6-21 overall, 5-15 conference, 9th Ohio Valley Conference
Against the spread
10-14-1 (4-8 home, 6-6-1 away)
7-15-3 (6-5-1 home, 1-10-2 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Eastern Illinois Panthers finished the 2004-05 season with a record of 12-16 straight up, including a conference record of 7-9, which was good for a eighth place finish in the Ohio Valley.
The Panthers fared little better against the college basketball gambling lines as they went 10-15 against the spread, although they offered excellent value down the stretch as they covered six of their final nine games against the board.
Eastern Illinois' good finish against the board in an otherwise dreadful season served as a reminder to college basketball gamblers about value and how even the worst and most unappealing teams can often bring in the cash, and often at the least expected times.
The possibility existed that the Panthers, at the start of the 2005-06 season, would continue to offer good board value precisely because they were one of the least appealing teams in all of college basketball.
Eastern Illinois opened the 2005-06 season with a 35-80 loss at Xavier as 22-point dogs. That was then followed by a 45-69 loss at Saint Louis as 13.5-point dogs and then a most discouraging 68-76 unlined loss at Western Illinois.
Back on the board in the home opener against Indiana State, the Panthers' sluggish start continued with a 58-66 loss in which they failed to cover as 7-point dogs. After an 80-83 overtime home loss to Tennessee Tech as 7.5-point dogs, the Panthers scored a 68-84 home loss to Tennessee State as 1.5-point dogs for a start of 0-6 straight up and 1-4 against the college basketball gambling lines.
Value began to click
After that slow start, few teams were as unappealing to the college basketball gambling public as Eastern Illinois. This lack of board appeal actually transformed them into a bargain team on the board, as their value began to click starting with a 50-57 loss at Eastern Kentucky as 11-point dogs. That was then followed by a 57-56 win at Morehead State as 1-point chalks, which was then followed by a 56-68 loss at Missouri in which the Panthers covered as 17.5-point dogs. Easter Illinois then took a game off the board and scored a 72-67 win at UMKC.
After a 60-72 loss at Southeast Missouri State as 3-point chalks, the bargains continued for Eastern Illinois starting with a 56-62 loss at Austin Peay as 12.5-point dogs. That was then followed by a 65-66 loss at Murray State as 21.5-point dogs and then an 80-70 overtime win over Tennessee-Martin as 1-point chalks for a third consecutive payoff, and concluded a string in which the Panthers lost just one of seven games against the college basketball board.
Out of value
In most cases, teams such as Eastern Illinois eventually run out of gas as they simply cannot sustain board success due to their dreadful abilities on the court. The Panthers began to run out of value with a 60-75 loss at Tennessee Tech as 12-point dogs. That was then followed by a 57-73 loss at Tennessee State as 10.5-point dogs. After an 80-65 home win over Morehead State as 8.5-point chalks, the Panthers scored a 51-66 loss at Jacksonville State as 8-point dogs before getting a 55-58 loss/cover at Samford as 15-point dogs.
The Panthers proved unable to regain any board value and beginning with a 71-70 home loss to Austin Peay as 2-point dogs, they collapsed into a free fall to end the season. Eastern Illinois next scored a 61-85 blowout loss at Tennessee-Martin as 9-point dogs, which was followed by the final payoff of the season, a 60-49 win at Southeast Missouri State as 3-point dogs.
The Panthers then ended the year with three consecutive SU&ATS losses, all at home, to Eastern Michigan, Jacksonville State, and Samford to complete a stretch in which they went 3-8 against the college basketball gambling odds.