NCAA Basketball Pick: Kent State -6 over Youngstown State

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Kent State and Youngstown State are both off to great starts this season, but Kent has been much more potent offensively and should prevail handily at home Wednesday.

The home team looks to have the edge Wednesday night in a matchup of two mid-major teams both off to very good starts as the Youngstown State Penguins (6-1, 1-1 away) pay a visit to the Kent State Golden Flashes (6-1, 5-0 home) at the Memorial A & C Center in Kent, OH at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Kent State as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -6 with odds of -107.

Kent State comes off of a nice 21-14 year where it ended to regular season with a nice road upset of the eventual MAC Champions from Akron before losing to that same Zips’ team by just three points in the MAC Tournament, and the Golden Flashes have seeming built on that experience by getting off to a great start this season with a nice balanced offense that has produced 81.3 points per game.

Youngstown State has an identical 6-1 record as Kent but the Penguins have not been quite as efficient offensive despite averaging 83.6 points, as that figure is skewed by averaging 98.0 points in three games vs. outclassed Division III opponents.

Kent State on the other hand has faced nothing but Division I competition since opening the season against Ohio Northern, and the has helped propel the Flashes to an excellent early ranking of 26th in the country in offensive efficiency. All five Kent starters are averaging at least 9.3 points while producing an excellent effective field goal percentage of 55.1 percent, and the Flashes have been fantastic in ball protection ranking ninth in turnover percentage!

Kent comes off of a 102-97 win over Niagara on Saturday, with that NBA-like score fueled by a blistering 60.7 percent shooting from the floor, and that was while winning its third game in three days during the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Golden Flashes are now 5-0 at home while shooting 48.2 percent in their own gym and outscoring opponents by 9.0 points per game.

Youngstown State seems improved from the team that went just 18-16 one year ago, thanks to superstar point guard Kendrick Perry returning for his senior season. However, as mentioned, the Penguins have padded their stats with a ridiculously easy schedule and the scoring average drops to 72.8 points per game vs. Division I foes. That leaves them with just a 167th ranking in offensive efficiency early on.

Moreover, the last two Youngstown games have been blowouts over sub-level schools, so the Penguins have not faced a Division I program since suffering their only loss of the season over a week ago by 16 points at Massachusetts on November 17th. Comparatively, Kent State is two points away from being undefeated as its only loss was 78-76 at Seton Hall.

While the overall numbers of these teams may looks similar, the numbers for Kent look considerably better when looking at each club’s Division I games only, and when you add in how great the Golden Flashes have played at home, we recommend giving the points on Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/250738/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kent State -6 (-107)