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Northern Colorado Bears vs. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (8-9) at Northern Colorado Bears (11-4)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm (Butler-Hancock Hall)

The Line: Northern Colorado Bears -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: Northern Colorado hosts Northern Arizona Wednesday at Butler-Hancock Hall in a battle for first place in the Big Sky.

The Breakdown: The Lumberjacks are 5-1 in conference and riding a four-game winning streak in which they’ve topped each opponent by double-digit margins. N. Arizona trounced Portland State 77-56 Saturday behind stellar numbers, shooting 33 of 56 from the field and 6 of 14 from outside the arc. The Lumberjacks also outrebounded the Vikings 36-21 and held them to 39 percent from the floor and 5 of 21 from downtown. Senior F Max Jacobsen scored a game high 19 points to go along with 4 boards and 4 assists, while freshman G Kris Yanku added 17 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. On the season, N. Arizona is averaging 68.1 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting and junior G Quinton Upshur leads the team with 14.6 ppg, followed by Jacobsen at 14.1 ppg.

Northern Colorado Bears vs. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/23/14

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Northern Colorado is also 5-1 in conference, following its first Big Sky loss of the season to Montana State Jan. 16 with an 84-73 victory over Montana Saturday. The Bears shot 58 percent from the field and hit 5 of 10 from distance, while holding the Grizzlies to 25 of 47 from the floor and 5 of 21 from outside the arc. Senior F Derrick Barden and senior G Tate Unruh each scored 20 points to lead N. Colorado. The Lumberjacks also dominated the boards 31-15 and forced 10 turnovers. Through 17 games, N. Colorado is averaging 74.8 ppg on 49.6 percent shooting and Barden leads the team with 13.6 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -8.5 for N. Colorado, who top N. Arizona in virtually every statistical category. Incidentally, both have just one conference loss and it's to Montana State. The Lumberjacks lost to the Bobcats by 5, while the Bears lost by 15. The points look like the play.

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