The Northern Iowa Panthers look to run their winning streak over the Illinois State Redbirds to 10 games when they meet in an Arch Madness first-round matchup at the 2023 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis on Thursday. The Panthers (13-17, 9-11 MVC), who placed eighth in the conference standings, have lost two in a row and eight of nine. The Redbirds (11-20, 6-14) snapped a six-game losing streak on Sunday with a 72-53 win over Evansville. Northern Iowa won both regular-season meetings – 66-60 at Normal, Illinois, on Dec. 31, and 65-63 at Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Jan. 18. The winner of this matchup will take on top-seeded Bradley in the 2023 MVC Tournament on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Tipoff from the Enterprise Center is set for 1 p.m. ET. Illinois State leads the all-time series 45-44, and holds a 7-6 series edge in neutral site games. The Panthers are 4-point favorites in the latest Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 134.5. Before making any Northern Iowa vs. Illinois State picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters Week 17 of the season 76-46 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,600 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on UNI vs. Illinois State and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the college basketball odds and betting lines for Illinois State vs. UNI:
- Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa spread: Northern Iowa -4
- Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa over/under: 134.5 points
- Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa money line: Illinois State +152, Northern Iowa -180
- ILST: The Over is 8-2 in the Redbirds’ last 10 games following a straight-up win
- UNI: The Panthers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six neutral site games
- Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Illinois State Redbirds
Why Northern Iowa can cover
Sophomore guard Bowen Born leads the Panthers, averaging 17.2 points, 2.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. He is connecting on 41.3% of his field goals, including 36.4% from 3-point range, and a blistering 83% from the foul line. In two games against the Redbirds, Born is averaging 18 points and 2.5 rebounds and assists per game. He has reached 30 points twice this season, the last coming Feb. 1 in an 88-81 double-overtime loss at Drake.
Also helping power Northern Iowa is sophomore Tytan Anderson. In 30 games, all starts, he is averaging 12.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals. He has reached double-digit scoring in five of the past six games, including one double-double in that stretch. In a 69-66 win at Missouri State, he scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He has 11 double-doubles on the season.
Why Illinois State can cover
Junior guard Darius Burford has been red hot of late, and has reached double-digit scoring in each of the last eight games. He scored a season-high-tying 23 points and grabbed five rebounds in an 80-64 loss at Indiana State on Feb. 18. He has scored 10 points or more in 22 games, including 20 or more points five times. For the year, he is averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He is connecting on 48.9% of his field goals and 81.9% of his free throws.
Senior guard Seneca Knight, a transfer from BYU, has started 23 of 31 games for the Redbirds. He also played three seasons at San Jose State. Knight has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, including three with 20 or more points. He is coming off a 26-point performance against Evansville on Sunday. He recorded his second double-double of the season last Wednesday in an 82-51 loss at Drake, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. For the year, he is averaging 12.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
How to make Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 142 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in nearly 60% of simulations. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northern Iowa vs. Illinois State? And which side of the spread hits nearly 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $1,600 on its college basketball picks this season, and find out.