Northern Illinois Huskies (5-3) at Butler Bulldogs (6-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 8, 2018, 4:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Butler Bulldogs -16.5 -- Over/Under: 142.5
The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Butler Bulldogs meet in college basketball action from Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
The Northern Illinois Huskies will look to find some consistency after alternating wins and losses in each of their last 5 games, but took a step in the right direction with a 71-62 win over UC-Davis in their last outing. Levi Bradley led the Huskies with 15 points on 5 of 13 shooting with a pair of threes while Eugene German added 14 points with a pair of threes of his own along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Rod Henry-Hayes and Gairges Daow each had 10 points and 6 rebounds to round out the quartet of double-digit scorers for the Huskies in the winning effort with Daow adding a pair of blocks as well. German leads Northern Illinois in scoring with 21.8 points per game while Lacey James leads the Huskies in rebounding with 7.5 rebounds per game and Dante Thorpe leads NIU in assists with 3 assists per game this season. As a team, Northern Illinois is averaging 82.2 points per game on 51.9% shooting from the field, 36.7% from behind the arc and 69.6% from the foul line this season.
The Butler Bulldogs will look to build on their 6-2 start to the year after a 70-55 win over Brown in their last time out. Paul Jorgensen led the Bulldogs with 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting with 3 threes and 5 rebounds while Kamar Baldwin and Henry Baddley each had 12 points to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Butler with Baldwin adding a share of the team-high with 4 assists. Aaron Thompson added 6 points and a team-high 6 rebounds with 4 assists of his own in the winning effort. Jorgensen leads Butler in scoring with 17.4 points per game while Baldwin leads the Bulldogs with an average of 6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season. As a team, Butler is averaging 73.5 points per game on 45.4% shooting from the field, 34.2% from behind the arc and 74.1% from the foul line this season.
Northern Illinois is 6-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 road games. Butler is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 non-conference games.
I’m willing to concede that Butler is the better team here and have made Hinkle Fieldhouse one of the toughest home environments in the Big East to go on the road and play in. However, while the Bulldogs are unbeaten at home this season, the Bulldogs haven’t been a dominant force ATS at home, tending to let their foot off the gas and let the opposition sneak in the back door for a cover. Northern Illinois has some talented players that can score the basketball and I think the Huskies are more than capable of keeping this one within the number so I’ll take Northern Illinois and the points here.