Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#869 Northern Kentucky 142.5 vs.
#870 Wright State -4
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 9:00pm EST
Written by David Hess



#869 Northern Kentucky University
#870 Wright State University


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College Basketball action within the Horizon League on Friday evening and we will see the Northern Kentucky Norse grapple with the Wright State Raiders at Wright State Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. The Norse won two of the three meetings between these teams a year ago. Northern Kentucky enters this game at 14-6 overall, including 6-1 within the Horizon League while the Raiders have gone 7-1 in league play and 17-4 overall.

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The Norse Crush The Vikings

Northern Kentucky enters this game on a roll as they have won their last five games in a row and they have outscored their foes by 20.6 ppg over that stretch. The Norse are starting to pound teams but it will not be that easy in this one as Wright State is the best team in the league at the moment. The big key will be slowing down a strong Wright State offense that is 18th in the nation in scoring, putting up 80.9 ppg so far. Northern Kentucky has a shot at doing so as they have allowed just 59.8 ppg over their last five games. This is a very tough defensive team. In their latest game, the Norse crushed Cleveland State by a score of 75-49. Their defense had an outstanding showing in the game but we also note that it was against one of the worst offensive teams in the nation and Wright State is not.

The Norse allowed the Vikings to connect on just 31% of their shots from the field overall while Cleveland State was 0/5 from beyond the arc. Northern Kentucky The offense was not great in the contest as the Norse shot just 40% from the field overall, including 29% (7/24) while connecting on 22 of their 25 attempts from the free-throw line. Trevon Faulkner led the attack with 24 points while Tyler Sharpe had 16 points. Northern Kentucky is 14-6 overall, including 6-2 in league play. KenPom has them ranked 106th in the nation and they have faced the 298th ranked schedule.

Northern Kentucky enters this game ranked 109th in the nation in scoring at 74.4 ppg, while also ranking 99th in shooting (45.3%), 199th in three-point shooting (32.9%) and 221st in free throw shooting (68.7%). On defense, they are 63rd in points allowed, giving up 64.7 ppg, while also ranking 99th in defensive FG% (40.8%) and 3rd in three-point defense (26.7%).

Raiders Look To Stay Atop The Horizon League

The Wright State Raiders are having a heck of a season so far as they enter this game at 17-4 overall, including 7-1 in league play. They are atop the Horizon League standing and in order to stay there, the Raiders will need to take down the red-hot Norse, who are 2nd in the league at 6-2. The Raiders enter this game having won 10 of their last 11 games and they have averaged 82.2 ppg over that stretch. He re is a stat for you. The Raiders have averaged 73.7 ppg in 25 of their last 26 seasons. This has never been a great offensive team but that has all changed this year. They have a tough test in this one as Northern Kentucky has allowed just 59.8 ppg in their last five games. The Raider offense against the Norse defense should be a fun battle to watch.

In their last game, Wright State topped Youngstown State at home by a score of 79-71 to move to 11-3 at home for the year. The Raiders shot just 41% from the field overall and they were 5/18 (38%) from long range while missing 10 of their 30 free throw attempts but they did commit just six turnovers while the Penguins committed 11. That was the difference in the contest. Leading their attack was Loudon Love, who had 21 points while Billy Wampler had 16. The defense played well as they held Youngstown State to just 38% shooting overall, including 19% (4/21) shooting from long range. The Raiders are ranked 39th by KenPom and they have faced the 107th rated schedule.

The Raiders enter this game ranked 18th in the nation in scoring at 80.9 ppg, while also ranking 119th in shooting (45.0%), 88th in three-point shooting (35.2%) and 300th in free throw shooting (66.0%). On defense, they are 207th in points allowed, giving up 70.0 ppg, while also ranking 128th in defensive FG% (41.4%) and 75th in three-point defense (30.7%).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


This is a huge game within the Horizon League and I will side with the home team here. Northern Kentucky enters this game home as they have won their last five games in a row and by an average of 20.6 ppg but the Raiders have won 10 of their last 11 games overall and they have gone 11-3 here at home. Wright State has outscored its foes by 12.2 ppg at home for the year. The Raiders have averaged 80.3 ppg at home while the Norse have averaged just 66.7 ppg on the road. That is a big discrepancy and while NKU has the edge on defense, I just do not see the offense keeping pace in this one. Take the Raiders to increase their lead in the Horizon League with a big win in this one.

Prediction: Wright State -3

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


I am a fan of playing Unders in huge games and this is one of the biggest in the Horizon League this year. The Raiders do like an uptempo game as they rank 43rd in the nation in pace this year but NKU ranks 308th and I will look for them to try and slow the game down. The Raiders have allowed just 68.1 ppg here at home for the year while the Norse have averaged 66.7 ppg on the road. The NKU defense has been excellent of late as they have allowed just 59.8 ppg over their last five games while allowing just 63.6 ppg on the road. I see them slowing down the pace and using their defense to try and win this one. Their road games have averaged just 130.3 ppg and I see no more than 135 in this one. The Under is 9-1-1 in Northern Kentucky's last 11 games following a straight-up win of more than 20 points and 8-2 in Wright State's last 10 Friday games. That seals the deal for me.

Prediction: Under 141.5

Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.