Evansville vs. Northern Iowa - 1/1/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Iowa Panthers (11-1) at Evansville Purple Aces (10-2)
College Basketball: Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Ford Center)
The Line: Evansville Purple Aces +2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Northern Iowa Panthers and Evansville Purple Aces play New Years Day at the Ford Center.
The Northern Iowa Panthers are off to a quick 11-1 start as they play their fourth true road game. On the season, Northern Iowa is averaging 68.7 points on 48.6 percent shooting and is allowing 58.1 points on 39.5 percent shooting. Seth Tuttle is averaging 14 points and 3.3 assists while Wes Washpun is averaging 11.8 points and 3.6 rebounds. Paul Jesperson is shooting 45.9 percent from the field and Marvin Singleton is grabbing 5.9 rebounds. The Northern Iowa Panthers are a balanced team that turns to their defense first that’s forcing more than 11 turnovers and has allowed no more than 65 points in 10 of their first 12 games. Offensively, Northern Iowa is shooting 71.2 percent from the free throw line and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc.
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The Evansville Purple Aces have won seven of their last eight games and play their first ranked opponent. On the season, Evansville is averaging 75.8 points on 51.4 percent shooting and is allowing 66.6 points on 43.1 percent shooting. D.J. Balentine is averaging 22.5 points and 3.7 assists while Egidijus Mockevicius is averaging 14 points and 10.2 rebounds. Mislav Brzoja is grabbing 5.2 rebounds and Blake Simmons is shooting 50 percent from the field. The Evansville Purple Aces are one of the top offensive teams in the country, as they have seven players averaging at least five points and are shooting 75.7 percent from the line and 37.8 percent from downtown. Defensively, Evansville is forcing 13.5 turnovers per game and is allowing teams to shoot 35.7 percent from deep.
The Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Missouri Valley. The Purple Aces are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Panthers are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Evansville and the home team is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Northern Iowa is the better overall team while Evansville has the best overall player. I like the Panthers in this game, as they've been on a roll on both sides of the ball. The Purple Aces rely too much on Balentine to bail them out.