Missouri Valley Conference Showdown: Northern Iowa at Missouri State
Northern Iowa AT Missouri State
Jan 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM EST
Opening Line: Miss St -7
Current Line: Miss St -7
Opening Total: 123
Current Total: 124
Opening Moneyline: Miss St -310 / N Iowa +260
Current Moneyline: Miss St -335 / N Iowa +265
This game brings together two powerhouses so to speak of the Missouri Valley Conference. Nothern Iowa (16-6) is third in the conference with a 7-3 in conference record and Missouri State (17-4) is the first place team in the conference with a 9-1 conference record.
As you would expect from two teams with solid winning records, both teams sport positive point differentials. Northern Iowa is +5.9, scoring 63.5 and holding their opponents to a rather stingy 57.6 points. Missouri State scores more with 71.2 points per game while giving up 62.0, good for a +9.2 win differential. The combinative total of their offensive output is 134.7, well over the total set for tonight’s game.
Some betting trends:
Northern Iowa is 4-2 SU in their last 6 road games and 6-1 SU in their last 7 games on the road against Missouri State.
Missouri State is 11-1 SU in their last 12 games and 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games. They are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against Northern Iowa and 1-4 SU in their last 5 against them. The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 against Northern Iowa and Missouri State is 1-12 ATS in their last 13 against them. Missouri State is also 1-6 SU in their last 7 home games against Northern Iowa.
Northern Iowa is led by the quartet of Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Anthony James, Jake Koch, and Johnny Moran. The four of them combine for 44.5 points a game, about 70% of Northern Iowa’s total offensive output. Ahelegbe, a 6’2″ senior guard, averages 13.4 points per game, 2.7 assists per game, and 2.8 rebounds, while shooting 33% from behind the arc and 43% from the field. He’s already had 6 games with 20+, illustrating how good he can be at times, but also how inconsistent, as there have been 9 games which he failed to reach double figures. He had his highest scoring game last game against Creighton, shooting 10 of 19 from the floor en route to 26 points. He’s also averaging 5 assists per game over his last two games, showing he can not only create for himself but also for James, Koch, and Moran.
Missouri State is led by Sonny Weems’ of the Raptors younger brother, Kyle Weems. He puts up 16.5 points per game, and also grabs 6.9 boards, and is far and away Missouri State’s best player and go to scorer. He’s shooting 53.6% from the floor and has scored in double figures in all but one game. Over his last two games he’s averaging 20.5 points per game on 18-32 shooting from the floor. Northern Iowa will likely put Jake Koch on Weems to start out, attempting to frustrate him with his 6’9″ frame (Weems is 6’6″), but if it proves that Weems gets to the basket too much they may bring in Sonnen, who is undersized but quick enough to keep Weems in front of him.
Tonight’s game will be a measuring stick for both teams as they are both conference contenders and at least one of them will likely be playing in March, if not both teams.