Northwestern vs. Penn State - 3/7/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Penn State Nittany Lions (21-9) at Northwestern Wildcats (7-22)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
The Line: Northwestern Wildcats +6.5 -- Over/Under: 139.5
The 20th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions will travel to Welsh-Ryan Arena to take on the Northwestern Wildcats this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Penn State Nittany Lions lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 21-9 (11-8 Big Ten) on the season after being defeated by the 16th ranked Michigan State Spartans, 79-71, this past Tuesday. Penn State struggled offensively agianst the Spartans and couldn’t fight back after Michigan State took a 77-70 lead with under a minute left in regulation. Penn State shot just 33.8% from the field while allowing Michigan State to shoot 53.3% from the field. Leading the way for the Nittany Lions was Lamar Stevens who had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks.
On the season, Penn State is averaging 75.3 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Nittany Lions are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 32.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Penn State has been led by Lamar Stevens (17.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.2 bpg), Myreon Jones (13.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.3 spg), and Mike Watkins (9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.2 bpg).
Defensively, Penn State is allowing their opponents to average 67.8 ppg on 40.9% shooting from the field. The Nittany Lions have a rebound margin of 1.1 and a turnover margin of 2.1.
The Northwestern Wildcats dropped to 7-22 (2-17 Big Ten) on the season after being defeated by the 24th ranked Wisconsin Badgers, 63-48, this past Wednesday night. Northwestern has no answers on the offensive end on the road agianst the Badgers and couldn’t fight after Wisconsin took a 50-35 lead with 7:41 left in regulation. Northwestern shot just 31.5% from the field and 20.0% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Pete Nance who had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
On the season, Northwestern is averaging 64.7 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Wildcats are averaging 6.0 three-pointers per game on 30.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Northwestern has been led by Miller Kopp (13.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.2 apg), Pat Spencer (10.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg), and Boo Buie (10.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 apg).
Defensively, Northwestern is allowing their opponents to average 70.0 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Wildcats have a rebound margin of -4.4 and a turnover margin of 0.3.
The Nittany Lions are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games, however, are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Northwestern. The Wildcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games and just 3-12 ATS at home on the season.
Penn State comes into this game ranked 69th in scoring offense, 134th in scoring defense, and 66th in defensive FG%.
Northwestern has really struggled on the offensive end this season and comes into this game ranked just 319th in scoring offense, 291st in FG%, and 306th in 3P-FG%.
Penn State is limping into the end of the regular season after losing 4 of their last 5 games, however, the Nittany lions have played a brutal part of their schedule as of late and were competitive in those 4 loses. Northwestern’s offense is going to struggle agianst an above average Penn State defense and as the Wildcats have lost their last 7 home games by an average of 12.6 ppg, I think Nittany Lions bounce back with a strong performance here and cover this mid-range road spread. Good Luck!