NJIT Highlanders (14-5) vs North Florida Ospreys (9-11)Date : 01/21/2019
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : UNF Arena
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
NJIT Highlanders vs North Florida Ospreys
The North Florida Ospreys return home to UNF Arena after playing their previous 2 outings on the road and they will play host to the NJIT Highlanders in an Atlantic Sun Conference clash, the opening tipoff is slated for 7:00 PM. North Florida has been fairly solid in conference play as they are 3-2 while NJIT has had a great overall season as they enter this matchup with a 14-5 record.
NJIT Highlanders's Latest Performance :
NJIT has not made the postseason in program history but Brian Kennedy has this team trending in the right direction as they already have more wins than they did in the previous 2 seasons. The Highlanders were able to break their recent 2 game skid with a win at home against Jacksonville University 77-74. The starting lineup gave a monster effort for NJIT in this matchup as they had 4 different guys contribute at least 10 points. The leading scorer on the season has been sophomore guard Zach Cooks as he enters this matchup averaging 18.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG, and he was able to crack this mark against Jacksonville with 23 points. Cooks wasn’t the only one to put up a big stat line as senior forward Abdul Lewis was able to contribute a double-double with 18 points and 21 rebounds. Lewis comes into this game averaging just shy of a double-double on the season as he gives the Highlanders 11.3 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Senior guard Diandre Wilson joins Cooks in the backcourt and he is an efficient scorer himself as he averages around 11.4 PPG, but he was able to go over that mark against Jacksonville with 15 points and 4 rebounds. The bench has not been as much as a factor this season as they currently only have 1 bench player who averages at least 5+ PPG on the season and that guy is sophomore guard Shawndale Jones who was able to drop 8 points in their latest outing.
North Florida Ospreys's Latest Performance :
North Florida has only made the NCAA Tournament once in their program history and while although they are 3-2 in A-Sun play they still look like they will sit out the postseason this year. North Florida did show they are able to compete with the top team in the conference as they went on the road and lost 70-64 to the Liberty Flames in their recent matchup. Leading the way for the Ospreys in their recent game was junior guard Ivan Gandia-Rosa as he recorded 19 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds, Gandia-Rosa enters this matchup 4th on the team in scoring as he averages 10.6 PPG but he is the leading assist guy as he averages 5.6 APG. North Florida has shown a great deal of scoring depth this season as they currently have 5 different guys who average at least 10+ PPG. The top player on the season for UNF has been junior forward Noah Horchler as he enters this matchup averaging 15.4 PPG and 9.6 RPG, and he was able to flirt around this mark against Liberty with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Junior guard Garrett Sims has been a do it all type of guy for coach Driscoll and company this season as he enters this matchup averaging 12.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.7 APG, but he was unable to hit that mark against Liberty as he only had 8 points and 5 rebounds. UNF needs to improve their scoring defense moving forward as they currently allow opponents to score close to 80 PPG which is 318th in the nation.
How NJIT Highlanders & North Florida Ospreys Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
NJIT is 10-7-1 ATS, 7-3 ATS on the road.
UNF is 12-6 ATS, 4-0 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
North Florida ranks 104th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 76.8 PPG while NJIT ranks 251st as they score an average of 70.9 PPG.
NJIT ranks 73rd in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 67.3 PPG while North Florida ranks 318th as they hold opponents to an average of 78.4 PPG
Against The Spread Selection: NJIT Highlanders
My reason for the pick :
Both these teams have played well as of recent but I like NJIT in this situation as I think they are playing stellar defense this season which had led to a season-high in wins over the past 3 seasons. The one area that UNF seems to lack in is rebounding the basketball and that plays into the hands of NJIT as they have one of the best rebounders in the country with Abdul Lewis as he is coming off a performance where he contributed 21 rebounds. North Florida has been pretty good at scoring the basketball but NJIT is one of the top defensive teams in the country which should allow them to force turnovers. NJIT has been stellar ATS on the road which shows they are playing well, and travel won’t play a factor in this one as they recently played Jacksonville over the weekend which happens to be where UNF plays.
Betting trends for NJIT Highlanders:
- NJIT is 6-2 ATS as an underdog this season.
Betting trends for North Florida Ospreys:
- North Florida is 4-1 ATS with 1 day off this season.