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Western Kentucky vs. FIU - 1/17/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
FIU at Western Kentucky
Date & Time Thursday January 17, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)
Location
E. A. Diddle Arena
Bowling Green, KY
The Line
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -12.5 -- Over/Under: 163
TV Channel
beIN Sports
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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The FIU Golden Panthers will travel to E. A. Diddle Arena to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The FIU Golden Panthers dropped to 11-6 (2-2 C-USA) on the season after being defeated by the Old Dominion Monarchs, 75-74, this past Saturday. FIU did a solid job on the offensive end against a tough Old Dominion defense, however, couldn’t pull off the victory after the Monarchs Dajour Dickens put back an Ahmad Caver miss with just 1.1 left in regulation to give Old Dominion the victory. FIU shot 44.6% from the field & 40.0% from beyond the arc, however, was outrebounded by the Monarchs by a 47-30 margin in the loss. Leading the way for the Golden Panthers was Brian Beard Jr. who had a double-double with 28 points, 10 assists, and 4 steals.

On the season, FIU is averaging 88.5 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field. The Golden Panthers are averaging 8.9 three-pointers per game on 30.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, FIU has been led by Brian Beard Jr. (19.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 3.5 spg), Devon Andrews (14.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.8 spg), Trejon Jacob (12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 spg), and Willy Nunez Jr. (10.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg).

Defensively, FIU is allowing their opponents to average 80.5 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Golden Panthers have a rebound margin of -7.9 and a turnover margin of 7.7.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 8-8 (1-2 C-USA) on the season after being defeated by the Marshall Thundering Herd, 70-69, this past Saturday. Western Kentucky held a decent lead for the majority of the game, however, the offensive struggled down the stretch and Marshall was able to secure the victory after a Jannson Williams three-pointer with :21 seconds left in regulation gave Marshall the lead for good. Western Kentucky shot 48.2% from the field & 31.3% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Hilltoppers was Taveion Hollingsworth who had 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal.

On the season, Western Kentucky is averaging 72.4 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers are averaging 5.7 three-pointers per game on 35.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Western Kentucky has been led by Taveion Hollingsworth (15.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.4 spg), Charles Bassey (14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, 2.4 bpg), Jared Savage (13.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.1 apg), and Josh Anderson (9.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 spg).

Defensively, Western Kentucky is allowing their opponents to an average of 71.8 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers have a rebound margin of 2.6 and a turnover margin of -1.9.

The Golden Panthers are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss. The Hilltoppers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.

FIU has been alternating wins and losses since their 81-80 victory in late November ad although they like to push the pace and have the 4th ranked scoring offense in College Basketball, the Golden Panthers have been allowing a ton of points as they currently rank 336th in scoring defense & 264th in defensive FG%. Western Kentucky couldn’t pull off victories in their recent tough road match-ups at Old Dominion & Marshall, however, is a balanced team that ranks 218th in scoring offense, 114th in FG%, and 194th in scoring defense.

FIU is a team that likes to push the pace and has done a solid job of creating turnovers, however, the Golden Panthers can really struggle defensively and basically have no presence on the boards as they currently rank 348th in rebound margin. Western Kentucky is a solid team has picked up quality wins over West Virginia, Arkansas, Wisconsin this season however, this is a pretty big line and I’m a bit concerned about the Hilltoppers protecting the basketball as they come in ranked just 298th in turnover margin. FIU lost by just an 83-76 margin at Western Kentucky last season and as I think FIU is a better team this season, I’m taking the Golden Panthers and the points in this one.

Pick:
FIU Golden Panthers +12.5

Brett has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2014 and currently focuses on College Basketball, College Football, and Fantasy Sports!

We have to deal with Brett being a New England sports fan as he is from New Hampshire so you can imagine how willing he is to talk about Boston sports.

Brett loves diving into the numbers/analytics of his match-ups to provide you with not only great information but most importantly, winners!

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