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Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan - 3/2/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
Date & Time Saturday March 2, 2019, 3:00 PM (EST)
NIU Convocation Center
DeKalb, IL
The Line
Northern Illinois Huskies -3 -- O/U: 131
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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Michigan Eagles and the Northern Illinois Huskies meet in college basketball MAC-tion from the NIU Convocation Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Eastern Michigan Eagles will look to bounce back from a 77-66 loss to Central Michigan in their last outing. Paul Jackson led the Eagles with 19 points along with a team-high 5 assists and 4 steals while James Thompson IV had 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting with a team-high 12 rebounds for the double-double. Elijah Minnie chipped in 11 points to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Eastern Michigan in the loss, while Ty Groce had 9 points with 3 blocks and Boubacar Toure had 8 points with 9 rebounds as well in the losing effort. Jackson leads Eastern Michigan with an average of 13.9 points and 4.8 assists per game while Thompson IV leads the Eagles in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 10.9 points to go along with his team-high 10.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Eastern Michigan is averaging 70 points per game on 45.4% shooting from the field, 29.7% from behind the arc and 62.4% from the foul line this season.

The Northern Illinois Huskies will look to build some steam after snapping a 6-game losing streak with a 70-65 win over Western Michigan in their last outing. Levi Bradley led the Huskies with 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting while Rod Henry-Hayes and Noah McCarty each had 12 points with Henry-Hayes shooting a perfect 4 for 4 from downtown while McCarty grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds. Dante Thorpe added 11 points to round out the scoring in double figures for NIU in the win while Eugene German had 7 points to match his team-high 7 assists as well in the victory. German still leads the Huskies with an average of 19.8 points and 3.1 assists per game while Lacey James leads the Huskies in rebounding with 6.7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Northern Illinois is averaging 73.5 points per game on 47.2% shooting from the field, 35.4% from behind the arc and 72% from the foul line this season.

Eastern Michigan is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 conference games while the under is 12-3-1 in their last 16 games against a team with a losing record. Northern Illinois is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win. Eastern Michigan is 4-10 ATS in the last 14 meetings between these two teams and 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams at Northern Illinois.

Northern Illinois with a low line at home is tempting considering how much the Eagles have struggled ATS in this matchup. However, the Huskies have not only been struggling to win games as of late, but they’ve been struggling to cover too, and in this line of work, a cover is pretty much all we are after. I’d say home court makes the difference here, but truth be told, the Huskies haven’t covered any of their last 4 home games, so home court isn’t that much of an advantage here. I’ll take a shot with the Eagles and the points as I just don’t trust the Huskies right now.

Eastern Michigan +3

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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