Illinois St. Redbirds vs. Northern Iowa Panthers
The Illinois State Redbirds and the Northern Iowa Panthers battle it out in a round one game in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis on Friday afternoon. The Panthers are -3 point favorites over the Redbirds with an over/under point total set at 123.
The Illinois State Redbirds closed out their regular season losing three of their last five games including a 15 point loss at Northern Iowa but no matter what happens there should be some sort of post season for them. ISU is 9-9 in the MVC, 1-1 on a neutral site, and finished in a five way tie for third place in the conference standings. Jackie Carmichael is averaging 13.6 points and 9.4 rebounds, Tyler Brown is averaging 12.8 points, and John Ekey is averaging 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds. As a team the Redbirds are averaging 68.6 points and they are shooting 44.1 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.5 points and their opponents are shooting 41.2 percent. Illinois State has a RPI of 125 and a 138 strength of schedule so they need to win the conference tournament to make it to the Big Dance.
The Northern Iowa Panthers have won their last two games but this is a season where Ben Jacobson’s team let it get away from them far too often. UNI finished 9-9 in the MVC, 2-0 in neutral site games, and are part of the five way tie for third place in the conference standings. Anthony James is averaging 13.3 points, Seth Tuttle is averaging 9.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, and Marc Sonnen is averaging 8.5 points. As a team the Panthers are averaging 65.9 points and they are shooting 43.8 percent while defensively they are allowing 62 points and their opponents are shooting 44 percent. The road team won both games in this year’s series between these two teams.
Illinois State is 0-5 against the spread in their last five games overall, 1-4 against the spread in their last four games following a game which they didn’t cover, and 0-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record. Northern Iowa is 3-8-2 against the spread in their last 13 MVC games, 0-2-2 against the spread in their last four games overall, and 1-3-2 against the spread following a win. The underdog has covered in seven of the last eight meetings of these two.
This one should be a real dog fight and probably comes right down to the wire so the dog should get the cover getting the points.
Illinois St. Redbirds +3 Northern Iowa Panthers