Northern Colorado vs. Illinois-Chicago odds: CIT championship game picks from model on 16-8 roll

Northern Colorado has stormed through the field of the Postseason Tournament, with three wins coming by an average of 13 points. Now, the Bears have a chance to finish their run with a championship when they host Illinois-Chicago in the 2018 CIT title game Friday night. (7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).

The homestanding Bears are nine-point favorites, with the over-under for total points scored set at 157.5.

Before you pick a side, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer has to say. This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, comes in on a blistering 16-8 run on its postseason college hoops picks. Now, it has a point-spread pick for the CIT final that hits in more than 50 percent of simulations.

The model knows Northern Colorado has used its high-octane offense to power three decisive home wins in the 2018 CIT. The Bears found an extra gear in their semifinal, beating Sam Houston State 99-80 and covering the 10-point spread.

Andre Spight scored 40 points and hit seven of Northern Colorado's 17 3-pointers. Jordan Davis had 18 points, four rebounds and four assists.

The Bears shot 59 percent from the field and 56.7 percent from 3-point range. They pulled away despite missing eight free throws and losing the rebounding battle 38-34.

Illinois-Chicago has taken a decidedly different route, relying on a shutdown defense to post two road upsets on its way to the CIT championship game.

The Flames have held opponents to an average of 64.3 points during the tournament. They advanced with a 67-51 win at Liberty as six-point underdogs. UIC held Liberty to 33 percent shooting and held a 40-36 rebounding edge. The Flames used a 14-0 second-half run to blow the game open.

Tarkus Ferguson scored 16 points to lead four UIC players in double-figures. The Flames won their ninth consecutive road game for the first time in program history.

Will the high-scoring Bears roll to another decisive win and cover, or will the stubborn Flames fight until the finish? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the UIC-Northern Colorado spread you can bank on more than half the time, all from the advanced computer model on a 16-8 run.

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