Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#747 Northern Illinois -3 vs.
#748 UC Davis 131
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes



#747 Northern Illinois University
#748 University of California, Davis


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Northern Illinois takes on UC Davis in a non-conference matchup on Saturday from Davis, Calif. The Huskies had won six straight before falling at Saint Mary's, 61-49 on Thursday. UC Davis is coming off an 85-66 win over Northern Arizona to break a six-game losing streak.

Last season, Northern Illinois defeated the Aggies at home, 71-62.

Tough start to a long road trip

Northern Illinois had won six straight in impressive fashion, but had not really been tested before facing Saint Mary's on Thursday. The Gaels led the entire way and won their eighth straight game. They held the Huskies to just 36% shooting from the field and 25% (5-20) from three-point range. Northern Illinois did a nice job defensively to keep this from being a huge blowout, holding the Gaels to 39% shooting from the field. Eugene German was the only Huskies player in double figures with 16 points.

German (6-0, 185) leads the Huskies with 20.8 points per game on 43.5% shooting (35.5% 3pt). Northern Illinois averages just 69.4 points per game on 41.4% shooting (36.8% 3pt). So they need a strong defense and they have one. NIU allows just 61.7 points per game on 38.5% shooting (27.6% 3-point). They are outrebounding teams by 7.9 per contest and committing 13.4 turnovers per contest.

Home Sweet Home

UC Davis returns home after going 1-3 on the road. Their last home game was on Nov. 20, when they beat Sacramento State, 61-51. They did end their four-game road trip with a win over Northern Arizona on Wednesday. Guard Joe Mooney scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Aggies to the 19-point win. Mooney did most of the damage in the second half with 31 points when UC Davis broke open a tie game to outscore the Lumberjacks 49-30. Stefan Gonzalez added 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting (5-8 3pt) to lead the Aggies, who shot 60% from the field (10-19 3pt).

Mooney leads the Aggies with 16.0 points per game, while 5-11 guard Ezra Majon adds 12.5 points and 4.8 assists and 6-11 sophomore center Matt Neufeld contributes 11.7 points per contest. UC Davis averages 71.0 points per game on 46.7% shooting (39.5% 3pt). They allow 72.6 points on 45.9% shooting (34.8% 3pt). They are getting pounded on the boards by 5.9 per game and turing the ball over 12.5 times per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


UC Davis is a terrible rebounding team and that's not never a good thing when you take the basketball court. You have to rely on three-point shooting and finesse player. Their three-pont shooting is solid but they don't defend well (45.9% FG). They don't really force turnovers either as they average just 4.3 steals per contest and turn it over 16.3 times per game. On the other hand, UNI has the advantage up with 6-9 senior center Lacey James, who is averaging 7.3 rebounds per contest. Mooney will be slowed down in this one and expect a big game from German. Go with the road team.

Prediction: Northern Illinois -3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


If you like transition basketball, this game will not be for you. UC Davis ranks 296th in the nation in pace of play with 69.0 possessions per game. They'll be able to set the pace at home. On Northern Illinois' winning streak, they held all but one team under 70 points and three under 51. They are a solid defensive team that defends the three well, holding teams to just 27.6%. That's a key stat in this game because UC Davis is attempting 16.2 per game and is making nearly 40%. UNI is making 36.8% of their three-point attempts and making 8.6 per game.

Prediction: Under 131.5

Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!