Massachusetts’ T.J. Weeks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Northeastern a 1.5-point favorite against UMass on Tuesday
Northeastern is 3-0 at home, 2-1 ATS
Read below for analysis and a betting prediction
UMass (6-3) in a 1.5-point road underdog against Northeastern in a non-conference game in Boston at 7 pm ET Tuesday. The. Minutemen have been Big Ten schools Penn State and Rutgers at home this season.
Northeastern (5-4) won the most recent game between the two, 78-75 last Dec. 13, the second of a home-and-home series played three days apart a year ago. Each won and covered as a home favorite..
UMass vs Northeastern Odds
Over 141.5 (-115)
Under 141.5 (-105)
Odds from FanDuel on Dec. 6.
Each team has played Harvard in the last two weeks in games featuring dramatically different swings and outcomes. UMass overcome a 17-point, first-half deficit to beat Harvard 87-77 in Amherst its last time out Saturday, when Noah Fernandes had 24 points and T.J. Weeks had 21.
Northeastern was outscored 46-16 in the second half in a 77-57 road loss at Harvard on Nov. 27. The Huskies shot 33.9 percent from the floor.
Returning guards 5’11 Noah Fernandes and 6’3 T.J. Weeks Jr. have been joined by three transfer portal finds, guards 6’5 C.J. Kelly and 6’1 Rich Kelly and forward 6’8 Trent Buttrick to lead an offense that plays from the perimeter and features five double-figure scorers, all of whom have made at least 14 3-pointers.
The Minutemen play at a fast pace — they are averaging 82.8 points a game, 27th in NCAA Division I, and giving up 79.4, which ranks 327th in scoring defense.
Junior Fernandes leads the team in scoring (16.4) and assists (4.9) and is shooting 47.8 percent from the field. Albany transfer C.J. Kelly is averaging 14.4 points and has made 25 of 46 3-pointer attempts, 54. 3 percent.
Fernandes has taken on a larger role on a team that lost four starters from an 8-7 team. He had 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds against Harvard after getting 16 points including the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and 11 rebounds in an 85-83 home victory over Rutgers on Nov. 27,
Fernandes missed the Nov. 24 92-81 victory over UMass-Lowell with a leg injury suffered in the Jersey Mike’s Classic before returning for Rutgers.
Weeks has been his most productive while playing off the bench in four of the last five. He had 21 points including four 3-pointers and eight rebounds against Harvard. He has made 11 of 17 threes in 24 minutes a game in the last five.
The transition to the starting lineup has been just as smooth for C.J. Kelly, who is averaging 15.8 points in the last five games as a starter while making 17 of 28 threes. The Minutemen shot 51.9 percent from the field and made 15 of 29 threes against the Crimson.
2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
The Huskies have won two straight since their futile second half against Harvard, beating Detroit Mercy and Colgate. They pulled their own comeback against the Raiders, overcoming a 19-point deficit in the final 16 minutes for a 74-69 home victory in the second of six straight home games.
Sophomore 6’7 guard Jahmyl Telfort, who had a season-high 18 points against Colgate, leads the team in scoring after being the CAA Sixth Man of the Year last season.
Junior forward 6’7 Chris Doherty is averaging a double-double with 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds. He is 17th in Division I in rebounding. Senior guard 6’6 Shaquille Walters is averaging 13.4 points and 5.5 rebounds while playing the point.
UAB transfer guard 6-5 Tyreek Scott-Gregson had 12 points, four rebounds and two assists against Colgate in his second game after returning from a shoulder injury. The Huskies had a season-low seven turnovers against the Raiders.
💥LOOK OUT BELOW!!💥
Chris Doherty gets the fast break finish to give NU a 24-8 lead at the under-8 media timeout.#HowlinHuskies pic.twitter.com/8WAoYLQEjH
— Northeastern Men’s Basketball (@GoNUmbasketball) December 1, 2021
By the Numbers
Northeastern is 157th in KenPom adjusted efficiency margin, and with its taller group plays at a slower pace than most, ranking 313th in tempo with about 65.5 possessions per game. UMass is 121st in KenPom efficiency and is averaging about three more possessions per game than the Huskies.
The teams are meeting for the 56th time after splitting a home-and-home set a year ago. The Minutemen won and covered 94-79 as 7-point favorite at home last Dec. 11 before Northeastern won and covered 78-75 at home as a 4.5-point favorite to break a six-game series losing streak on Dec. 13. Neither team has been favored by more than seven points in the last six.
UMass is 5-1 overall and ATS in the five games played since 2012. Both teams are much different than the two that split a pair last December, but UMass has played a more difficult early slate.
The pick: UMass +1.5 (-110)