Northern Iowa, No. 1 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, faces a title run against No. 8 Illinois State on Friday afternoon.
Led at every turn by arguably the conference’s top scorer, AJ Green, Northern Iowa swept the season series against Illinois State, but how will it fare on a neutral floor at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis?
Here are the odds for the first game of the quarterfinals WynnBET Sportsbook:
In total: 149 (above -110/below -110)
Those two played tight on February 15, a 72-70 Panthers away win, with the Redbirds finishing as underdogs with four points and 143.5 overall. Now we are on neutral ground with a spread of UNI -8 and 149 overall.
The spread moving an extra point towards the Panthers makes some sense given the team’s recent success, which won nine of their last 10 games en route to becoming the top seed, but the total feels a bit high to me at.
Illinois State is doing a good job defending the 3-point shot (second in MVC play in 3-point defense) and UNI relies heavily on the three and has the fourth-highest 3-point average in conference play .
On the other hand, Northern Iowa is trying to generate revenue against a shoddy Illinois state defense that is handing over almost 20% of its holdings to it. Northern Iowa’s defense is marginally weak (bottom 30 in the country in marginal field goal percentage), but Illinois State usually settles for outside shots due to a lack of dynamic playmakers.
I believe that total has drifted too far in one direction and is sloping down in the early game of MVC quarters.
LEAN: Under 149
All of Reed’s college basketball games can be followed herehis college basketball best bets column is 82-78-3 for -0.55 units.
https://fansided.com/betsided/posts/illinois-state-vs-northern-iowa-prediction-pick-odds-spread-over-under-value-on-under-01fxamxv28pk?utm_source=RSS Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa Prediction and Odds (Value on the Under?)