NCAA Basketball Picks: Green Bay vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Joe Freda

Friday, January 25, 2013 1:36 PM GMT

Which team are we adding to our NCAA Basketball picks in this matchup between two Horizon League squads on ESPNU?

The Milwaukee Panthers defeated the Green Bay Phoenix in both of the rivals’ meetings last season, while the schools split ATS at college basketball betting windows. Friday’s slate has the foes clashing for the first time this year at U.S. Cellular Arena, where the Panthers have allowed 69.3 PPG in their last three home dates.

Green Bay, Brown fall short at Valpo

Green Bay saw a four-game winning streak end with Wednesday’s 73-61 setback as an 8 ½-point road dog against the Valparaiso Crusaders. The Phoenix were held to 39.2 percent field shooting, while hitting 17-of-21 free throws.

Phoenix center Alec Brown notched a team-high 18 points, while adding two of his squad’s three blocks. Green Bay’s Jordan Fouse united with Brown for 15 rebounds, with mates Keifer Sykes and Carrington Love recording four assists each.

The battle’s combined 134 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 129, ending a 4-0 UNDER streak from Green Bay’s prior four games. Phoenix guard Cole Stefan logged a season-high four steals in 18 minutes of action, while held to four points.

Panthers, Gulley blow lead in Chicago

Milwaukee saw a 42-25 halftime lead erased in Wednesday’s 60-50 defeat to the Illinois-Chicago Flames, failing to cash as an 8 ½-point road dog. The Panthers were outrebounded, 40-27, while connecting from the floor at a sparse 32.1 percent.

Panthers guard Paris Gulley piled in team-highs of 14 points and six boards, playing a full 40 minutes for a third straight game. Milwaukee’s Jordan Aaron logged four of his side’s 11 assists, while mate J.J. Panoske equaled his season-high of three blocks.

The duel’s combined 110 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 123 ½, moving the UNDER to 4-2 in the Panthers’ last six contests. Milwaukee’s Demetrius Harris and Austin Arians registered two steals each, uniting for 14 points.

[gameodds]14/218649/43/us[/gameodds]

Back Milwaukee as a home dog

The College Basketball odds makers opened Green Bay as a 6 ½-point road favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 126 ½. Phoenix forward Greg Mays has missed two games due to a team suspension, but is listed as “probable” to return in this spot.

I am offering up Milwaukee as one of my free sports picks for tonight, looking for the Panthers bounce back from Wednesday’s loss with some octane. Green Bay is 2-6 ATS in its last eight road affairs and blew a 40-32 halftime lead in last January’s 64-63 defeat at Milwaukee.

Panthers guard Jordan Aaron ranks sixth in the Horizon League for scoring (14.1 PPG), while fifth for assists (4.3 APG). Milwaukee’s Demetrius Harris and J.J. Panoske rank in the group’s top five for field shooting (48.9 percent) and blocks (1.2 BPG), respectively.

Both teams have had their share of home-road disparity, with Milwaukee’s scoring surging to 72 points in Saturday’s defeat to the Youngstown State Penguins before dropping off in Chicago. The Panthers should get some spark back here with a return to their floor, while Green Bay’s road woes end up continuing in another overvalued spot.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers +6.5