The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks will look to keep pace with the Weber State Wildcats on Thursday night in Utah. The action in the Big Sky is heating up between four contenders. Eastern Washington, Southern Utah, Weber State, and Idaho State are all up there in the Big Sky standings. Eastern Washington leads with a record of 9-2, while Southern Utah is 6-2, and Weber State and Idaho State are both 7-3.
Note that the Big Sky gets an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Stakes are high even for the smaller college basketball conferences. This isn’t like college football where these conferences mean absolutely nothing to the grand scheme of things. Speaking of small conferences, the FCS, which the Big Sky belongs to is beginning a spring football season this weekend. If you are desperate for football, then you might want to check it out.
There will surely be lines on the games, but I am in basketball mode at the moment, so likely going to pass unless something really sticks out. There is plenty of basketball in the Big Sky to get to before I start looking at their football slate. Like tonight in Ogden, Utah, where the Lumberjacks and Wildcats are scheduled to clash on the hardwood. Weber State is trying to play catch up with red-hot Eastern Washington.
Eastern Washington is on a seven-game winning streak, and could bring their hot run into March with them. Don’t overlook Weber State, though, who are going into Thursday night with a record of 12-5 and 7-3 in the Big Sky. They are fresh off a 91-82 win on the road against a decent Montana squad on Saturday. It was a nice response for Weber State after they didn’t look interested in the first meeting in a 80-67 loss a couple of days earlier.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for Weber State. They got way too complacent and comfortable in the first game against Montana. Good teams know how to bounce back after getting knocked down, though, and that’s what Weber State was able to accomplish. They will look to stay in good form against the visiting Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.
It’s been a tough season for Northern Arizona, who go into Thursday with a record of 5-11 and 4-6 in the Big Sky. They recorded their fifth win of the season with a 68-64 win versus Northern Colorado, then they went on a hiatus before returning tonight in Utah. Head below for our free Northern Arizona vs. Weber State pick on February 18, 2021.
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks vs. Weber State Wildcats NCAA Betting Odds:
Northern Arizona vs. Weber State Prediction:
Northern Arizona has been in regression mode compared to what we saw from them last season. They were adequate a season ago with a record of 16-14. The Lumberjacks didn’t do anything particularly great, but held in there well to be a competitive team. This season, though, Northern Arizona has been struggling to play competitive basketball against the better teams in the Big Sky.
Despite beating Northern Colorado in their most recent outing, that was only their second win in seven attempts. The other win was against a 9-10 Montana team in their best win of the season. The Northern Arizona offense has been in shambles this season, as they’ve routinely struggled to score the basketball. The Lumberjacks rank among the worst in the NCAA, with just 62.5 points per game for 333rd in the NCAA. They don’t have a strong enough defense to compensate for their anemic offense.
Northern Arizona has allowed 72.8 points per game, and they fade on the road some more with 76 points against per contest. They will be forced to keep up against the most dangerous offense in the Big Sky. Weber State is seventh in the nation with 83.9 points scored per game. Thanks to their ability from beyond the three-point line, Weber State can pour on the points in a hurry.
Note that the Wildcats are third in the country with a conversion rate of 40.3% from deep. Their offensive prowess only improves at home, where they are shooting 54.4% and a staggering 45.2% from three. Through eight games at home, they’re perfect at 8-0, and scoring an electric 91.3 points per game in Ogden. It’s hard to see Northern Arizona being able to stay close in one with their offense. Expect Weber State to pull away at home. They are 5-0 ATS in their last five games on campus, and likely advancing to 6-0 ATS in their last six tonight.