Iona vs. Niagara Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Feb. 8 (Take Niagara as a home underdog)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Iona-Niagara. 

Mar 10, 2023; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Iona Gaels forward Nelly Junior Joseph (13) dribbles the ball against Niagara.
Mar 10, 2023; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Iona Gaels forward Nelly Junior Joseph (13) dribbles the ball against Niagara. / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Iona is playing its best basketball of the season, winning five of the last six games after pulling out competitive wins over Fairfield (91-82) and Rider (94-93) at home last week. Can they cover as short-road favorites? 

Niagara was once 3-8 on the year but has been excellent in MAAC play, going 8-4, and is coming off a home win over Canisius Tuesday, 69-64. The Purple Eagles are getting points at home on Thursday night. 

Here’s the betting preview for Thursday with a best bet. 

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Iona vs. Niagara odds, spread and total

Iona vs. Niagara betting trends

  • Iona is 11-10 ATS this season
  • Niagara is 14-7 ATS this season
  • Iona is 7-7 ATS as a favorite this season
  • Niagara is 9-2 ATS as an underdog this season
  • The OVER is 11-10 in Iona games this season
  • The OVER is 15-6 in Niagara games this season

Iona vs. Niagara how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 8
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Gallagher Center
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Iona record: 11-10 (6-4 MAAC)
  • Niagara record: 12-10 (8-4 MAAC)

Iona vs. Niagara key players to watch


Greg Gordon: The 6-foot-5 junior guard is the Gaels’ leading scorer this season at 15 points per game and is second in the MAAC in field goal percentage (54.8%). Gordon is coming off back-to-back big nights, scoring 63 points on 23-of-35 shooting with 18 rebounds and 7 assists in a pair of Iona wins. 


Harlan Obioha: The 7-foot sophomore is the only starter for the Purple Eagles not scoring in double figures (9.6 points per game), but does the crucial work near the rim as the team’s leader in rebounding and blocks. Obioha is shooting 58.8% from the field and has scored double-digit points in three of the last four games. 

Iona vs. Niagara prediction and pick

Niagara scored a thrilling 75-73 win in the first matchup between these two teams when guard Braxton Bayless scored 22 points off the bench, including the game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds. Niagara shot 49% from the field that night and dominated the rebounding battle (41-24), winning despite committing 20 turnovers.

Those turnover numbers shouldn’t repeat themselves as Niagara is No. 117 in turnover percentage and should protect the ball better at home, despite Iona’s steal-dependent defense. If they limit turnovers, Niagara can get good looks against an Iona defense that is No. 277 in effective field goal percentage and No. 299 in defending shots from inside the arc. Niagara can light it up from beyond the arc, ranking No. 25 in the nation in 3-point shooting, hitting 37.6% from downtown. 

Niagara’s defense is only No. 320 in KenPom, but Iona’s offense, despite a good turnover percentage, is below average in a slew of major metrics, including 2-point shooting (No. 224) and free-throw shooting (No. 331). Niagara has been a monster against the spread this season (14-7), but even better as an underdog (9-2 ATS) while Iona is 1-3 ATS as a road favorite. Take the Purple Eagles. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.