Milwaukee vs. NKU Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Horizon League Semifinal (Back the Norse)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Milwaukee-NKU.

Northern Kentucky v Houston
Northern Kentucky v Houston / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

Milwaukee opened the Horizon League Tournament by going on the road and taking out No. 3 Green Bay, 95-84. With two tournament wins under its belt, No. 6 Milwaukee is two victories away from its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2014. 

Standing in the Panthers’ way is Northern Kentucky, which has a tournament pedigree having made a March Madness appearance in three of its last seven seasons. The No. 5 Norse won in an overtime thriller in the quarterfinals over No. 4 Wright State on the road Thursday. In a game lined close to pick ‘em, here’s the betting breakdown for Monday’s tilt with a best bet. 

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Milwaukee vs. NKU  Odds, Spread and Total


  • Milwaukee +1.5 (-108)
  • Northern Kentucky -1.5 (-112)


  • Milwaukee: +105
  • Northern Kentucky: -125


  • 152 (Over -122/Under +102)

Milwaukee vs. NKU Betting Trends

  • Milwaukee is 14-17 ATS this season
  • NKU is 17-13 ATS this season
  • Milwaukee is 7-7 ATS as an underdog this season
  • NKU is 7-6 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 21-10 in Milwaukee games this season
  • The OVER is 16-14 in Northern Kentucky games this season

Milwaukee vs. NKU How to Watch

  • Date: Monday, March 11 
  • Game time: 9:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN2/ESPN+
  • Milwaukee record: 19-14
  • NKU record: 18-14

Milwaukee vs. NKU Key Players to Watch


BJ Freeman: The Horizon League’s leading scorer, Freeman is averaging 21.2 points per game, which is top-15 in the nation. The 6-foot-6 junior guard has gone off in two tournament wins so far for Milwaukee, combining for 62 points on 20-of-39 shooting with 18 rebounds. 


Marques Warrick: Speaking of big-time performances, Warrick, a senior guard and Northern Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer, had 35 points on 11-of-18 shooting in the Norse’s 99-97 overtime win over Wright State on Thursday. Warrick is third in the Horizon League in scoring at 20.4 points per game. 

Milwaukee vs. NKU Prediction and Pick 

Can anyone slow down the Horizon League scoring machine? Eight of the 11 teams in the Horizon League are over 53% to the over this season, including both squads in this semifinal matchup. 

Northern Kentucky, which has scored 80-plus in three of its last four games, put up 90 in an eight-point win over Milwaukee Jan. 18. Northern Kentucky will have a big advantage on the glass. The Norse are No. 171 in KenPom in effective field goal percentage, but make up for misses as an above-average offensive rebounding percentage. Milwaukee gets hurt on the glass, ranking No. 329 in permitting second-chance opportunities. Northern Kentucky struggles from the perimeter, but is No. 4 in the Horizon League in shooting from 2-point range.

On the other side, Northern Kentucky’s defense is No. 223 in effective field goal percentage, but its shooting metrics are much better against conference foes. The Norse are top-3 in the Horizon League in effective field goal percentage, defending 3-pointers and overall defensive efficiency. 

Turnovers could be the biggest difference on Monday. Northern Kentucky forces turnovers at the 35th highest rate in the nation and is No. 1 in the Horizon League in steals. Milwaukee is No. 255 in turnover percentage and gets its shots blocked at one of the highest rates in the country. Northern Kentucky takes care of business in Indianapolis. 

Pick: Northern Kentucky -1

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.