The UIC Flames (5-9, 0-1 Hor) can snap a six-game road losing streak when they take on the Northern Kentucky Norse (8-5, 1-0 Hor) at BB&T Arena. Northern Kentucky is a 13.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 143 points. Action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
UIC Flames vs. Northern Kentucky Norse Betting Preview
The last time the Flames played, they fell to the Wright State Raiders, 65-61. With 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting, Marcus Ottey was the top scorer from either team. Wright State had a turnover percentage of 11.0 (better than their season average of 17.8). UIC, on the other hand, held the Raiders to an effective field goal percentage of 0.375 (below their season average of 0.486).
The Norse will look to maintain momentum after blowing out the IUPUI Jaguars in their last contest, 77-59. Northern Kentucky rallied around Drew McDonald, who was the top scorer from either team with 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting. Northern Kentucky played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary effective field goal percentage of 0.630 (above their season average of 0.562) and a free throw rate of 0.167 (below their season average of 0.237). IUPUI recorded marks of 0.403 and 0.145, respectively, for those same stats.
This battle pits one of the NCAA’s top offenses against one of its elite defensesNorthern Kentucky ranks 36th in effective field goal percentage (0.567), while UIC is 44th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.459). Ball security could be troublesome for the Flames. They rank 327th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 22.5 percent), while the Norse force the 30th-most turnovers in the NCAA (opponents turnover percentage of 23.5 percent).
Games involving these teams have typically gone under the projected point total. UIC games have gone under 60.0 percent of the time, while Northern Kentucky games have finished under 60.0 percent of the time. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Norse have a sizable advantage. They are 8-5 SU and 8-2 ATS, while the Flames are 5-9 SU and 3-7 ATS.
McDonald has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Northern Kentucky, averaging 19.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Norse won both games played against each other last season. In the last game, Northern Kentucky won 90-82. The Norse played a nearly flawless game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.365 and a turnover percentage of 12.8. For those same stats, the Flames put up marks of 0.060 and 16.6, respectively.
UIC Flames at Northern Kentucky Norse ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Northern Kentucky, ATS Winner – Northern Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Flames average 39.0 rebounds per game, which ranks 53rd in the nation. The Norse rank 114th in rebounds allowed per game (34.4).
- Northern Kentucky ranks 50th in three pointers allowed per game (19.5) while UIC ranks 81st (20.5).
- UIC is 2-4 ATS on the road, while Northern Kentucky is 4-0 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 3 of the Flames 6 road games, while 3 of the Norse’s 4 home games have gone under.
- Northern Kentucky ranks 21st in assists per game (17.9) while UIC ranks 229th (10.6).
- The Flames rank fourth in blocks per game (7.1) while the Norse rank 128th (3.2).
- Northern Kentucky ranks 33rd in steals per game (8.2) while UIC ranks 132nd in steals allowed per game (6.9).
- Northern Kentucky is 3-1 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, UIC is 3-1 ATS with 4 unders.
- The Norse’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.2, down from 15.8 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Flames have scored an average of 70.8 points per game (0.9 above their season average) and allowed an average of 62.0 points per game (6.9 below their season average).