Northwestern Wildcats vs. DePaul Blue Demons Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/27/13
DePaul Blue Demons (7-5) at Northwestern Wildcats (7-5)
College Basketball: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats -4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: Big Ten Network
DePaul makes the short trip to Welsh-Ryan arena Friday night for a showdown with the Northwestern Wildcats at 9PM on the Big Ten Network.
DePaul sits at 7-5 on the season and saw their defensive struggles come to a head this past week as they fell to Illinois State 69-64. The Blue Demons trailed most of the contest and did so despite shooting the ball much better than Illinois State. The Blue Demons committed a costly 16 turnovers to just 6 for the Redbirds and failed to convert a basket when down 2 with under a minute to go. Brandon Young had 17 for DePaul and Billy Garrett Jr. added 18. As has been the case in most of their losses this year, the Blue Demons got just 4 points from Cleveland Melvin, who averaged 16.5 on the year. With a roster full of average talent and mediocre scorers, Melvin has to score it consistently if the Blue Demons want to make any noise in conference play this year.
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Northwestern also sits at 7-5 on the season after winning three contest, losing three and now finding themselves back on a three game winning streak. Their most recent win came this past week in a sluggish affair against Brown. The Wildcats quickly erased a 2 point halftime deficit to pull away for the 58-52 victory. Drew Crawford was hands down the best player on the floor in this one -- the forward played all 40 minutes, racked up a game high 24 points and added 11 boards and 2 blocks. Kale Abrahmson added 11 and 9 off the bench and Northwestern managed to get the win despite being outrebounded by the smaller Bears 49-42.
Some trends to consider -- DePaul is 1-4 against the spread in their last 5 against the Big Ten and Northwestern is 6-1 against the spread in their last 7 versus the Big East.
These two squads are fairly evenly matched and have put forth similar results thus far this season. I think DePaul has the deeper team here and despite the game being away from home, Cleveland Melvin has bounced back from poor shooting games multiple times this season. I like the athleticism of DePaul and the combo of Brandon Young and Melvin to be the difference as the Blue Demons steal a win and cover on the road against their northern neighbors.