Northern Illinois Huskies at Western Michigan Broncos
NCAAB: Tuesday, February 12, 2019, University Arena, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 7:00 PM ET
The Mid-American rivals will face at the University Arena on Tuesday as the Northern Illinois Huskies are taking on Western Michigan Broncos, hoping to avoid the fourth consecutive defeat and return to the .500 in conference play, while the hosts are still searching for the first conference win as they lost the previous ten. The teams have been trading wins in recent H2H duels and the home side is usually a winning one and Western Michigan has 11 straight victories over Northern Illinois at the University Arena.
The Huskies scored season-low 49 points in a loss to Eastern Michigan
Northern Illinois is not playing well in the past couple of weeks as they suffered six defeats in the previous eight games including the last three and the most recent loss came to the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Huskies dropped to the 12-12 record and are currently sitting in the 3rd position in the Mid-American (West) with eight wins behind the conference leaders Buffalo Bulls and Toledo Rockets and six more than the last-placed Western Michigan Broncos. Northern Illinois is 5-6 in conference play and although they could end the regular season in the top half of the standings, the Huskies are without a chance to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Senior guard Dante Thorpe led the Huskies in a 57-49 loss to the Eagles with 13 points and five rebounds but his fellow starts combined form miserable 18 points and poor display in the offense cost Northern Illinois a win here, despite the fact that they played well defensively. The Huskies shot just 34.7 percent from the floor and hit only one triple on 13 attempts (7.7%) in opposite to Eastern Michigan’s six on 22 attempts (27.3%), and although they had a 3-point halftime lead, the visitors weren’t good in the second 20 minutes.
— NIU Men's Basketball (@GoHuskiesMBB) February 9, 2019
The Huskies have the 139th offense in the NCAAB that averages 74.7 points per contest, while their defense allows 70.9 points per game (171st). Northern Illinois’ rebounding is 175th as they are recording 35.7 boards per game, while they are the 280th when it comes to assists per contest with 12.0 dishes a night. Northern Illinois is 33rd in field goal percentage as they have 48.0 percent from the floor and 109th from downtown with 35.9 percentage, while they are the 270th with 6.7 three-pointers made per game.
The Broncos lost to Ball State after a second-half meltdown
Western Michigan is still the only team in the MAC without a conference victory and they will try to get one against the Huskies who are traditionally not playing well at the University Arena. The Broncos dropped to the 6-17 record after a loss to the Ball State Cardinals and are at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference with 13 wins behind the leaders Bulls and Rockets, and six wins behind their next rivals the Northern Illinois Huskies. Western Michigan is 0-10 in conference play and they will surely finish the regular season in the bottom half of the standings while reaching the NCAA Tournament is only a dream for the Broncos at the moment.
Senior center Seth Dugan led the Broncos in a 79-59 loss to the Cardinals with a double-double of 17 points and game-high 12 rebounds; Michael Flowers followed him with 15 points, while Josh Davis contributed with 14 points, six boards, and game-high three steals. Western Michigan stayed close in the opening half as they trailed by just one point but Ball State switched to a higher gear in the second half and scored 52 points, allowing 33 in return and they limited the Broncos to 37.5 percent from the floor and just 20.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Cards also dominated the boards (39-33) and assists (17-7), while the hosts committed 11 turnovers in opposite to Western Michigan’s 15.
— WMU Men's Basketball (@WMUMBB) February 9, 2019
The Broncos have the 237th offense in the NCAAB that averages 70.7 points per contest, while their defense is allowing 76.4 points per game (289th). Western Michigan is the 104th rebounding team in college basketball as they are recording 37.0 boards per game, while they are 302nd when it comes to assists per contest with 11.7 dishes a night. Western Michigan is 266th in field goal percentage as they have 42.7 percent from the floor and 276th from downtown with 32.5 percentage, while they are the 206th with 7.5 three-pointers made per game.
- 44-39-1 ATS in the last 84 games with 2-3 days off
- 8-7 ATS in the last 15 games as a home underdog
- 11-12 ATS in the last 23 games played on the road
- 23-25-1 ATS in the last 49 conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Western Michigan won six out of the previous ten H2H encounters including three of the last four, while the Broncos were victorious in each of the past 11 meetings at the University Arena. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight duels and the Broncos are unbeaten at home against Northern Illinois in this decade and it’s clear that the tradition is entirely on their side in this matchup. Western Michigan is the only team in the MAC without a conference victory but this is a perfect opportunity for them and I am backing them to take it.
Prediction: Western Michigan Broncos +2.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Despite the fact that the rivals struggled offensively in respective defeats to Eastern Michigan and Ball State I am backing the over because over is 13-6 in the last 19 H2H meetings and over is 8-1 in the previous nine duels in Western Michigan. The Broncos allowed 85+ points in each of their last four home games and over is 12-3 in Broncos previous 15 games following an ATS loss. Also, over is 5-0 in Huskies last five games after scoring less than 50 points in their previous game; over is 6-0 in Broncos previous six Tuesday games, while over is 14-5 in Broncos last 19 games following a straight up loss.
Prediction: Over 143 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Northern Illinois had more success when it comes to the opening 20 minutes of the games lately, while Western Michigan trailed at halftime in each of their previous five games and even though I backed the hosts to get a win in the end, I am backing the Huskies to have a halftime lead. The –1.5 spread is not a big one and although I expect the Broncos to improve in the second 20 minutes, the visitors should be a better side in the first half.
Prediction: Northern Illinois Huskies (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The total is set at 67.5 and I am backing the rivals to score 30+ points apiece in the first half, while one of them could score around 40, which would definitely help us in winning the over bet. I am going with over as I already backed over in the end of the game and I don’t think the teams will have problems to combine for around 70 points.
Prediction: Over 67.5 (-110)