Wichita State vs. Northern Iowa
NCAA Basketball: Sunday, January 8th, 4:00 pm EST
Line: Wichita State -10
Wichita State heads to Northern Iowa to take on the Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Wichita State is playing great basketball as they have for the last several years, and are off to a 13-3 start and are in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 3-0 record. They have won four straight games heading into this contest and have a point differential of 19.8 points.
Northern Iowa has been one of the more schizophrenic teams in the nation this year. They started off with three wins, lost four straight, won two, and now have lost five straight. Every stretch has been a winning or a losing streak. No alternating losses or wins here. Overall, they are 5-9 with an 0-3 record in conference. Despite their record they only have a -2.6 point differential.
Wichita State wins their fourth straight
Wichita State won their fourth straight game on Wednesday and stayed perfect in conference at 3-0. This was one of the easier ones as they raced off to a 30 point halftime lead. Yeah, you read that right! They were up 51-21 at halftime and then played the end of the bench for the majority of the second half, still winning by 25.
With the loss of Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet, the Shockers had to find some new talent, but it looks like they are more of a balanced team than anything else. Their leading scorer this year is Darral Willis Jr. at 12.5 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding at 6.3. Nice numbers but certainly not star status like Baker and Van Vleet. Still, it seems to be working for the 13-3 Shockers.
We’re going streaking
Northern Iowa has been the streakiest team in college this season, and now they are on their poorest stretch of the year. They have lost five straight games and only loss has been by double digits. Their latest loss was 77-66 to Loyola (CHI) on Wednesday. They were down 11 at halftime and never really made it a game. They shot under 40% from the field and their offensive troubles continued.
They haven’t scored more than 64 points in any game during the five game losing streak. As a team they are shooting under 40%. For a game or two that’s understandable, but no team should be shooting under 40% this far into the season. They now have to face a formidable defense in Wichita State.
The Wichita State Shockers are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- 38-15 ATS in their last 53 road games.
- 43-20-1 ATS in their last 64 vs. Missouri Valley.
The Northern Iowa Panthers are:
- 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
I just wrote a review of a Gonzaga game in which I suggested I will bet them in conference until a team shows they can stay with them. I feel the same way about Wichita State. It’s not just that they are a much better team, but it’s the fact they cover a lot more. Just look at the trends above. Let’s go with the road team here.