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Iona Gaels face Northern Iowa Panthers: NCAA basketball odds preview and stats

Iona GaelsNorthern Iowa Panthers
5-5December 28, 2013, 08:00 | McLeod Center5-6

College hoops betting interest focuses on the Northern Iowa vs Iona battle Saturday at McLeod Center as the Panthers look to defend home court and cover the NCAA basketball point spread.

The Gaels will try to spoil to the party on Saturday; they are 3-6 ATS against the number this season, while the Panthers are 4-5 ATS. Iona is 3-3 on the totals; Northern Iowa is 7-2.

View Iona Gaels vs Northern Iowa Panthers Odds and Stats.

The Gaels were listed as 3.5-point underdogs at many online sportsbooks, including Sportsbook.ag.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 251-rated Panthers and the No. 167-ranked Gaels, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark.

Last time out for Iona, they were an 80-72 loser as they battled Nevada on the road. They failed to cover in the match as a 1-point underdog. Iona suffered an 80-72 loss against Nevada on Sunday, getting 22 points from A.J. English in a losing effort at Lawlor Events Center.

In their last action, Northern Iowa was a 57-43 loser on the road against Virginia. They failed to cover the 11.5-point spread as underdogs. Seth Tuttle scored 14 points in a futile effort to lead the Panthers to a win (they lost 57-43 to Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday).

How They Match Up:
Rating these schools in several key categories is important for handicappers and Northern Iowa has the nation's No. 200-rated offensive output, at 70 PPG. The visiting Gaels defense ranks No. 236 allowing on average 78.3 PPG. The Panthers FG% has averaged 43.31% so far, less than the Gaels marksmen have achieved on the year, 47.55% per game.

A few Gaels at Panthers trends to consider:
Iona is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Iona is 3-10 SU in its last 13 games on the road
Northern Iowa is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home

Next up:
Iona at Quinnipiac, Thursday, January 2nd
Northern Iowa at Bradley, Wednesday, January 1st