Northern Iowa vs. Loyola-Chicago - 1/7/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (11-4) at Northern Iowa Panthers (8-7)
College Basketball: Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm (McLeod Center)
The Line: Northern Iowa Panthers -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We have some Missouri Valley conference action on the hardwood, as the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers take on the Northern Iowa Panthers in a college basketball matchup on Sunday afternoon.
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will look to rebounds after dropping 3 of their last 4 games, including a 61-57 loss to Indiana State in their last outing to fall below .500 in conference play this season. Donte Ingram led the team with 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting with 4 threes, while Marques Townes and Andre Jackson each added 11 points to round out the trio of double digit scorers for the Ramblers in the loss. Townes shot 3 of 9 from the floor, while Jackson shot 3 of 6 while leading the team with 8 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Ben Richardson added a team-high 3 assists in the losing effort for the Ramblers. Jackson leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.1 points per game, while Ingram leads in rebounding with 6.7 boards per game and Townes leads the way in assists with 2.7 helpers per game this season. As a team, Loyola-Chicago is scoring 7 points per game on 50.9% shooting from the field while also boasting the 9th-best 3-point percentage in the country at 41.9% from downtown in addition to a 71.1% mark from the foul line this season.
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The Northern Iowa Panthers will still be looking for their first conference win of the year after losing their 5th straight game, a 62-55 loss to Missouri State to fall to 0-3 in Missouri Valley play this year. Tywhon Pickford led the team with 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting with a pair of threes and team-highs of 10 rebounds and 4 assists for the double-double. Klint Carlson came 2nd with 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting with a pair of threes, 9 rebounds and a pair of steals, while Bennett Koch added 14 points with a pair of blocks to round out the double digit scoring for the Panthers in the loss. Koch leads UNI in scoring with an average of 13.7 points per game, while Pickford leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 boards per game and Juwan McCloud is the team’s top assist man with 2.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Northern Iowa is scoring 65.5 points per game on 42.1% shooting from the field, 34.9% from behind the arc and 70.9% from the foul line this season. Despite their record, the Panthers own an extremely tight defence, holding opponents to the 9th-fewest points per game this season, allowing just 61.1 points per contest this year.
Loyola-Chicago is 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference matchups and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games overall. Northern Iowa is 0-8 ATS in their last 8 conference matchups and 11-27 ATS in their last 38 games overall while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 home games. Loyola-Chicago is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
Northern Iowa is probably due for a win and it should come on their home floor, however I’m not backing the Panthers in their current form. Northern Iowa has done squat against the number dating back to last season in conference. Granted, neither has Loyola-Chicago, but they’ve at least had success ATS in this matchup so I’ll back the Ramblers to get the job done here.