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Illinois State Redbirds vs. Northern Iowa Panthers Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/5/14

Northern Iowa Panthers (11-11) at Illinois State Redbirds (12-10)

College Basketball: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm (Redbird Arena)

The Line: Illinois State Redbirds +1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: not listed

The Illinois State Redbirds welcome rival the Northern Iowa Panthers to Redbird Arena Wednesday.

Northern Iowa was playing well in the Missouri Valley until the past few weeks where they have dropped three of four after coming up short versus visiting Indiana State by an 87-81 count. The defensive end of the floor has struggled in this stretch with over 80 points allowed in three straight. The Sycamores overcame the 49% shooting Panthers thanks to a 30-13 advantage at the line in an otherwise close boxscore. Deon Mitchell led all scorers with 21 points followed by Wes Washpun with 18 while Seth Tututtle came through with 15 points and ten rebounds.

Illinois State Redbirds vs. Northern Iowa Panthers Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/5/14

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing that Illinois State has done is out of the ordinary but a 12-10 record at this point in the season is a strong indicator that all the new faces are meshing. Things were beginning to go downhill with three straight defeats before a 74-57 decision over Drake righted the ship for a day or two. The Redbirds burned the nets at over 51% marksmanship while holding the Bulldogs to 34.5% which included a 12-23 performance from the perimeter which was game over. Bobby Hunter tossed in a contest best 19 points followed by Nick Zeisloft with 15 while the twosome of Reggie Lynch and Zach Loften added ten points each with Loften grabbing seven boards.

I don't see a huge difference here although I believe Northern Iowa is the better squad. Neither has been knocking them dead so I'll hope the home floor gives Illinois State a boost...

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