The Northern Illinois Huskies (2-4, 1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U) battle the Northern Iowa Panthers (1-3, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U) in non-conference play on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies defeated LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday. The Panthers were dealt a narrow defeat by Grand Canyon in their previous bout. These foes last met in 2019 in a game Northern Iowa won by a 64-54 score.
Northern Illinois Rebounds in Win vs. LIU Brooklyn
The Northern Illinois Huskies are eyeing their third victory of the season. They dropped the season opener against non-DI foe Illinois Springfield followed by road defeats against Northwestern and Georgia Tech. The Huskies were big dogs in a loss to Sam Houston State and were 6.5 point favorites in a 86-61 win against Long Island on Wednesday. The Huskies have covered in two of their four games that had a betting line.
Keshawn Williams has posted a few big performances this season including a remarkable 28 points in Wednesday’s victory. The junior guard has reached 20 points on two occasions and is averaging 17 PPG and 3.7 RPG. David Coit has scored double-digits in all but one game. The sophomore guard will have success from deep. He is averaging 14.7 PPG and has connected on 38% of his threes. Zarique Nutter has scored at least 10 points in four consecutive games. The sophomore guard has filed an average of 13.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG.
🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀 https://t.co/kPgVhrcY7L— NIU Men's Basketball (@GoHuskiesMBB) November 23, 2022
The Huskies are ranked 288th in DI in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and have lost their two true road games at Northwestern and Georgia Tech. NIU has struggled offensively due in part to the quality of the opponents. They are only averaging 68.7 points, landing them 265th. The shooting has been poor but the Huskies were able to sink 54% of their field goals on Wednesday. The Huskies are conceding an average of 72.7 points, pegging them 268th in DI.
Northern Iowa Pegged with Third Straight Defeat
The Northern Iowa Panthers are searching for their first win against a DI opponent this season. Northern Iowa won the season opener against non-DI foe Wartburg but has struggled in their next three games. They lost to Richmond, were competitive in a loss to San Francisco, and most recently, were four-point dogs in a 69-67 home win against Grand Canyon. They have covered in two out of three last three games.
Bowen Born has been productive. The sophomore guard has eclipsed 15 points in all four games including 19 in the loss to GCU and is averaging 17.8 PPG on 42% shooting. Tytan Anderson has seen a big increase in playing time this season. The sophomore guard already has collected three double-doubles and has reported an average of 12.8 PPG along with 11 RPG. Nate Heise is a key player but unfortunately has a hand injury and is out for the rest of the month. The sophomore guard has scored 24 points in his two games.
The Panthers are positioned 138th in DI in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and are strong enough to be in the top half of the MVC this year. Northern Iowa is scoring an average of 74 points, landing them 169th. They are shooting a solid 47.7%. Northern Iowa is conceding an average of 65.3 points, placing them 110th.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Northern Illinois Huskies have played a few power conference squads that will help them going forward. They covered in a loss to Northwestern who remains undefeated and enters with confidence after a dominating 86-61 win against LIU Brooklyn. Northern Iowa has not looked good. Their only victory was against non-DI opponent Wartburg in the season opener.
Furthermore, Northern Iowa is playing without Nate Heise which is a big loss. The sophomore guard is a key player, standing third in the team scoring with an average of 12 PPG. The defense on these squads is close. The Huskies are allowing 105.5 points per 100 possessions while the Panthers are at 100 points.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect a high-scoring game. Northern Illinois is having trouble containing its foes. They allowed 73 points against a non-DI foe and 88 points against Sam Houston State earlier this week. The Huskies rank 256th in field goal defense and the Panthers have the ability to take advantage. They are shooting a solid 47.7% on the season.
In addition, the Huskies have momentum after connecting on 54% of their field goals on Wednesday including a 48% performance from three-point range. Northern Iowa has allowed an average of 70.7 points in their three games against DI opponents this season.