The Northern Iowa Panthers and the BYU Cougars meet Saturday in college basketball action from Marriott Center. Northern Iowa is 20-11 overall this year. The Panthers beat Saint Louis in their last game. As for the Cougars, they’re 23-10 so far and coming off a win over Long Beach State. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Northern Iowa started out the year on a shaky 4-7 run. The Panthers have only lost consecutive games once since then, though. After a recent five-game win streak, the Panthers lost to Loyola Chicago in the conference tournament before beating Saint Louis in the NIT.
Matched up against the Billikens in the tourney game Wednesday, the Panthers got off to a 43-38 halftime lead. Northern Iowa scored 37 more points from there in an 80-68 win. Leading scorer AJ Green finished on 21 points and four rebounds.
Over on the BYU side, they lost four straight games back in January/February but otherwise haven’t lost consecutive games this year either. The Cougars had a three-game win streak snapped by a conference tournament loss to San Francisco, though.
In their first NIT matchup versus Long Beach State back on Wednesday, the Cougars were down 41-46 at the break. BYU stormed back on a 52-26 run in an eventual 93-72 win. Caleb Lohner led the way on his 20 points and four rebounds.
BYU is 1-6 ATS in their last seven Saturday games and 1-4 ATS in their last five after an ATS win. The Cougars are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 overall.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games and 5-1 ATS in their last six overall. The over is 11-4 in Northern Iowa’s last 15 road games.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on Northern Iowa here. The Panthers had a rough game (43 points) against Loyola Chicago back on March 5, but otherwise they’ve been scoring very well lately. Northern Iowa has hit 72 or more points in six of their last seven outings and should be able to post a decent total here.
As for BYU, they’ve hit 75 points or more in four of the last five themselves so this one could easily end up a high-total finish. I like Northern Iowa well enough to think they’ll stay in cover range, though. Should be a fun game to watch.