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Northern Iowa vs. BYU - 12/25/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

BYU Cougars (8-4) at Northern Iowa Panthers (8-4)

College Basketball: Friday, December 25, 2015 at 3:30 pm (Stan Sheriff Center)

The Line: Northern Iowa Panthers -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN U

The BYU Cougars and Northern Iowa Panthers will square off at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center this Thursday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The BYU Cougars bounced back from their 85-82 lost to Harvard to defeat the New Mexico Lobos, 96-66,  last night to improve to 8-4 (0-0 WCC) on the season. BYU was outstanding offensively in this victory and used a big 2nd half in which they outscored New Mexico by a 50-28 margin to secure the win. BYU shot 52.5% from the field and 57.1% (16-28) from beyond the arc. The Cougars held New Mexico to 45.8% shooting and won the turnover battle by a 17-11 margin. Leading the way for BYU was Chase Fischer who had 41 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. On the season, the Cougars have been led by Chase Fischer (16.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg), Nick Emery (15.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.8 apg), and Kyle Collinsworth (14.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 7.5 apg). Offensively, BYU is averaging 82.5 ppg on 47.1% shooting from the field and 35.2% shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars average 7.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.24. Defensively, BYU is allowing their opponents to average 73.3 ppg on 40.0% shooting. The Cougars currently have a rebound margin of 5.9 and average 4.2 blocks per game.

Northern Iowa vs. BYU - 12/25/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Iowa Panthers improved to 8-4 (0-0 MVC) on the season after defeating the Washington State Cougars, 63-59, last night. Northern Iowa used a last 8-2 run in the 2nd half to gain a 60-55 lead and held on in the final minute to secure the win. Northern Iowa shot 42.6% from the field and 82.6% (19-23) from the FT line. The Panthers allowed the Cougars to shoot 49.0% from the field and was outrebounded by Washington State by a 31-20 margin. Leading the way for Northern Iowa was Paul Jesperson who had 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. On the season, the Panthers have been led by Wes Washpun (15.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.2 apg, 1.3 spg), Paul Jesperson (13.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg), and Matt Bohannon (11.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg). Offensively, Northern Iowa is averaging 74.7 ppg on 49.7% shooting from the field and 41.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Panthers average 9.4 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.12. Defensively, Northern Iowa is allowing their opponents to average 69.5 ppg on 43.9% shooting. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -1.4 and a turnover margin of -1.5.

The Panthers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games and 20-9-3 ATS in their last 32 games overall. The Cougars are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

Both BYU and Northern Iowa are great shooting teams however, BYU currently looks a bit more comfortable in Hawaii than the Panthers have looked over their last two days. BYU was outstanding defensively against a very good New Mexico team and as they are the better-rounded team and should have the edge on the boards, I’m going with the Cougars in this one as long as the line isn’t too big. 

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