The Eastern Washington Eagles (5-8) look to end their six-game road losing streak when they take on the Northern Colorado Bears (9-4), who will attempt to extend their five-game home winning streak. Northern Colorado is a 4.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 148 points. Action starts at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29, 2017.
Eastern Washington Eagles at Northern Colorado Bears ATS Preview
The Eagles won big over the University of Providence Argonauts in their last matchup, 94-66. Bogdan Bliznyuk was the top scorer from either team with 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Eastern Washington played a perfect game. They had a fantastic offensive rebounding percentage of 39.4 (above their season average of 22.0) and a turnover percentage of 7.6 (better than their season average of 14.3). For those same stats, University of Providence recorded marks of 19.4 and 12.5, respectively.
In the Bears last game, they were dismantled by the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, 94-91. Jordan Davis was Northern Colorado’s high scorer with 28 points on 12-for-25 shooting. UNLV had a free throw rate of 0.333 (above their season average of 0.327). Northern Colorado, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (12.8 vs. 17.2).
Contrasting paces will be on display in this contest. Northern Colorado prefers to play up-tempo (65th in possessions per game), while Eastern Washington is slower-paced (191st in possessions per game). Furthermore, put-back points could be few and far between for the Eagles. They rank 268th in the NCAA in offensive rebounding percentage at 23.2 percent, while the Bears are 29th-best on the defensive glass (defensive rebounding percentage of 75.8 percent).
Neither team has shown a tendency in terms of going over or under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Bears have a sizable advantage. They are 9-4 SU and 7-2-1 ATS, while the Eagles are 5-8 SU and 5-5 ATS.
Bliznyuk has really been playing well over the last five games for Eastern Washington, averaging 19.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Eagles won the lone game played against each other last season, 70-44. Eastern Washington had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.580 vs. 0.311). Northern Colorado, on the other hand, had a better turnover percentage (16.7 vs. 19.8).
Eastern Washington Eagles at Northern Colorado Bears Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Northern Colorado, ATS Winner – Eastern Washington, O/U – Over
- The Bears rank 27th in steals allowed per game (5.1) while the Eagles rank 68th (4.5).
- Northern Colorado is 17th in the NCAA with 2.2 blocks allowed per game while Eastern Washington is 33rd with 2.1 blocks allowed per game.
- Eastern Washington is 4-5 ATS on the road with 5 overs and 4 unders.
- At home, Northern Colorado is 1-1 ATS with 1 over and 1 under.
- Northern Colorado ranks 45th in rebounds per game (39.2) while Eastern Washington ranks 162nd (35.5).
- The Bears rank 23rd in three pointers attempted per game (27.7) while the Eagles rank 123rd (25.4).
- Northern Colorado ranks 35th in assists allowed per game (11.1) while Eastern Washington ranks 123rd (12.2).
- Northern Colorado is 3-0 ATS with 3 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Eastern Washington is 3-1 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders.
- The Bears average margin of victory in their last five games has been 17.4, up from 9.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Eagles have scored an average of 82.4 points per game (7.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.6 points per game (0.4 above their season average).