Norfolk State @ N Carolina Central 1/31/22 (NCAAB)

A late night matchup in the MEAC as we get two teams who are battling atop the conference at the moment. Norfolk State (15-4) heads to N Carolina Central (8-10) to take on the Eagles at McDougald-McLendon Arena.



Norfolk State comes into this game as winners of six straight after a brief COVID pause back in the beginning of January. This team has improved defensively over that span and rank 11th in the nation on defensive rating while N Carolina Central rank 65th in the same category. Now, a lot of that has to do with the level of competition in the MEAC not being that great, however if we look at what has been done recently, the Eagles have put up a strong defensive performance against Delaware St (2-15) and Maryland Eastern Shore (6-9) which are the two bottom feeders of the conference. In terms of offense, the Spartans shoot 46.1% from the field and 34.8% from 3, while the Eagles shoot a mere 44.4% from the field and 32.7% from 3. Now that is not a huge difference, but if we are looking at the end of the game to where this may come down to free throws then we can see a larger difference as the Spartans convert 71.5% from the line and the Eagles convert 66.1% from the line. Norfolk State can also rebound the ball significantly better as they rank 29th in the nation. I expect both teams to bring it defensively here tonight, but just think Norfolk's offense will have enough of an edge to win this game by more than 4. With Norfolk St, they have 4 players that average double digit points per game which means they know how to spread the ball and find the hot hand if another teammate is struggling. N Carolina Central on the other hand has only 2 players averaging double digit points which can be an issue near crunch time at the end of the game.


Odds


Currently the odds sit at Norfolk St -3 (-110) O/U 136. Defensively, both teams should play well and keep this game under the total, but there is just too much offensive firepower on the Spartans side that will give them the edge to pull away during the full 40 minutes.


Pick


Norfolk St -3 (-110) - 1 unit

Odds via BetUS

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