In a conference with a lack of exposure, the Wichita State Shockers are flying under the radar at 11-1. The Northern Iowa Panthers (7-5) are next up on the schedule in a late Sunday afternoon matchup.

Will the Shockers continue the exceptional play with only 1 defeat on their resume? How should we play out our NCAAB picks today?

Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 pm ET at the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas. This game can be seen on ESPN 3.

5 Dimes Sportsbook currently lists the Shockers as a 5 point betting odds favorite with no total available.

A narrow escape

Betting oddsWichita State is coming off of a game in where they outscored a formidable Southern Miss team 43-24 in the 2nd half to comeback and defeat the Golden Eagles 59-51.

The Shockers scored the last 10 points in the game and although they didn't shoot well (38%), their ability to dominate on the boards (39-22) and draw fouls were the difference in the game. Wichita State went to the free throw line 25 times and were led by senior guard Demetric Williams with 17 points.

Key injury

The Shockers are without leading scorer and Senior center, Carl Hall. For those of you that don't know, Hall will be out of action for 1 month with an injury to his thumb which occurred in practice. This injury will require surgery and is unfortunate for Wichita State in which Hall was having a solid senior season. They'll need to make up 13.9 points, 7.6, rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

Senior Ehimen Orukpe, has been seeing action since the injury and is a dominant figure stature-wise at 7 feet, 250 pounds, but hasn't been dominant on the court, averaging just 2.5 points and 6 rebounds in his last 2 games.

Cleanthony Early

Guard, Demetric Williams, was the star of the game against Southern Miss, doubling his seasonal average in points. But, forward Cleanthony Early will need to lead this team offensively and on the boards.

On the season, Early is averaging 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. He's a good player to have the ball at the end of the game, converting 85.1% of his free throw attempts. That said,  Early is coming off of a poor 2 for 13 shooting performance against Southern Miss but still managed 4 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Wichita State has 5 players that average over 7 points per game and 11 players that average over 10 minutes per game. Each game, someone different might need to step up. Currently this is a basketball team with no definitive "go to guy".

If Wichita State play's its normal game, they should have somewhat of an edge against an inferior, but respectable squad in the Northern Iowa Panthers.

The record is deceiving

Difficulty in opponents is where the Panthers have a major edge. They've taken on all comers. The list includes UNLV, Iowa, Stanford, Memphis, and Louisville. All of these games were losses, but some were fairly close. This should be a dogfight as some people look at the records and naturally assume that the Shockers are the far superior basketball squad.

Forwards Jake Koch and Seth Tuttle and guard Anthony James are all coming off of big performances in the make-up game, a 82-75 victory over the St. Mary's Gaels. Guard Jordan Page was an unstoppable 10 of 13 from the field for the Gaels, but the Northern Iowa starting five was productive and saw the foul line often.

Tuttle led the way with 18 points and 7 rebounds while Koch had an overall exceptional game with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks.

Let's go check out the odds page! Live betting odds from all of the books!

A weak bench

Northern Iowa has the edge against Wichita State in production out of their starters,but team depth could be an issue and the difference in this game. Against St. Mary's only 2 bench players scored for the Panthers

The Panthers have played several top level teams and have come up on the short end of the stick. Without Carl Hall, for the first time, they have a legitimate chance to defeat a legitimate top 25 or a team that can at least be in the conversation of being in the AP top 25.

Outcome

Northern Iowa has been tested several times and have a lot talent upfront with Seth Tuttle and Jake Koch. This should be a close game, but I like Northern Iowa to cover the spread and possibly win the game and shock the Shockers.

Free Pick - Northern Iowa +5 at 5 Dimes