Eastern Washington Ends 10-Game Road Trip in Wyoming

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 1:01 PM UTC

Whoever scheduled Eastern Washington's 10-game road trip to start their NCAAB season must hate them, as they play the last game of it in the altitude of Laramie, Wyoming. Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, looks to profit from the situation. 
 

Eastern Washington Eagles vs Wyoming Cowboys

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Free NCAAB Pick: Wyoming -11.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

As a follower of the Eastern Washington Eagles, my local team, I’ve had this game circled on my calendar for some time. And not in a good way, but as a potential blowout loss. Eastern Washington has been on a brutal road trip to start the season, with this game being the 10th straight road game for the Eagles. This game comes after they have lost 4 in a row SU and after a travel day from the South Dakota game on Sunday. With no rest for the weary, the Eagles have landed in one of the hardest places to play in the country – the altitude of Laramie to play a team that is perfect at home in the Wyoming Cowboys.

Wyoming is a team with more offensive firepower than the Eagles at the moment, with 4 players averaging double figures in scoring per game. They are led by senior 6’ 8” forward, Hayden Dalton, who is very consistent in scoring 16.2 points per game with a team leading 7.9 rebounds per game. Wyoming is also a very experienced team, with their roster averaging 2.32 years’ experience per kenpom.com. That ranks them 18th in the country in that statistic, but also means that they have many players back from their 91-81 win over the Eagles in March of this year.

Wyoming holds a significant shooting advantage that should also play out in this game. They shoot 46.3% from the field at home, while EWU shoots just 39.5% on the road. The Eagles allow a 45.0% shooting percentage on the road as well, so I don’t see any indicators that the Cowboys can’t put up an average scoring performance. In efficiency statistics there are also mismatches on both sides of the floor favoring Wyoming, with Eastern being ranked in the bottom 10% of the NCAAB in offensive rebounding percentages and effective FG%.

Wyoming is coming off of an 86-72 win over the Pacific Tigers at home in which they pulled away late in the 2nd half. That is par for the course in the altitude of Laramie, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the pattern holds in this game. The only chance for Eastern is if Bogdan Bliznyuk repeats his 29-point performance from last spring's 91-81 loss to Wyoming, yet the two other players that put up 43 combined points in Jacob Wiley and Felix Von Hofe have since graduated. The Wyoming juniors in that game are now the seniors, which I believe bodes well for them in this spot.

Eastern Washington has to be glad that this marathon 10-game road trip is almost complete. After this game, they get two cupcakes at home before Christmas break. The betting markets have placed them as double-digit 11.5-point underdogs here for good reason. I’ll take the Wyoming Cowboys -11.5 to cover the spread here as my Monday NCAAB pick.

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