Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#609 Portland State vs.
#610 Indiana
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#609 Portland State University
#610 Indiana University
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When and where: November 9, 2019, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN, 2:00 PM ET

After blowing out the Puget Sound Loggers, business picks up immediately for the Portland State Vikings on Saturday when traveling to Assembly Hall for a head-to-head tilt with the Indiana Hoosiers. A full-team effort for the Vikings resulted in five players scoring over double-digits. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers leaned heavily on the standout playmaking abilities of junior forward Justin Smith in a 98-65 blowout win over Western Illinois.

Portland State won’t go away quietly

Most are expecting Portland State to get ran over in Saturday’s meeting with Indiana. Granted, they are coming into the game as heavy underdogs, but nothing is ever set in stone so early in the season. Teams are still trying to settle into a rhythm for a new basketball year, and upsets are more prone to happen.

The Vikings recently made easy work of Puget Sound by forcing them into 31 turnovers in a 94-69 victory. Coach Barret Perry is known for his aggressive press defense, and the Vikings are sure to use it against Indiana as much as they can. Being on the road, they’ll do whatever they can to force turnovers and create extra shot opportunities.

Their win over Puget Sound was impressive considering how many players were able to get involved and contribute on the offensive end of the floor. However, when it comes to attacking the Hoosiers offense, the Vikings will lean heavily on Holland “Boo Boo” Woods and center Sal Nuhu. Both are well-rounded players capable of causing two-way problems. All bets are off if Indiana’s shooting percentage drops and they fail to pull away early.

Can the Hoosiers handle the press?

Don’t expect Coach Perry to suddenly change what he’s coached for years. So the Hoosiers should enter this game prepared to deal with a suffocating press defense. The goal of the Vikings is to try to pressure opponents into making mistakes since there’s usually no chance of them winning a finesse game.

Freshman guard Armaan Franklin has to do a good job of taking care of the basketball when dribbling down court and setting up plays. He was brilliant against Western Illinois, and he figures to get more opportunities on Saturday.

Smith won’t have a free lane to the rim with Nuhu patrolling the center of the paint. Whatever the 6-foot-8 senior lacks in size, he makes up for with his physicality down low.

The Hoosiers will come into this game with an enforcer of their own as well to go head-to-head with Nuhu. Trayce Jackson-Davis notched four blocks under his belt in the opener, and he’ll look to cause similar problems at the rim for Portland State.

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Suhu is a nice defensive piece for the Vikings, and they’ll be facing an Indiana offense that doesn’t exactly blow anyone away on paper. It’s a team that prided itself on its defense ranking 50th in the nation last season. Meanwhile, Portland State struggled on both sides of the ball and finished with a 16-16 overall record.

Hoosiers coach Archie Miller will have a plan in place to help deal with the Vikings’ press-heavy defense. The lack of a key difference maker on offense will ultimately do Portland State in on Saturday. While the Hoosiers’ defense isn’t where it wants to be right now, it’s still a formidable group that should be able to severely limit Portland State.

Smith will have another big game as the Hoosiers begin to pull away in the second-half of a game that starts off tougher than most expected. Don’t sleep on guard Al Durham getting hot again from 3-pointer against an overaggressive Portland State defense. Give me the Hoosiers to come out on top with their second win of the season.

Prediction: Indiana Hoosiers (-20)

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These are two capable defensive teams that aren’t built to be running up the scoreboard on a nightly basis. Of course, they’re able to do it when competing against opponents in weaker NCAA divisions, but that run will quickly come to an end when the two teams face off on Saturday. The Hoosiers have a reputation to uphold as a standout defensive team from last season.

Portland State will ultimately suffer a defensive collapse in the second-half, but I envision them doing enough damage early to make the game seem like it’ll be close. That’s at least until Smith and Durham step up to ruin everything. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (146.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.