Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State odds, line: 2019 Big Sky Tournament picks, predictions from expert on 9-2 run

Wednesday's college basketball schedule tips off at 11:30 a.m. ET as the 2019 Big Sky Tournament opens with a first-round matchup between No. 9 seed Sacramento State Hornets (14-15) and No. 8 seed Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (10-20). The Hornets are favored by 2.5 points, with the over-under for total points set at 143.5 in the latest Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State odds. It has been a disappointing season for both sides, but March brings new opportunities. And the winner of this game will get a crack at top-seeded Montana on Thursday. Before you make your own Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State picks, be sure to check out the 2019 Big Sky Tournament predictions from SportsLine handicapper Tom Fornelli.

A CBS Sports writer since 2010, Fornelli began handing out winners in all sports on SportsLine in 2018, and his current college basketball streak is among his most impressive. He's on a 9-2 run on all his college basketball picks, and anyone who has been following along is way, way up.

Now Fornelli has studied Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State from every angle and locked in a pick you can only see at SportsLine. He has taken into account that the Lumberjacks finished with an 8-12 mark in conference play and limp into the conference tournament with three losses in their past four games. 

Defensive breakdowns have been a huge issue for the Lumberjacks this season. They finished the regular season ranked 318th in the nation in scoring defense and gave up at least 84 points in two of their final four games of the season. They also had a losing record against the spread this season and haven't played particularly well on extended rest, posting a 6-9 record against the number with four or more days between games. 

That being said, Hornets had plenty of struggles this season as well and are no lock to stay within the Northern Arizona vs. Sacramento State spread in the Big Sky Tournament 2019 opener on Wednesday. 

After a promising 6-2 start to the season, the Hornets dropped their next five games and ultimately ended up at just 8-12 in the conference, the same mark as their opponents. The Hornets won back-to-back conference games just once during the 2018-19 season.

Though these teams split the regular season series, the more recent game is cause for concern for Sacramento State. The Hornets lost 78-66 at home to the Lumberjacks in a Feb. 16 matchup. They turned the ball over 15 times and shot just 46 percent from the field. Another sloppy performance like that could lead to a quick exit for the Hornets.

We can tell you Fornelli is leaning toward the under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He has identified a critical x-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Sacramento State vs. Northern Arizona? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Sacramento State vs. Northern Arizona spread you need to jump all over Wednesday, all from a proven college basketball expert who has hit nine of his last 11 picks

Our Latest Stories