College Basketball Picks: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Missouri Tigers

Northwestern Wildcats vs. Missouri Tigers
Thursday, 11/28/13, 10:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Missouri -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Missouri -6.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Northwestern Wildcats have never played on Thanksgiving Day
The Northwestern Wildcats have never played on Thanksgiving Day

Northwestern has won three games in a row, including a 72-59 victory over Gardner-Webb last time out, as the program prepares to play on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in school history.  The Wildcats are also playing in Sin City for the first time since 1977, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball betting lines.  Three probable starters are averaging in double figures, with senior guard Drew Crawford leading the way at 16.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.  Northwestern is 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS on a neutral floor the last two-plus seasons.

The Wildcats will play one of their most challenging non-conference schedules in recent memory, as they prepare to take on five major conference opponents.  Northwestern will need a big game out of junior Dave Sobolewski in hopes of pulling off an upset in this spot, as he’s tallied 248 assists in his first two seasons.  He leads the team with an average of 3.5 in that all-important category during the 2013-14 campaign.

Missouri picked up a 78-70 victory over Stanford in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis last year on this particular holiday, as it prepares to hit Las Vegas for the first time since 2005.  The Tigers have three players averaging 12.2 points or more per game, with junior guard Jabari Brown leading the way at 19.2.  The program has compiled a dominating 43-6 record in November since 2006, while it has won 50 of its last 53 regular season non-league games.  Missouri is 9-4 SU and 8-4-1 ATS in tournament games since 2011-12.

The Tigers welcomed back just one starter from last season’s 23-11 team, and no players are back that saw action on that 30-5 club during the 2011-12 season.  Missouri hasn’t faced a member of the Big Ten Conference since Dec. 8, 2007.  Head coach Frank Haith was suspended for the first five games this season, as he prepares to improve upon his 9-0 all-time record when staring a year on the sidelines.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 16-5 in the Tigers’ last 21 neutral site games.

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