The Northern Colorado Bears (10-9, 5-2 Big Sky) — who were picked to finish fifth in the conference preseason poll — aim to win the road half of a home-and-home set against the Portland State Vikings (5-13, 3-7 Big Sky) Monday at the Stott Center. Tip off is at 10:30 pm ET on ESPN+.
|Northern Colorado||-166||-3.5 (-110)||O 148 (-114)|
|Portland State||+138||+3.5 (-110)||U 148 (-106)|
Odds as of January 30th, 2022 at FanDuel.
Northern Colorado is a 3.5-point road favorite over the Vikings, while the total is high at 146. The -166 moneyline price for the Bears amounts to a 62.4% implied win probability, while Portland State’s +138 odds to win is equal to 42% implied probability.
Steve Smiley’s leading scorer, Daylen Kountz, had a team-high 22 points against the Wildcats in a nine-point loss. Dru Kuxhausen added 20 and Bodie Hume finished with 17 in what turned out to be only Northern Colorado’s second home loss this season.
Meantime, Jase Coburn’s club snapped a five-game losing streak and tasted victory for just the second time in its last 12 games with a 21-point blowout win over the Lumberjacks. Senior forward Khalid Thomas tied a career-high and recorded a season-high 25 points in the W, while Ian Burke exploded for 21.
Northern Colorado Owns Portland State in Recent H2H Results
The Bears have knocked off the Vikings in six of the last nine meetings, including the last matchup — a 73-65 Northern Colorado victory in Greeley last season. Coming into this year’s first meeting, all eyes will be on Kountz. The senior guard from Denver and former Colorado Buffalo has been red-hot of late, recording three 20-point games in the last four outings. He has 11 20-point games this season.
Northern Colorado G Daylen Kountz holds that honor, just edging out Cone at 19.5 PPG. https://t.co/mcFrzXb9Am
— Larry Muniz (@HardwoodTalk) January 25, 2022
Kountz (19.7 ppg) is one of four players averaging in double-digits for Smiley. He’s joined by Matt Johnson (12.1 ppg), Kuxhausen (11.8 ppg) and Hume (11.0 ppg). The quartet of seniors in the backcourt present a daunting task for Portland State to defend. The only problem: Northern Colorado needs to find scoring from other sources. Kountz, Kuxhausen and Hume accounted for 59 of the 76 points in the loss to Weber State.
But as long as Smiley’s guys handle the rock — the Bears committed 20 turnovers leading to 21 points for the Wildcats Thursday — the road team will be just fine against the Vikings.
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Portland State’s ATS Record is Deceiving
The Vikings are 8-8 against the spread during the 2021-22 campaign (they played a pair of NAIA programs early in the season that didn’t feature lines). But they are 5-2 ATS in their last five. That includes a massive victory Saturday over the ‘Jacks.
So proud of our team! To be able to keep fighting, with everything we have been through! Thanks to all the @psuviksMBB fans that came!
Some of us may have been born in AZ, or spent time in AZ, but Portland is our HOME!!! We wear Portland State across our chest proudly!!! #goviks https://t.co/5PO0LtBcvz
— Jase Coburn (@JaseCoburn) January 30, 2022
Thomas, Burke and Trey Wood led a shooting clinic — at 7,000 feet, no less. Portland State shot 519% from downtown (14-of-27) and went 37-of-66 overall from the field (56.1%). If Coburn’s club can even approach those numbers against Northern Colorado, the home dog appears to be a solid bet again.
Normally a defensive-minded group (the Vikings allow 70.6 points per game — over five points less than the Bears allow), Portland State went 27 points over its 70.8 points per contest average on offense and looked no worse for the wear.
While I certainly don’t expect a repeat performance from a shooting standpoint, the Vikings showed they can play any style Saturday.
Northern Colorado vs Portland State Prediction
Betting Colorado in this matchup has been a compelling trend. But so is Portland State’s recent run against the spread.
Was Saturday’s outing by Coburn’s group an anomaly or a shift?
While I love the senior scoring Northern Colorado brings to the table, I feel like the home team will be emboldened by its performance against NAU and show well on its homecourt.
Pick: Portland State +3.5 (-110)