Xavier vs. Northern Iowa Pick
Is No. 9 Xavier finding itself in a trap game tonight when it goes on the road to face Northern Iowa at 9PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Xavier is a slight favorite on the road, as the Musketeers are getting odds of -6.5 points against Northern Iowa. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 136.5 points. Tonight’s game takes place from McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa and will air live on the CBS Sports Network.
Xavier has won six straight since suffered a loss to Arizona State. The Musketeers are now 11-1 on the season. They have failed to cover the spread in their last two games and are 9-3 against the spread on the year. The Musketeers are averaging 87.8 points per game on offense while allowing 70.1 per game on defense. Trevon Bluiett is leading the team with 20.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while J.P Macura is adding 11.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Macura is questionable for tonight’s game due to a head injury.
Northern Iowa is coming off a 76-65 loss against Iowa State last week to fall to 8-3 on the season. However, the Panthers are 6-0 at home this year. At the betting window, UNI is just 3-4 against the spread. Northern Iowa is putting up 67 points per game on offense this year while giving up 62.1 per game on defense. Bennett Koch is putting up 14.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game to lead the team while Juwan McCloud is adding 10.5 points per contest.
Xavier has won two straight meetings with Northern Iowa, covering the spread in both contests. The Musketeers certainly have the better team on paper, but are dealing with four injuries that could leave the bench somewhat depleted tonight. Northern Iowa is a much better team at home, averaging nearly 8 points more per game. I think that boost in offense will help the Panthers cover tonight. The public betting is siding with Xavier, but I give the edge to UNI.
CBB DAILY PREDICTION: NORTHERN IOWA +6.5