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Bradley vs. Northern Iowa - 12/31/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Northern Iowa Panthers (8-5) at Bradley Braves (10-4)
Date & Time Sunday December 31, 2017, 2:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Bradley Braves PK -- Over/Under: 115.5
TV Channel
ESPN3
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NCAA BB | Northern Iowa Panthers (8-5) at Bradley Braves (10-4)
USA TODAY Sports

We have some Missouri Valley conference college basketball action as the Northern Iowa Panthers face off against the Bradley Braves. 

The Northern Iowa Panthers will look to bounce back and snap a 3 game losing streak after falling to Southern Illinois in their last outing by a final score of 56-53 falling in their conference opener. Tywhon Pickford was the lone Panther to finish in double figures scoring with 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Klint Carlson added 8 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while Juwan McCloud added 7 points with a pair of steals. Bennett Koch scored just 5 points with 8 rebounds, but still leads UNI with an average of 14.3 points per game, while Pickford leads the team in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game and McCloud leads the team in assists with 2.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Northern Iowa is scoring 67.3 points per game on 42.7% shooting from the field, 35.3% from behind the arc and 72.4% from the foul line this season. The Panthers also possess a stout defensive unit, holding opponents to just 60.2 points per game, the 6th-fewest in the country.

The Bradley Braves will try to rebound from a pair of back-to-back losses, including dropping their conference opener as well, to Drake by a final score of 66-64. Darrell Brown led the team with 19 points on 5 of 12 shooting with 3 threes, while Donte Thomas added 10 points and 6 rebounds as the lone pair of Braves to finish in double figures scoring in the loss. Elijah Childs added 8 points to match his team-high 8 rebounds along with 3 blocks in the losing effort for Bradley. Brown leads the team with an average of 13.6 points and 3.8 assists per game, while Childs is the team’s top rebounder with 6.4 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Bradley is scoring 68.7 points per game on 43.5% shooting from the field, 39.1% from behind the arc and 66.4% from the foul line this season.

Northern Iowa is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games following a loss while the under is 10-3 in their last 13 conference matchups. Bradley is 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 home games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 conference matchups while the under is 13-3 in their last 16 games overall. Northern Iowa is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings between these two teams. 

I know Northern Iowa has had the bulk of the success in this matchup, but something just seems wrong about a pick 'em line against Bradley who has been pretty much money at home, so I'll side with the Braves here.

Pick:
Bradley PK

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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