notched an eight-point road win at Northern Iowa on Sunday. Sheppard leads Belmont with 18.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, but he is joined in double figures by Cade Tyson (13.3) and Drew Friberg (11.3).
How to make Belmont vs. Indiana State picks
The model has simulated Indiana State vs. Belmont 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Under, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Belmont vs. Indiana State? And which side of the spread is hitting almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is 76-46 on its top-rated college basketball picks this season, and find out.