Northern Kentucky vs. Purdue Fort Wayne Prediction and Odds (Mastodons March On in Horizon League Semifinal)

Northern Kentucky aims for their fifth straight win as they take on Purdue Fort Wayne in the Horizon League Semifinals
Northern Kentucky aims for their fifth straight win as they take on Purdue Fort Wayne in the Horizon League Semifinals / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

We've got a matchup of two hot teams as the 18-11 Northern Kentucky Norse take on the 21-10 Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons in the Horizon League Semifinal tonight at 9:30 PM EST.

Fort Wayne has rolled off 10 straight wins, covering the spread in eight of them, while Northern Kentucky has won and covered in four straight.

These teams split their regular-season series with Fort Wayne winning the first 71-57 and Northern Kentucky winning the second 59-49 - does value lie with the Norse to smother the Mastodons' offense once again or will Fort Wayne exact revenge to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive?

Here are the odds via WynnBET:

Northern Kentucky vs Purdue Fort Wayne Odds, Spread and Total


  • Northern Kentucky -1.5 (-110)
  • IPFW +1.5 (-110)


  • Northern Kentucky: -125
  • IPFW: +105


  • 133.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Northern Kentucky vs Purdue Fort Wayne Prediction and Pick

This should be a fantastic game. These squads are evenly matched, with Fort Wayne having an excellent offense and poor defense while Northern Kentucky is more balanced, and extremely hot right now.

It's tough to determine edges when both teams just keep winning, but I think Fort Wayne has some advantages that make them the pick here. The Mastodons have the 29th-highest effective field goal percentage in the country and have been on fire offensively, ranking in the 98th percentile in offensive rating over their last five games. Their opponents in that stretch have been, on average, in the 99th percentile in defensive rating, so they're scoring a ton against elite defenses and that should carry them against a Norse defense that's in only the 48th percentile.

Fort Wayne does an excellent job at creating havoc defensively, ranking 29th nationally by forcing turnovers on 21.7% of opponents' possessions. Northern Kentucky, meanwhile, is 266th in offensive turnover rate. They've covered five straight as a favorite but none of those games came against a team as talented as the Mastodons, who are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 as an underdog, including three straight wins.

In the 59-49 Northern Kentucky win in January, Fort Wayne shot just 37% from the field in one of their worst offensive performances of the year. This is an elite offensive team we're talking about, so I don't expect such a poor showing with their season on the line.

This is essentially a playoff game, with both teams needing to win this tournament to make March Madness, so I expect the Mastodons to be dialed in offensively and think we'll see a final closer to their 71-57 victory in December.

I've been on Fort Wayne all season and I'm not stopping now. Give me the Mastodons to improve to 19-10-1 ATS and earn their fourth straight underdog win.

Pick: Purdue Fort Wayne +105

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.