Florida International at Western Kentucky: 2/28/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Florida International at Western Kentucky: 2/28/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (15-5) vs Florida International Panthers (9-14)

Game Info: Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 3:00 pm (E.A. Diddle Arena)

Betting Odds: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -17 -- Over/Under: 147 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The FIU Panthers will travel to E. A. Diddle Arena to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this Sunday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The FIU Panthers lost their 5th straight game and dropped to 9-15 on the season after being defeated by the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 85-72, on February 19th. FIU had no answers on the defensive end for the southern Miss and could not fight back after a 16-2 Golden Eagles run gave Southern Miss an 83-68 lead with 2:54 left in regulation. FIU shot 41.0% from the field and 31.6% from beyond the arc while Southern Miss shot 61.0% from the field and 25.0% from beyond the arc. FIU was outrebounded by Southern Miss by a 40-25 margin and committed 12 turnovers in the loss. Leading the way for the Panthers was Tevin Brewer who had 15 points, 6 assists, & 2 steals.

On the season, FIU is averaging 74.9 ppg on 43.6% shooting from the field. The Panthers are averaging 10.6 three-pointers per game on 33.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, FIU has been led by Antonio Daye Jr. (17.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.7 apg, 2.4 spg), Radshad Davis (12.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.6 spg), Eric Lovett (11.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg), & Tevin Brewer (9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.0 spg).

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Defensively, FIU is allowing their opponents to average 76.0 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field. The Panthers have a rebound margin of -4.6 and a turnover margin of 2.0.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers had their 6-game winning steak snapped and dropped to 15-5 on the season after being defeated by the 12th ranked Houston Cougars, 81-57, this past Thursday. Western Kentucky trailed by just a 39-38 margin going into halftime, however, the Hilltoppers were dominated on both ends of the court in the 2nd half and could not fight back after the Cougars took a 64-47 lead with 9:21 left in regulation. Western Kentucky shot 41.7% from the field and 23.5% from beyond the arc while Houston shot 46.0% from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc. Western Kentucky and Houston each pulled down 31 rebounds while the Hilltoppers lost the turnover battle by a 20-9 margin. Leading the way for the Hilltoppers was Taveion Hollingsworth who had 17 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, & 2 steals.

On the season, Western Kentucky is averaging 74.1 ppg on 45.8% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers are averaging 6.2 three-pointers per game on 34.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Western Kentucky has been led by Charles Bassey (17.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.2 bpg), Taveion Hollingsworth (14.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg), Josh Anderson (9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.9 spg), & Dayvion McKnight (5.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.0 spg).

Defensively, Western Kentucky is allowing their opponents to average 70.0 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers have a rebound margin of 6.7 and a turnover margin of -1.1.

The Panthers are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 Sunday games, however, are just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Hilltoppers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 15-6-1 ATS in their last 22 Sunday games.

FIU has lost 12 of their last 13 games and although their offense at times can put up points behind their three-point shooting, this is a team that ranks just 289th in scoring defense & 310th in defensive FG%. Western Kentucky struggled in the 2nd half against Houston, but make no mistake, this is one of the better mid-major teams in the country led by a dynamic duo in Charles Bassey & Taveion Hollingsworth. Western Kentucky is 8-1 at home this season and although this is a monster spread, as I think the Hilltoppers defense will limit the damage that FIU does from beyond the arc, I am taking the Hilltoppers to cover in this one. Good Luck!

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Brett’s Pick Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -17

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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