Drake Bulldogs 5-12 (6-7 ATS) at Northern Iowa Panthers 5-11 (3-12 ATS)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 15, McLeod Center, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 4:00pm EST (ESPN3)
Spread: Northern Iowa -6.5; Total: 139
After finishing just 2-16 in the Missouri Valley Conference a season ago, the Drake Bulldogs are off to a 3-2 start in league play. On Sunday afternoon they travel to Northern Iowa to take on a Panthers squad that is 0-5 in the MVC and the only team in the conference yet to record a win. UNI leads the all-time series 43-25 and has won nine of the last ten head-to-head meetings, including an 82-66 win last February.
Bulldogs Trying to Build Momentum.
It was a tough start for Drake as the Bulldogs won just once in their first 11 outings, and that victory came by just 15 points over a Division-III school. Since conference play began, however, Drake has looked like a different ball club. The squad kicked off the campaign wit a win over Loyola-Illinois before dropping road contests to Southern Illinois and Wichita State. Since then, the team has won back-to-back contests against Evansville and Indiana State, both by double-digits.
In their last four wins, the ‘Dogs have averaged 94.5 points pe game and shot over 50 percent from the floor. De’Antae McMurray is averaging 12 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in MVC play. Junior Ore Arogundade has hit 14-of-24 from distance in the last six games.
Panthers Looking Pitiful
Northern Iowa jumped out to a 3-0 start including a 22-point win over Arizona State and a six-point victory Oklahoma. The momentum came to a sudden halt as they lost their next four contest. The team took a short break from losing by beating two mediocre opponents but they have since lost seven straight, including all five conference games.
Jeremy Morgan is listed as doubtful for the game against the Bulldogs. Morgan was the preseason MVC player of the year and would certainly bolster his squads chances on Sunday afternoon if he was able to go. The seven-game skid is the most since the 2000-01 season when the team dropped 10 in a row. Senior guard Jordan Ashton has led the squad in scoring over the last three games with 11.7 points per contest while also making seven of his 13 attempts from beyond the arc. The team is 0-10 this season when scoring less than 70 points.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Missouri Valley
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
Northern Iowa is:
- 1-12 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Missouri Valley
It is truly puzzling why Vegas keeps favoring Northern Iowa in these games. Jeremy Morgan is once against expected to miss the contest, just like he did when they lost against Bradley. Oddly enough they were also favored against the Braves before falling b 11 points. The Panthers have lost seven games in a row and are still winless in conference play. While they do play better on their home court, they still have no business being favored by 6.5 points vs. any MVC opponent at this point.