Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Northern Iowa Panthers - 12/20/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Iowa Panthers (9-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (8-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Wells Fargo Arena)
The Line: Iowa Hawkeyes -2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: BTN HD
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Northern Iowa Panthers will face off at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa in the Big Four Classic this Saturday night.
The Iowa Hawkeyes dropped to 8-3 on the season as they lost to the 14th ranked Iowa State Cyclones 90-75 just over a week ago. Iowa had been playing great defensive all season, however, allowed the Cyclones to shoot 53.1% from the field and 44.4% (12-27) from long range. Leading the way for the Hawkeyes was Aaron White who 18 points and 6 rebounds. Iowa notched an impressive victory at North Carolina a few weeks ago, and all three of their losses have come against teams that have been ranked this season (Texas, Syracuse, and Iowa State). Iowa currently ranks 85th in the RPI standings. Leading the way for Iowa on the season have been Aaron White (15.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 apg), Jarrod Uthoff (11.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Adam Woodbury, and Mike Gesell (6.3 ppg, 4.1 apg). Offensively, the Hawkeyes are averaging 72.3 ppg (ranked 107th) on 42.0% shooting (ranked 235th). Iowa is shooting 76.0% from the free-throw line which ranks 15th in the country. Defensively, the Hawkeyes are holding their opponents to an average of 58.1 ppg (ranked 39th) on 35.6% shooting (ranked 13th).
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The Northern Iowa Panthers loss their first game of the season, a 93-87 double-OT loss at VCU, to drop to 9-1 on the season. The Panthers did a nice job to force the game into OT as they were down by as much as 11 points in the second half however, couldn’t come away with the victory. Leading the Panthers was Wes Washpun who had 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. On the season, Northern Iowa have been led by Seth Tuttle (14.8 ppg on 63.3% shooting), Wes Washpun (12.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.3 apg), and Marvin Singleton (5.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg). Northern Iowa is currently ranked 25th in the RPI standings. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 69.4 ppg (ranked 157th) on 48.0% shooting (ranked 46th). Northern Iowa shoots the ball well from outside as they are currently shooting 38.5% from long-range which ranks 56th in the country. Defensively, Northern Iowa is holding their opponents to an average of 59.0 ppg (ranked 45th) on 40.1% shooting (ranked 108th).
The Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 4 against the MVC however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Northern Iowa is going to be the biggest challenge to Wichita State in the MVC this year however, I think Iowa is going to have a big bounce back game after their lost to Iowa State. I feel that Iowa will have a much better defensive performance then what they showed against Iowa State and will win this game. Take Iowa to cover this small spread.