NCAA Basketball Pick: Grab 'Over' In Northern Kentucky vs. Detroit Game

Mark Lathrop

Friday, January 29, 2016 5:28 PM GMT

Defense? What Defense? Our NCAAB handicapper believes this will be a high scoring affair between Northern Kentucky & Detroit, and breaks down his Friday night pick!

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 159.5
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

Northern Kentucky vs. Detroit
Two teams struggling to keep pace in the Horizon League meet on Friday night, with the Northern Kentucky Norse (7-12, 3-5) visiting the Detroit Titans (9-10, 3-5). Even though Detroit is coming into this game with an unimpressive losing streak, they have been instilled as 8-point favorites. The O/U total listed for the game is currently at 160 on the NCAA basketball odds board, which belies the high scoring offenses of each team.

The Titans come into this game losers of five straight, but will be coming home after a three game road trip of tough close losses. In those games, Detroit has lost to Wright State by one point, Milwaukee by three points, and on Monday to Green Bay 115-108 in overtime. In all of those three road games they were underdogs, and with the exception of the Green Bay game, covered the spread. It is frustrating when an underdog plays close enough to cover and the game ends tied, now isn’t it? That scenario has burned me a few times in the last week alone.

Detroit plays with a dominant player on their team, and that is sophomore small forward, Paris Bass. Bass leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists per game – coming in at 19.3 PPG, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. He was one of three Detroit players to foul out of the game in Green Bay, but he put up 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists before doing so. Detroit allowed 48.7% shooting from the floor in that game against Detroit, which continues a trend of poor defense for the Titans. In two of the last four games they have allowed opponents to shoot higher than 50% from the field.

Northern Kentucky has only won seven games this year, and three of those have come in the last five games played. However, the Norse can’t get too high on this as the teams they have beat are in the bottom of the league. Their last game was an awful loss against Horizon League leader, Valparaiso, by the score of 71-46. In that game only two players scored in double digits and the Norse shot just 30% from the field, going 15-50.

When Northern Kentucky isn’t getting their ass handed to them they are led by senior forward, Jalen Billups. Billups averages 13.6 points per game and 5.6 rebounds, both of which leads the team. Surprisingly, he leads the teams in these categories while only averaging 20.3 minutes per game. The leading minutes eater for Northern Kentucky is sophomore guard, Lavone Holland. Averaging 31.4 points per game, the floor general for the Norse leads the team with 4.2 assists per game so he is definitely the facilitator of the offense.

The 46 points that Northern Kentucky put up in the game against Valparaiso was by far the lowest offensive output of the season for the Norse. I wouldn’t expect that to continue against Detroit’s defense. Detroit allows an average of 84.3 points per game which ranks 347th in NCAA basketball this season. Being at home doesn’t seem to help them much either, as they allow 78.5 points per game. Unfortunately, Northern Kentucky’s road defense is just as bad, as they allow 82.2 points per game – good for a 314th place ranking in the NCAA.

I figure that the home team will dictate pace in this one, and Detroit’s 169.4 points per game over their last ten games gives the over of 160 some value. These teams should be running up and down the floor without much time to stop and play defense, so I will be taking Over 160 at BookMaker in this game as one of my NCAA basketball picks.