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North Dakota vs. Eastern Washington - 12/31/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Eastern Washington Eagles (5-9) at North Dakota Fighting Hawks (4-8)

College Basketball: Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Betty Engelstad Sioux Center)

The Line: North Dakota Fighting Hawks +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: MCDO SN

The Eastern Washington Eagles will travel to the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center to take on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks this Sunday night in College Basketball action.

The Eastern Washington Eagles had their 2-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 5-9 (0-1 Big Sky) on the season after being defeated by the Northern Colorado Bears, 88-75, this past Friday. Eastern Washington struggled defensively against Northern Colorado and couldn’t fight back after the Bears took a 62-46 lead with 10:54 left in regulation. Eastern Washington allowed Northern Colorado to shoot 55.2% from the field and 40.0% (6-15) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Eagles was Bogdan Bliznyuk who had 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. On the season, Eastern Washington is averaging 74.9 ppg on 43.0% shooting from the field. The Eagles are averaging 8.6 three-pointers per game on 34.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Eastern Washington has been led by Bogdan Bliznyuk (18.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.4 apg), Jesse Hunt (8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.3 apg), Ty Gibson (8.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg), and Luka Vulikic (6.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.2 apg). Defensively, Eastern Washington is allowing their opponents to average 75.1 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Eagles have a rebound margin of -1.3 and a turnover margin of 0.7.

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North Dakota vs. Eastern Washington - 12/31/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The North Dakota Fighting Hawks lost their 5th straight game and dropped to 4-8 (0-1 Big Sky) on the season after being defeated by the Idaho Vandals, 74-57, this past Friday night. North Dakota struggled offensively in the 1st half and couldn’t fight back after trailing by a 35-18 margin at halftime. North Dakota shot 35.7% from the field and 20.0% (4-20) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Fighting Hawks was Marlon Stewart who had 17 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, and a steal. On the season, North Dakota is averaging 74.8 ppg on 44.0% shooting from the field. The Fighting Hawks are averaging 5.8 three-pointers per game on 26.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Dakota has been led by Geno Crandall (16.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2.1 spg), Marlon Stewart (14.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 spg), Cortez Seales (11.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.7 apg), and Conner Avants (10.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.0 apg). Defensively, North Dakota is allowing their opponents to average 82.6 ppg on 49.7% shooting from the field. The Fighting Hawks have a rebound margin of -7.3 and a turnover margin of 2.1.

The Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss however, are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Fighting Hawks are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 home games however, just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

Eastern Washington has lost 6 of their last 8 games and have really struggled on the defensive end this season as the Eagles rank 243rd in scoring defense and 232nd in defensive FG%. North Dakota has done a nice job creating turnovers this season as they rank 26th in steals per game, however, the Fighting Hawks have also struggled stopping opponents as they rank 334th in scoring defense and 341st in defensive FG%. Eastern Washington only has one player scoring in double-digits and as I think the more balanced offensive attack of North Dakota will have success against the Eastern Washington defensive, I’m taking the home team and the points. 

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