Check out our free Illinois State vs Northern Iowa pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Cedar Falls. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.

Illinois State vs Northern Iowa Pick & Preview: Wednesday, January 18th Betting Odds

Redbirds vs Panthers Matchup at a Glance

  • Sport: NCAAB
  • Teams: Illinois State Redbirds at Northern Iowa Panthers
  • Where: Cedar Falls at McLeod Center
  • Date: Wednesday, January 18th
  • Betting Odds: Illinois State +8.5, ILLST +320 | NIOWA -423 O/U 134.0

Redbirds Preview:

Heading into today’s matchup vs Northern Iowa, the Illinois State Redbirds will be taking the floor for the 20th time this season and have an overall record of 8-11. So far, the Redbirds have played 9 games on the road, with a record of 3-6. For the season, Illinois State has been the underdog in 10 games, sitting with a mark of 2-8. Currently, the oddsmakers have the lines set with the Redbirds being +8.5 point underdogs.

Illinois State’s leading scorer this season is Darius Burford, who is averaging 10.95 points per contest. So far, Burford has accounted for 16.3% of the team’s scoring. In addition, he is contributing 3.89 rebounds per game and 2.32 assists. Seneca Knight is the second leading scorer for the Redbirds, averaging 10.63 points per game. Between him and Knight, they are accounting for 32.1% of the team’s scoring.

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On offense, Illinois State comes into the game looking to control the pace of play, as they are just 286th in possessions per game. Even with their preference to slow the game down, the Redbirds’ are scoring at a rate similar to the NCAA average at 74.2 points per game. So far, 36.91% of their shots have come from beyond the arc, where they have connected at a rate of 36.4%.

Panthers Preview:

Heading into today’s matchup vs Illinois State, the Northern Iowa Panthers will be taking the floor for the 19th time this season and have an overall record of 9-9. Currently, the Panthers have been the home team 10 times, sitting with a record of 6-4. The Panthers’ are sitting with a betting line that is -8.5 points in their favor. For the season, Northern Iowa has been favored to win in 8 games, sitting with a mark of 5-3.

Northern Iowa will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Bowen Born who is averaging 19.22 points per game for the Panthers. Born is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Panthers’ offensive game plan is the play of Tytan Anderson who has hit 48.7% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 13.72 points per game.

On offense, Northern Iowa is scoring a rate similar to the NCAA average at 74.4 points per game. This figure has come despite struggling to knock down shots from outside. Through 18 games, they have only hit 35.0% of their 3-point field goal attempts. For the season, 42.81% of their shots have come from beyond the arc.

Free Spread Prediction: Northern Iowa Panthers -8.5

Our analysis of the matchup between the Illinois State Redbirds and Northern Iowa Panthers shows that Illinois State will cover the spread as +8.5 point underdogs. We feel that the spread for this game is set too high, creating an opportunity for Illinois State to cover. Even if they are trailing throughout the game, the Redbirds are a good candidate to keep the final score closer than predicted. In these scenarios, the better team’s pace of play can be a major factor in covering such a large spread. However, since both teams have possession rates that are near the NCAA average, Illinois State won’t have to play an unfamiliar style of basketball. Based on our model, we recommend betting on the Illinois State Redbirds at +8.5.

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