Detroit & Kent State Present Underdog Value In Hoops Action Friday

Jay Pryce

Friday, February 9, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

Detroit is catching 14 points at Oakland in the Metro Series, while Ball State is spotting Kent State 5.5 in their clash at Worthen Arena Friday night. Both road underdogs present betting value. Here’s why.

Detroit vs Oakland (-14)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Over 166Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Oakland (15-10 SU, 7-15 ATS) sits fourth in the Horizon League standings with a 7-5 SU record, three games back of co-leaders Wright State and Northern Kentucky (11-2 SU). Favorites to repeat as regular-season champions with 31 of 47 first-place votes in the preseason poll, the Golden Grizzlies already own more conference losses than last year. They finished 14-4 SU prior to the league tourney. Is the current squad worthy of laying a double-digit spread? No mercy for Detroit Mercy is the theme tonight in the Metro Series:

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LET'S GO! 😤#WEARtheBEAR | #OaklandMBB | #NoMercy

— Golden Grizzlies (@GoldenGrizzlies) February 8, 2018

Head coach Greg Kampe has fielded some dominant teams in his 33 years in charge of the program, including a pair that went 20-1 SU in conference play in 2009 and 2010. Even then, covering a big number against familiar opponents is a challenge. Since 2006, Oakland is just 13-26 ATS as a home favorite when laying 10 points or more to Horizon League foes. The Grizz are failing to best a -14.7 line by 3.2 points per game.

A porous defense is an issue most of the time. It yields a 44.1 percent opponent field goal rate in the aforementioned situation. To put this in perspective, all other Horizon League teams in this span and under these conditions allow a 39.8 percent rate. The Grizz rank 237th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency ratings this season.

Detroit (7-18 SU, 9-13 ATS), meanwhile, is a Horizon League cellar dweller for the second year in a row, a half-game up on Cleveland State for last place. Since the start of last season, it is 5-3 ATS catching 10 points or more versus conference foes on the NCAAB odds board.

Both teams like to run, ranking 16th (Detroit) and 29th (Oakland) in tempo nationally. This explains the 166.5 game total opener. They have matched up three times with Bacari Alexander in charge of the Titans, each team scoring 80 points or more. The final scores: 178, 169, and 181. Lean the ‘over’ here and take the points with Detroit. The line should be closer to -10. Oakland wins a shootout 90-81.

Kent State at Ball State (-5.5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Kent State -5.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Kent State (12-12 SU, 9-9 ATS) is a perfect 8-0 SU (7-1 ATS) against Ball State (15-9 SU, 7-11 ATS) since Rob Senderoff took control of the program in the 2011-12 season. This includes an 88-80 overtime win as 2.5-point underdogs earlier this season at Memorial A&C Center. It was one of just two games in the span with the Golden Flashes catching points. They won and covered as 1-point pups 76-68 in Muncie in January 2016.

Strong defense is fueling Kent State’s streak. They hold the Cardinals to 64.9 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting. Ball State has surpassed their projected team total in the betting market twice in regulation time. The Cardinals, however, have the better unit this season—at least on paper. It ranks 134th as opposed to 219 for the Flashes in adjusted efficiency.

Ball State is just 8-21-1 ATS as a favorite against conference foes behind head coach James Whitford all-time. Laying an average 4.1 points, it has won just eight of 30 games outright by 6 points or more. It might snap the Flashes’ current streak tonight, but it will be tight. Kent State is armed with better shooters. Take the 5.5 points with the visitors.

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