Northern Iowa vs. UT-Arlington - 12/7/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Texas-Arlington Mavericks (7-1) at Northern Iowa Panthers (6-2)
College Basketball: Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8:00 pm (McLeod Center)
The Line: Northern Iowa Panthers -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: PSN; NBC Sports Chicago; ESPN College Extra
The UT-Arlington Mavericks will travel to the McLeod Center to take on the Northern Iowa Panthers this Thursday night in College Basketball action.
The UT-Arlington Mavericks won their 5th straight game and improved to 7-1 on the season after defeating the North Texas Mean Green, 65-60, this past Saturday. In a tight back and forth game, UT-Arlington was able to pull away after a Kevin Hervey gave the Mavericks a 62-60 lead with :23 seconds left in regulation. UT-Arlington held North Texas to 36.8% shooting from the field and 23.1% (6-26) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Mavericks was Kevin Harvey who had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, UT-Arlington is averaging 80.1 ppg on 48.7% shooting from the field. The Mavericks are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 34.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UT-Arlington has been led by Kevin Hervey (23.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.7 spg), Johnny Hamilton (14.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg), Erick Neal (13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 10.3 apg, 1.9 spg), and Kaelon Wilson (9.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 apg). Defensively, UT-Arlington is allowing their opponents to average 68.6 ppg on 38.1% shooting from the field. The Mavericks have a rebound margin of 3.6 and a turnover margin of 0.6.
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The Northern Iowa Panthers rebounded from their 2nd loss of the season to Villanova, to defeat the UNLV Rebels, 77-68 (OT), on November 29th to improve to 6-2 on the season. Northern Iowa allowed UNLV to fight back and force OT after leading by a 34-29 margin at halftime, however pulled away in the overtime period after a 9-0 Panthers run gave Northern Iowa a 73-63 lead with just :43 seconds left in overtime. Northern Iowa shot 40.9% from the field and 77.8% (21-27) from the FT-Line in the victory. Leading the way for the Panthers was Bennett Koch who had 30 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist, and a block. On the season, Northern Iowa is averaging 68.5 ppg on 43.4% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 7.4 three-pointers per game on 32.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Iowa has been led by Bennett Koch (17.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.1 bpg), Juwan McCloud (11.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 spg), Tywhon Pickford (10.1 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Klint Carlson (8.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.3 apg). Defensively, Northern Iowa is holding their opponents to an average of 58.5 ppg on 36.8% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of 6.3 and a turnover margin of -0.8.
The Mavericks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss. The Panthers are 14-4-1 ATS in their last 19 Thursday games and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
UT-Arlington is one of the best mid-major teams in the country as they are solid on both ends of the court and have a great trio of players in Kevin Harvey, Johnny Hamilton, and Erick Neal. Northern Iowa once again looks like a dominant team in the Missouri Valley Conference and have been led by their defense that ranks 4th in scoring defense and 12th in defensive FG%. UT-Arlington has some incredible talent, however, Northern Iowa on the road is arguably their toughest game of the season to date and as the Panthers have the ability to give the Mavericks talented offense trouble, I'm taking Northern Iowa to cover this small spread at home.