Demons Defense Makes Northwestern St. +12.5 the NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Auburn

David Lawrence

Friday, November 27, 2015 12:00 PM GMT

The Northwestern State Demons have struggled to start the season. The Auburn Tigers are also trying to find their way under a new coach. What does the NCAA basketball odds say for this game?

Momentum
Northwestern State finally picked up its first win of the season earlier this week, but it was just a six-point victory over a Division III team. Northwestern State has played two non-Division I teams this season and has only been able to split those two games. The Demons are 0-3 against Division I teams. They lost to Louisiana-Monroe, Arizona, and Ole Miss. Of those three teams, only Arizona is good, so from one angle, Northwestern State has been really struggling. Then again, the game at Arizona wasn’t nearly as ugly as the Demons might have feared. They lost by only 19 points because they played really good defense and allowed just 61 points. With that kind of effort and communication on defense – holding an Elite Eight team to a relatively low point total on the road – Northwestern State can make inroads and have a very good result in this game.

Auburn is less advanced in terms of the progress of its season compared to Northwestern State. Whereas the Demons have played five games, Auburn has played only three. The Tigers beat Georgia Southern within the past seven days but have played only that one game over the past 11 days. The Tigers’ previous game was on Tuesday, Nov. 17 against Colorado. It was the toughest game the Tigers have played this season, and they lost it. This team is young, and it’s going to get better under coach Bruce Pearl, but the early weeks of the season are still likely to be challenging.

 

Home-Away Trends
Northwestern State is playing its third road game of the season, having lost the first two against Ole Miss and Arizona. Auburn won its first home game of the season against UAB and is playing its fourth home game here. Auburn lost its second home game of the season against Colorado but then won the third home game against Georgia Southern.

 

Injuries
Northwestern State guard Jalan West is out for the season with an ACL injury.

Auburn forward Daniel Purifoy is out indefinitely due to an eligibility issue. Guard New Williams is questionable with a knee injury.

 

What’s The Pick?
The NCAA Basketball odds opened up at Auburn minus-12.5 points. The Tigers are a work in progress. They are not yet at the point where recruiting classes are fully acclimated to the new environment and the Pearl system. Pearl is a demanding coach who insists on a high level of continuous energy from his players. The Tigers need some time to implement a full-court pressure defense and get a large number of players to produce the way Pearl wants. Northwestern State is extremely unlikely to win this game, but it might be able to stay within 10 points. If you look at a line set at 12.5, take Northwestern State. If you can’t find a line, take Auburn with your NCAA Basketball picks.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Northwestern State +12.5 at Bovada

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