NCAA Basketball Pick: Youngstown State -10 over Wis.-Milwaukee

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, February 15, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Wisconsin-Milwaukee is 6-20 and dead last in the Horizon League even after its second conference win of the year last game. Look for a Youngstown State home blowout.

A big double-digit win by the home team could be in store on Friday night when the woeful Wisconsin Milwaukee Panthers (6-20, 0-11 away) pay a visit to the Youngstown State Penguins (14-11, 8-3 home) at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown, OH at 7:05 ET.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Youngstown State as a deserved big favorite for this contest with the current line at -10 with odds of -105.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee is actually coming off of a 71-53 win over Loyola-Chicago on Tuesday, but that was only the Panthers’ second win all year inside the Horizon League where they are currently dead last with a 2-10 conference mark in addition to being just 6-20 overall, and do not suddenly expect back-to-back wins from this team, something that it has not done all year, or even back-to-back good efforts for that matter.

You see, the Panthers are terribly weak on both sides of the ball, which is why they are ranked just 300th overall on the Pomeroy Ratings. On offense, Wisconsin-Milwaukee is ranked 302nd in efficiency and 321st in effective field goal percentage, while on defense, the Panthers are ranked 261st in efficiency and 228th in effective field goal percentage against, a combination that will not win you many basketball games.

Furthermore, at this late stage of the season all six of Milwaukee’s wins have come at home as the Panthers are 0-11 on the road! The last time they played away from home, they were crushed 71-40 by Valparaiso and looking at all Milwaukee road games this season, it is averaging a mere 53.9 points on a disgusting 35.0 percent shooting while its defense is allowing 69.7 points per game on a high 47.0 percent shooting.

That works out to an average differential of -15.8 points on the road and moreover four of the Panthers’ five conference road losses have been by double-digits.

Now Youngstown State is not a juggernaut by any means as the Penguins fell to 6-6 in conference play with a triple overtime 88-83 loss to Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. However, the Penguins do average 72.1 points here at home this season, which may already by a good enough reason to back them, considering Milwaukee usually has trouble getting out of the 50s with its atrocious shooting on the road.

Furthermore, if you look at Horizon League games only, Youngstown State is ranked fourth in offensive efficiency and third in three-point shooting, while not surprisingly Milwaukee ranks dead last of the nine conference teams in offensive efficiency and eighth in effective field goal percentage.

Add this all up and Youngstown State should score enough points at home to cover the 10-point spread on Friday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Youngstown State -10 (-105)

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