College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa (Sunday, February 20)
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Isiaih Mosley.
Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa Odds
|Missouri State Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Northern Iowa Odds|
-110o / -110u
Two of the strongest offenses in the Missouri Valley Conference will square off on Sunday as Northern Iowa hosts Missouri State. These teams already met once earlier this season in a meeting that came down to the final seconds, but Northern Iowa came away with a one-point, 85-84, win.
The Bears lead the all-time series 45-38, but the Panthers have been able to come away with the win in the past two meetings. They now have the chance to complete the regular-season sweep of Missouri State for the ninth time since head coach Ben Jacobson took over.
However, Missouri State enters this contest on a three-game win streak. It is currently tied with the Panthers in second in the Missouri Valley Conference, but should Loyola Chicago lose on Saturday night, it opens the winner of this game up to be in a position to tie for first place.
The Bears have won nine of their last eleven games since they lost to Northern Iowa in the first meeting. That stretch included a sweep over Drake and Loyola, which puts the Bears in a position to win the Missouri Valley Conference if they win this game and the league comes down to tiebreakers.
Isiaih Mosley has led the Bears on the offensive end throughout the season, averaging 20 points per game while also leading the team in steals at 1.1 per contest. But in their last game, Gaige Prim stepped up for the Bears in a big way, posting 32 points against the Indiana State Sycamores.
Missouri State should be able to impose its will against Northern Iowa on the offensive end. The Panthers defense ranks in the bottom half of the conference when it comes to contesting shots. However, one area the Bears will have to worry about will be turnovers. The Panthers rank first in conference play forcing a turnover on 19.2% of possessions.
The Bears have greatly improved since these teams last squared off on the defensive end. The Bears have been better than any other team in conference play when defending two-point shots, holding opponents to 45.8% inside the arc. They are last when it comes to creating turnovers and steals, so they will have to rely on true shooting defense against the Panthers. .
The Panthers have struggled as of late, just barely coming away with a win against Illinois State in their last game. Before that, they were blown out by Loyola Chicago 85-58. Their recent struggles have been a result of a lacking offense. The Panthers average just 61 points per game during their last three games.
Just two players for the Panthers average in double digits as AJ Green leads them with 18.4 points per game and Noah Carter is posting 14.2 per contest. Green also leads the team in assists with two per contest.
The Northern Iowa defense has struggled all season, but its ability to produce turnovers has been a saving grace. I’m not sure that will be enough to stop the Bears, however, who will undoubtedly have revenge on their minds after dropping a game to the Panthers earlier in the season.
Missouri State vs. Northern Iowa Betting Pick
Missouri State has been better on both ends of the floor throughout the year and has been even better as of late, while Northern Iowa seems to have taken a step backward. This game is on the road, but Missouri State has proven its ability to win on the road this season, going 7-3.
In my opinion, the wrong team is favored in this matchup, so I have no problem backing Missouri State on the road catching 2.5 points. Not to mention Northern Iowa is just 5-12 on the season as a favorite and just 5-6 as a home favorite. I would back the Bears down to a pick’em.