Green Bay Our NCAA Basketball Pick At Home Over Milwaukee in Horizon

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 15, 2016 6:21 PM GMT

In an all-Wisconsin rivalry inside the Horizon League Monday night, home court advantage could make the difference when those Green Bay Phoenix host the Milwaukee Panthers.

 

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2974952, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NCAA Basketball Pick: Green Bay -2
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

There is a big Battle of Wisconsin inside the Horizon League Monday night and home court advantage could end up being crucial when the Milwaukee Panthers (16-10, 10-13 ATS) make the short trip to pay a visit to the home standing Green Bay Phoenix (15-11, 13-10 ATS) at the Resch Center in Green Bay, WI at 8:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at 5 Dmes has Green Bay as a small home favorite for this contest with the current line at -2½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -104.

 

Tied for Fourth Place in Horizon League
Milwaukee made some national headlines earlier this season when it went on the road and upset the reigning national finalist Wisconsin Badgers 68-67 in Madison, a win that looks even better now that the Badgers have recent come out of nowhere and played themselves into an NCAA Tournament spot! However, Wisconsin was struggling at the time of the Milwaukee upset, and the Panthers have gone on to their currently mediocre 16-10 overall mark.

Milwaukee is also only 7-6 inside the Horizon League, and thus in a flat-footed tie for fourth place with its Wisconsin rival and opponent tonight from Green Bay. The Phoenix are 15-11 overall after scoring 93 points was not enough to prevent being the losing NCAA Basketball pick by an NBA-type score of 111-93 on the road at Oakland on Saturday, but still they now get a chance to avenge an earlier 95-94 loss to the Panthers in Milwaukee on January 29th.

This contest is also important because finishing in fourth place would mean getting a bye in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.

 

No Team Gets Off Shots Faster
Green Bay did not get off to a good start in the first meeting between these teams and trailed by 10 points early in the second half before erasing that deficit and taking the lead with about nine minutes left. That rally may have used up a lot of energy though as Milwaukee then re-rallied for the narrow one-point win. A faster start to the game by the Phoenix could make the difference here, and that is exactly what we expect with Green Bay now playing at home.

No team in the country runs as fast as Green Bay does, as while the Phoenix are actually second in the country in adjusted tempo rating grading out at 78.9 possession per game to trail only The Citadel (81.4) nationally, Green Bay leads the nation in shortage average possession length at just 13.2 seconds, even scoffing at the newly shortened 30-second clock.

And yet, despite playing at such a phrenetic pace, the Phoenix do not turn the ball over much ranking 46th in the country in offensive turnover percentage at 16.2 percent vs. a national average of 18.4 percent. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Green Bay ranks third in the entire land in scoring with its 85.7 points per game.

On the flip side, the Phoenix are allowing an ugly average of 82.9 points defensively, but part of that is also due to the hectic pace and the Phoenix actually do a good job of forcing turnovers defensively, ranking 52nd in defensive turnover percentage at 20.5 percent.

 

Turnover Differential Could be Huge
Milwaukee can also score averaging 79.9 points overall, but it does not apply nearly as much pressure defensively ranking a dismal 328th in defensive turnover percentage at 15.3 percent. The difference in these two defensive styles is reflected in Green Bay averaging 9.7 steals per game vs. 4.3 for Milwaukee.

The prospect of Green Bay running up and down the court basically unabated without facing pressure is a scary one, and we do not expect Milwaukee to commit only eight turnovers in this game like it did in the first meeting, which was a total anomaly considering the turnovers that Green Bay usually forces.

So in a nutshell, Green Bay did not get off to as fast a start as it usually does and it did not create as many turnovers as usual either in the first meeting, and yet the end result was only a one-point Milwaukee win at home! That does not bode well for the Panthers’ chances here in Green Bay if the Phoenix can “normalize” those two factors in their own building.

 

Tough to Beat Once Offense Gets Rolling
Finally, fast-paces Phoenix tend to be tough to beat when they hit their scoring groove as they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game. Green Bay is also 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a straight up loss while Milwaukee is only 2-5 ATS in its last seven games overall.

Look for Green Bay to respond returning home here after losing that shootout at Oakland two days ago, so look for the Phoenix to break their tie for fourth place in the Horizon League with Milwaukee with an avenging triumph at the Resch Center on Monday.