Drake vs. Northern Iowa - 2/29/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Drake vs. Northern Iowa - 2/29/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Northern Iowa Panthers (24-5) at Drake Bulldogs (18-12)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 6:00 pm (Knapp Center)

The Line: Drake Bulldogs +3.5 -- Over/Under: 138.5

TV: ESPN2

The Northern Iowa Panthers and the Drake Bulldogs meet in MVC college hoops action from the Knapp Center on Saturday evening.

The Northern Iowa Panthers will try to hold serve at the top of the MVC standings, sitting at 13-4 in conference play after an 84-64 win over Evansville last time out. AJ Green leads UNI in scoring and assists with 19.9 PPG and 2.9 APG while Trae Berhow is 2nd in scoring with 13.3 PPG and Austin Phyfe has 11 PPG and 7.9 RPG this season. As a team, Northern Iowa is averaging 76 points on 48.2% shooting from the field, 39.7% from 3-point range and 76.7% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 65 points on 41.9% shooting from the field and 33.6% from 3-point range this season. Northern Iowa is 7-4 straight up and 7-4 against the spread on the road this season.

The Drake Bulldogs will try to break into the top half of the MVC, sitting at 8-9 in conference play after picking up a 64-60 loss at the hands of Loyola-Chicago last time out. Liam Robbins leads Drake in scoring and rebounding with 14 PPG and 6.8 RPG while Roman Penn is 2nd in scoring and tops in rebounding with 11.6 PPG and 5.7 APG this season. As a team, Drake is averaging 69.9 points on 46.1% shooting from the field, 34.6% from 3-point range and 71.1% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 67.8 points on 42.4% shooting from the field and 37.4% from 3-point range this season. Drake is 14-1 straight up and 7-6 against the spread at home this season.

Head-to-head, the favorite is 19-5-2 ATS in the last 26 meetings between these two teams.

I’ve gone back and forth on this game as it’s not often that you get a team that’s 14-1 SU at home as a dog. However, I think that goes to speak to how well the Panthers have been performing in conference play, and how much better UNI has been playing over their last 10 games, going 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS while Drake’s gone 4-6 SU and 3-7 ATS. I do think it’ll be a close game throughout, but ultimately I see the Panthers escaping with a 4-6 point win, so I’ll lay the points with Northern Iowa in this one.

Chris’s Pick Northern Iowa -3.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.