Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#645 Providence -9.5 vs.
#646 Northwestern 132
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#645 Providence College
#646 Northwestern University
2-0
0-1
15-19
12-18-2
18-16
11-20-1
71
65
69
65

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The Providence Friars will travel on the road to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Wednesday evening for a non-conference showdown against the Northwestern Wildcats.

A quality win will be up for grabs, as this will be a Tier-B game for both teams. Providence is trying to open the season with a 3-0 record for the first time since the 2016 season. They will be up against a rebuilding Northwestern team that is going to be hungry for a win after being upset in their season-opener against Merrimack.

Friars cruise to 2-0 start

Providence won their second straight game over the weekend, defeating NJIT 76-47 to improve to 2-0. Sophomore David Duke scored a team-high 21 points while senior Alpha Diallo added 15 points and 10 rebounds to help the Friars win their second straight non-conference game. The Friars limited NJIT to just 5-for-26 shooting from beyond the arc and forced 23 turnovers on the night to cruise to victory.

Ed Cooley’s squad comes into the week slotted at No. 18 in the latest KenPom rankings as they prepare for their first chance at a quality win this season. Providence has scored 107.0 points per 100 possessions (31st in the NCAA) through their first two games while sporting an effective field goal percentage of 57.2 percent (42nd in the NCAA). A sign of a good team, the Friars haven’t been shy about sharing they rock, and as a result, they have assisted on an impressive 74.6 percent of their field goal attempts (3rd in the NCAA). They have been efficient from the field as well, shooting 56.0 percent from 2-point range (68th in the NCAA) and 39.1 percent from deep (62nd in the NCAA). When they do miss, Providence crashes the offensive glass with vigor, which has helped it haul in a whopping 40.5 percent of their missed field goal attempts for the season (24th in the NCAA).

On defense, Providence has limited opposing teams to only 88.2 points per 100 possessions (23rd in the NCAA) for the season while limiting them to an effective field goal percentage of 37.4 percent (21st in the NCAA). The Friars have also forced opposing teams to cough up the basketball 28.6 percent of the time on the defensive end of the floor (14th in the NCAA).

Wildcats lose season-opener vs. Merrimack

Northwestern opened the season with an ugly 71-61 loss at home against Merrimack on Friday. The Wildcats started the game on an 8-0 run but hit just 2 of their 16 3-point attempts and turned the ball over 13 times on the night in the upset defeat. Sophomore Pete Nance scored 19 points while Miller Kopp added 11 for the Wildcats, who started the season with a loss for the first time since 2008.

After a pair of 20-win seasons and the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, head coach Chris Collins has fallen on hard times at Northwestern. The Wildcats have suddenly sputtered their way to back-to-back losing seasons and are fresh off a disappointing start to the season. Collins’ squad enters the week ranked No. 110 in the latest KenPom rankings. If their opening game of the season is going to be any indication, it could be a tough year for the Wildcats. They played at one of the slowest paces in the country and shot an effective field goal percentage of only 39.6 percent (303rd in the NCAA), including 12.5 percent from 3-point range (337th in the NCAA).

On defense, the Wildcats have given up 93.0 points per 100 possessions (73rd in the NCAA) but they allowed Merrimack to shoot a whopping 65 percent from inside the arc (324th in the NCAA). With tougher competition on the horizon, Northwestern will need to find a way to limit easy baskets in the painted area.

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After the Wildcats lost to Merrimack in the season-opener, it’s hard to give them much of a second look here. Alpha Diallo is a physical presence on both ends of the floor for the Friars, but Providence has plenty of talented upperclassmen who are ready to contribute, including graduate senior transfer Luwane Pipkins. Unlike in previous seasons, the Friars can really shoot the ball from deep this year, which should open up all sorts of things for them offensively. Take Providence to cover the spread on the road against Northwestern on Wednesday night. 

Prediction: Providence Friars -8.5

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Providence pushes the pace on offense and makes their opponents work for good shots on the defensive end of the floor. Through two games, the Friars have gotten their shots up in an average of only 14.6 seconds on the offensive end of the floor (31st in the NCAA). However, the same can’t be said about Northwestern. Collins’ squads have traditionally been slow-paced teams and the same can be said about these Wildcats, who enter this game shooting only 12.5 percent from beyond the arc. Take this game to stay under the projected total on Wednesday evening. 

Prediction: Under 130
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.