Northern Kentucky vs. Youngstown State Prediction and Odds for Horizon League Semifinal

The No. 4 Northern Kentucky Norse take on the No. 1 Youngstown State Penguins in the semifinal of the Horizon League Tournament with massive implications for the NCAA Tournament.

The Norse are rolling, having covered the spread in six consecutive contests. Meanwhile, the Penguins are 4-1 in their last five games but haven’t covered in three straight.

I see clear betting value on one side thanks to a stingy defense that generates turnovers at one of the highest rates in the country. Let’s check out the odds before I get into the pick.

Northern Kentucky vs. Youngstown State Odds, Spread, and Total

Northern Kentucky vs. Youngstown State Prediction and Pick

There are a few key advantages that I see on Northern Kentucky’s side. Thus, I’m backing the Norse to cover the 3.5-point spread and think they may win outright.

Northern Kentucky has a significant defensive edge, ranking 15th nationally in opponent turnover percentage (23.1%). We saw the impact of the Norse’s swarming defense back in December when Youngstown State turned the ball over 24 times in a 77-73 loss.

The Penguins got revenge last month in a dominant 74-56 victory, but I’m betting that was an aberration as the Norse shot just over 32% from the field. Youngstown State ranks 261st nationally in opponent two-point field goal percentage (52.1%), so I expect an improvement from Northern Kentucky.

Covering the spread in six straight while going 5-1 overall in that span, the Norse are on fire. They’re 8-2 in their last 10 games against Youngstown State and 3-1 against the spread in their last four.

Trust these trends to continue as the Penguins give away too many opportunities with turnovers.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change. 

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