Southern Utah Thunderbirds (9-8) vs Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (5-12)Date : 01/28/2019
Time : 2:00 PM
Location : Walkup Skydome
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks are set to return home to the Walkup Skydome for their 4th consecutive home game where they will welcome in the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in a Big Sky clash, the opening tipoff is slated for 2:00 PM. Southern Utah and Northern Arizona are both situated in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky as the Lumberjacks are 3-4 in conference play while the Thunderbirds are 4-4.
Southern Utah won the 1st meeting between these two teams 84-82
Southern Utah Thunderbirds's Latest Performance :
Southern Utah has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2001 which also happens to be the last time that the Thunderbirds had a winning record, and while they might not break the postseason drought they have a really good chance of having a winning record as they currently sit 1 game above .500. The Thunderbirds come into this game looking to avoid a losing streak as they lost on the road against Northern Colorado 79-68 in their recent outing. The leading scorer on the season for Southern Utah is junior guard Cameron Oluyitan as he averages 13.6 PPG but he was unable to find his stroke against Northern Colorado as he went 1 for 9 from the field as well as fouled out of the game. Senior guard Brandon Better stepped up in the absence of Oluyitan and delivered 22 points which is well above his season average of 12.2 PPG. Southern Utah has been playing without a top player as senior forward Dwayne Morgan has been out for most of the season which is a big hit considering he was once a top 25 recruit in the nation, Morgan averaged 13 PPG and 4.8 RPG before going down with an injury. The bench was fairly solid in the loss against Northern Colorado as they were able to total 31 bench points. Freshmen guard Harrison Butler played 21 minutes before fouling out for the Thunderbirds but he came up big when he was in as he contributed 15 points, Butler averages 9.2 PPG off the bench.
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks's Latest Performance :
Northern Arizona has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2000 and won’t do so this year either but there is one positive for the Lumberjacks it is the fact that they have already eclipsed their conference win total from last season as they come into this matchup 3-4. Northern Arizona comes into this game looking to extend their win streak to 2 games after they won at home against Portland State on 1/19 82-75. Sophomore forward Jonathan Andre has been the top player for the Lumberjacks as he comes into this game averaging 13 PPG and 7.1 RPG, and he once again continued to show his dominance against Portland State with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Freshmen guard Luke Avdavolic has one of the biggest games of his young career as he went 4 for 7 from 3 which contributed to an 18-point game, Avdavolic averages 8.6 PPG on the season. The Lumberjacks were without a vital player in this game as sophomore Carlos Hines did not suit up against the Vikings, Hines is the 2nd leading scorer as he averages 12.4 PPG as well as the leading assist man with 3.4 APG. Freshmen guard Cameron Shelton had a big game off the bench as he was able to contribute 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists but he did foul out. Northern Arizona will need to be much better rebounding the ball as they were outrebounded by the Vikings 45-33 as well as turned the ball over 15 times.
How Southern Utah Thunderbirds & Northern Arizona Lumberjacks Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Southern Utah is 7-8 ATS, 4-5 ATS on the road.
Northern Arizona is 8-9 ATS, 3-3 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Southern Utah ranks 80th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 77.7 PPG while Northern Arizona ranks 214th as they score an average of 72.2 PPG.
Southern Utah ranks 309th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 77.7 PPG while Northern Arizona ranks 318th as they hold opponents to an average of 78.3 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Southern Utah
My reason for the pick :
Both teams are sitting middle of the pack through the early portion of the Big Sky slate but I will take my chances with the road team in this one as Southern Utah is the better offensive team. Not much separates these two teams on defense as they rank in the 300’s in PPG allowed but Southern Utah is outscoring Northern Arizona by 5 points a game. Southern Utah will receive more production from Cameron Oluyitan in this game after he was shutout in the Thunderbirds last game and the bench will keep producing. The Thunderbirds won the 1st meeting between these two teams and I think they get the Lumberjacks # once again.
Betting trends for Southern Utah Thunderbirds:
- Southern Utah is 7-3 ATS with 2-3 days off since 2017.
Betting trends for Northern Arizona Lumberjacks:
- Northern Arizona is 1-2 ATS as a favorite this season.