Toledo Rockets vs. Northern Illinois Huskies Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/22/14
Northern Illinois Huskies (7-9) at Toledo Rockets (15-2)
College Basketball: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Savage Arena)
The Line: Toledo Rockets -17.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: The Toldeo Rockets will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they welcome the Northern Illinois Huskies to Savage Hall Wednesday.
The Breakdown: Toledo is 3-1 in the MAC and sit atop the western division standings in a tie for first with Eastern Michigan. The Rockets recorded a decisive 75-61 victory over Akron in their last outing Saturday for their third straight. Junior G Julius Brown had a game-high 25 points on 8 of 19 shooting and connected on 4 of 9 from distance, while junior F J.D. Weatherspoon added 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The Rockets shot 44 percent from the field and hit 5 of 13 from distance, while limiting Akron to 20 of 48 and just 5 of 19 from beyonf the arc. Toledo also dominated the boards 42-28 and forced 13 turnovers. On the season, the Rockets rank 13th nationally with 83.6 ppg, 27th with 15.9 apg and 30th at 48 percent shooting. Senior G Rian Pearson leads the team with 14.9 ppg, followed by Brown at 14.1 ppg.
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, Northern Illinois is 1-3 in the conference and one step above winless cellar dwellers Central Michigan and Ball State. The Huskies have dropped their last two, including a 65-46 rout against Ohio Saturday, in which they couldn’t buy a bucket and shot a miserable 14 of 48 from the floor and just 4 of 18 from downtown. Northern Illinois allowed Ohio to shoot 52.1 percent from the floor and 52.6 percent from beyond the arc, while committing 13 turnovers. Sophomore G Travon Barker scored 12 points on 3 of 9 shooting and junior G Aaron Armstead added 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. Through 16 games, the Huskies are averaging 62.0 ppg on 38 percent shooting and frshman G Dontel Highsmith leads the team with 10.5 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -17.5 for Toledo, an enormous spread at first glance. But the Rockets are averaging over 21 points a game more than N. Illinois and shooting at a 10 percent better clip. As far as common opponents, Buffalo is the only one and they trounced the Huskies by 21 points, while Toledo beat them by 2. Another notable is that the Rockets hung with Kansas, only losing at Allen Fieldhouse by 10. Look for the Rockets to cover.
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