An interesting match up takes place this Saturday in the Mid-American Conference as Akron travels to Northern Illinois. Both teams have identical 9-6 records and are very close in the MAC standings. Northern Illinois is 2-0 in the conference while Akron is 1-1. Akron is coming off a loss while Northern Illinois has won twice on the road. Who will prevail in this pick’em contest?
Akron loses heartbreaker
The Akron Zips are 9-6 overall and 1-1 in the MAC. They are coming off a loss at Central Michigan last Tuesday, 88-86 in overtime. Larry Austin hit a layup with 2.5 seconds left to break an 86-86 tie to win the game for Central Michigan. Akron had just tied the game when Jimond Ivey made two free throws with 12.4 seconds remaining in overtime. Ivey also grabbed 11 rebounds and made seven assists with just one turnover. Ivey led Akron with 24 points while Daniel Utomi added 18 points, Tyler Cheese had 16, and Loren Jackson tossed in 12 for the Zips. The game featured 14 lead changes and seven ties. Akron shot just 28 percent from three, but forced 11 turnovers.
3. Larry Austin Jr.'s layup with 2.5 seconds left in overtime was the difference as Central Michigan slipped past Akron 88-86. Rob Montgomery with 23 points for the sneaky-good Chippewas (13-2, 3-0 MAC).
— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) January 9, 2019
The Zips score an average about 74 points and allow an average of 62 points this season. Akron is shooting 43 percent from the floor and 33 percent from long range. The Zips average a total of 38 boards, 13 assists, and 11 turnovers per game this season. They allow opponents to shoot 39 percent from the field and 31 percent from three.
Northern Illinois stays unbeaten in MAC
The Northern Illinois Huskies are 9-6 on the year and 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference. They are coming off an 83-70 win at Miami of Ohio. The Huskies were led by Dante Thorpe and Eugene German, who had 24 points and 23 points, respectively. Levi Bradley added 16 points, while Lacey James added 10. The Huskies shot a ridiculous 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from three, making 9 of 18 from deep. Northern Illinois also won the rebound battle, 32-25.
German leads the Huskies with 20.7 points and 3 assists per game. Bradley averages 15 points and 6.65 rebounds per game, while Thorpe averages 12.5 points per game. The Huskies average 80 points per game and are a great shooting team. They shoot 50 percent from the field, 11th in the country, and 39 percent from beyond the arc. German and Thorpe both shoot 44 percent from three. The Huskies average 36 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 turnovers per game. Defensively, they allow 73 points per game. Opponents shoot 44 percent against them and 37 percent from three.
- Huskies are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Huskies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Mid-American.
- Huskies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Huskies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Huskies are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games following three or more consecutive road games.
- Zips are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games.
- Zips are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Zips are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Mid-American.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is an interesting match up between one of the better offensive teams in the league in Northern Illinois against the tough defending Akron Zips. the question will be, can the Zips do enough to slow down the high flying Northern Illinois offense which shoots 50 percent from the field and 39 percent from three? Not on the road, they won’t. The Huskies are 5-1 at home this year while the Zips are 0-3 on the road. The home team is 6-0 ATS in the last 6 meetings between these two teams and the Zips are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Northern Illinois. Take Northern Illinois.
Prediction: Northern Illinois
Full-Game Total Pick
The Huskies average about 80 points a game and shoot almost 40 percent from three. The Zips hold teams to about 62 points per game while scoring about 74 points per game themselves. But the Zips have not been as good defensively on the road thus far, giving up 88 points to Central Michigan. The over is 5-0 in Huskies last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 6-2 in Huskies last 8 games following a straight up win. Further, the over is 4-0 in Zips last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 6-0 in the last 6 meetings between these two. These teams will blow past the total, so take the over.