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Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa - 1/4/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Northern Iowa Panthers (8-6) at Missouri State Bears (12-3)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 9:00 pm (JQH Arena)

The Line: Missouri State Bears -7.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS Sports Network

The Northern Iowa Panthers will travel to JQH Arena to take on the Missouri State Bears this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Northern Iowa Panthers lost their 4th straight game and dropped to 8-6 (0-2 MVC) on the season after being defeated by the Bradley Braves, 72-53, this past Sunday. Northern Iowa had a 33-32 lead at halftime, however, couldn’t recover after a 14-0 Braves run gave Bradley a 56-42 lead with 11:21 left in regulation. Northern Iowa allowed Bradley to shoot 47.9% from the field and 64.3% (9-14) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Panthers was Isaiah Brown who had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, Northern Iowa is averaging 66.3 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 35.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northern Iowa has been led by Bennett Koch (13.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Wyatt Lohaus (9.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg), Klint Carlson (9.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 apg), Tywhon Pickford (8.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.4 apg). Defensively, Northern Iowa is holding their opponents to an average of 61.0 ppg on 38.5% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of 2.7 and a turnover margin of -0.6.

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Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa - 1/4/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri State Bears won their 3rd straight game and improved to 12-3 (2-0 MVC) on the season after defeating the Valparaiso Crusaders, 67-50, this past Sunday. Missouri State’s defense was outstanding throughout the entire game and the Bears had no trouble pulling away for the victory after taking a 56-29 lead midway through the 2nd half. Missouri State held Valparaiso to just 34.8% shooting from the field and 26.3% (5-19) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Bears was Alize Johnson who had a double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assist, and a steal. On the season, Missouri State is averaging 72.7 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Missouri State has been led by Alize Johnson (14.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg), Reggie Scurry (9.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg), J.T. Miller (9.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.4 apg), and Jarrid Rhodes (9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Jarred Dixon (7.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.6 apg). Defensively, Missouri State is holding their opponents to an average of 61.8 ppg on 38.0% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 8.3 and a turnover margin of -0.7.

The Panthers are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 Thursday games however, are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Bears are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.

Northern Iowa has played a tough schedule this season and although it’s tough to explain the recent loss to Bradley, the Panthers still have some quality wins on the resume this season (UNLV, UT-Arlington) and have a defense that is ranked 11th in scoring defense and 21st in defensive FG%. Missouri State has been outstanding this season as they have a great big man in Alize Johnson and rotate a bunch of players so they are always fresh on the defensive end. Similar to Northern Iowa, the Missouri State has also been led by their defense that ranks 16th in scoring defense and 15th in scoring defense. Missouri State has been great ATS this season, however, Northern Iowa is a team that can give the Missouri State offense some trouble and as expect this game to play out similar to last year, when Northern Iowa won a 55-52 defensive battle, I’m taking the Panthers and the points.  

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