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Northern Kentucky vs. Northern Illinois - 12/20/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Northern Illinois Huskies (6-4) at Northern Kentucky Norse (9-3)
Date & Time Thursday December 20, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Northern Kentucky Norse -7.5 -- Over/Under: 149
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C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

The Northern Illinois Huskies and the Northern Kentucky Norse meet in college basketball action from BB&T Arena on Thursday night.

The Northern Illinois Huskies come into this game looking for some consistent play after alternating wins and losses in each of their last 7 games after a 91-76 win over Western Illinois in their last outing. Eugene German led the Huskies with 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting with 4 threes while Levi Bradley came right behind with 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting with 9 rebounds and Lacey James added 17 points with 10 rebounds for the double-double. Dante Thorpe added 14 points on 7 of 12 shooting to round out the foursome of double-digit scorers for NIU in the win, while Rod Henry-Hayes dished out a team-high 4 assists as well in the victory. German leads the Huskies in scoring with 21.4 points per game while James leads Northern Illinois in rebounding with 7.2 rebounds per game and Thorpe leads NIU in assists with 2.9 helpers per game this season. As a team, Northern Illinois is scoring 81.7 points per game while owning the best field-goal percentage in the country, shooting 52.6% from the field in addition to a 38.3% mark from behind the 3-point line and 68.9% from the foul line this season.

The Northern Kentucky Norse will look to build some steam after a 72-66 win over Miami-Ohio in their last outing. Drew McDonald led Northern Kentucky with 21 points on 8 of 18 shooting while Zaynah Robinson came right behind with 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting with 3 threes. Tyler Sharpe added 15 points with 3 threes and 7 rebounds while Dantez Walton added 10 points and 8 rebounds to round out the scoring in double figures for NKU in the winning effort. Paul Djoko also added a team-high 4 assists as well in the win. McDonald leads Northern Kentucky with an average of 18.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while Robinson leads the Norse with 3.5 assists per game this season. As a team, Northern Kentucky is averaging 79.1 points per game on 48.1% shooting from the field, 35.9% from behind the arc and 61.3% from the foul line this season.

Northern Illinois is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games against the Horizon League while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 road games. Northern Kentucky is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games while the under is 3-0-1 in their last 4 home games against a team with a losing road record.

I’ve gone back and forth on this game as both teams can score the basketball. However, while the Norse are solid at home, going 7-0 SU this season, they’ve only covered 2 of their 5 lined games at the BB&T Arena, winning 3 of their last 4 games by 6 points. Northern Illinois has had some tough luck on the road, but the Huskies have the best field goal percentage in the country and I think the Huskies can do enough to keep this one close throughout, so I’ll take a shot with Northern Illinois and the points in this game.

Pick:
Northern Illinois +7.5

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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