The 11th-ranked Northern Iowa Panthers will hope to push their winning streak to 14 against Loyola of Chicago and with the addition of a competent offense to its already elite defense, they have a good shot.
The game tips at 7:00 PM ET tonight at the Joseph J. Gentile Center in Chicago where the visiting Northern Iowa Panthers are 9 point favorites over Loyola.
A Closer Look At The Northern Iowa at Loyola Betting Line & My Final Score Prediction
Matchup: (11) Northern Iowa Panthers at Loyola (IL) Ramblers
Date: Feb. 18, 2015
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Stadium: Joseph J. Gentile Center
TV Info: ESPN 3
Radio: Northern Iowa Vs Loyola
Point Spread: Northern Iowa Panthers -9
Wednesday's UNI at Loyola game will be video streamed on Loyola's athletic website. No ESPN3 at this time.
— UNI Basketball (@UNImbb) February 16, 2015
Video link for Wednesday's UNI at Loyola matchup at Gentile Arena – http://t.co/BgzS2WSagM
— UNI Basketball (@UNImbb) February 17, 2015
Northern Iowa Will Cover the Spread If
Northern Iowa can get their transition game going.
The Panthers shoot 48.7% from the field and 40% from behind the three-point line on average. They score 65.8 points per game on average. In their last matchup with Loyola (IL) they scored 67 points, which is above their average, but they shot worse from the field and from the three-point line than they normally do.
#UNIhoops No. 11 in AP Top 25. Deductive reasoning: it's the highest the Panthers have ever been.
— Carson Tigges (@CarsonTigges) February 16, 2015
Northern Iowa shot 45.8% from the field when making 22 of 48 shots. They drained 5 out of 17 three-pointers for 29.4%. Neither is very good. The best way to raise those averages in the rematch is to get the transition game going. The Panthers can run and gun. They scored 70 points versus Wichita State, where they shot 60% from the field, and they scored 83 versus Illinois State, where they shot 54.7% from the field, this season.
Loyola (IL) Will Cover the Spread If
They can win the rebounding battle versus Northern Iowa.
Loyola (IL) did cover the spread versus the Panthers in the last game. Northern Iowa was favored by 11 points but they could only beat the Ramblers by 9, 67 to 58. The spread figures to be less than 11 points in this matchup because Loyola (IL) is the home team.
Ramblers win! Loyola knocks off Bradley, 58-53, to move to 16-10 (6-8 MVC). LU hosts UNI on Wed at Gentile Arena
— Loyola Ramblers MBB (@RamblersMBB) February 15, 2015
Since the spread will be less than 11 points, maybe even less than 9, Loyola (IL) is going to need to change things in order to cover the spread in this game. What they need to do is win the rebounding battle versus Northern Iowa. The Panthers out rebounded the Ramblers by a single board in the last game, 28 to 27. So, it’s not like Loyola (IL) did a bad job on the boards in the first game. But they have to do an exceptional job on the boards in the rematch. In order to cover the spread, Loyola (IL) has to win the rebounding battle by a wider margin than 1 or 2 boards. The Ramblers should be looking to win the rebound category by at least 5 to 6 boards in this matchup. That is likely to ensure a cover against the spread.