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Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/20/14

Eastern Michigan Eagles (15-10) at Northern Illinois Huskies (11-13)

College Basketball: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm (NIU Convocation Center)

The Line: Northern Illinois Huskies +5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN Game Plan

The Eastern Michigan Eagles go in search of a road win at the expense of the Northern Illinois Huskies.

Eastern Michigan is on my list of improved teams with much of their success revolving around their ability to defend. Conference foes have been fortunate to break the 60 point barrier although the Eagles do need some consistency at the offensive end. EMU has won three in a row following a 65-44 victory over visiting Toledo on Saturday as the best offense in the conference was held to a mere 26% from the field. The Eagles 46% from the floor was decisive as it resulted in nine more field goals. Karrington Ward and Mike Talley scored 13 points each with Ward grabbing eight boards with three others combining for 25 points.

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction - 2/20/14

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers say Northern Illinois is on the outside looking in at the top four in the MAC at 5-7 but there is time to move up the ranks before the playoffs begin but the time is now to get the ship pointed in the right direction. If the Huskies are to do some damage going forward then more scoring is in order because the defense is generally asked to carry the load and sometimes it doesn't work out favorably. That was the case in a 62-54 loss at Akron on Saturday in which the Zips 45.7% shooting and a few nore free throws was too much for the Huskies 35.8% from the field. Jordan Threloff led the scoring with 14 points with Aaric Armstead and Travon Baker netting 13 and ten points.

Eastern Michigan looks like a team I would want to avoid in the conference playoffs and I think they win here. Northern Illinois will get hammered if they don't find a way to score on the best defense in the MAC so backing the Huskies is a stretch...

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