NCAA Basketball Picks: Milwaukee To Get Revenge at Wright State

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, February 4, 2016 4:42 PM GMT

Revenge is in the air in Horizon League action Thursday night when the Milwaukee Panthers look to avenge an earlier home loss, this time paying a visit to the Wright State Raiders.

 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Milwaukee +1½ 
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

We venture into the Horizon League on Thursday evening where some revenge could be in order for the visiting team when those Milwaukee Panthers (15-7, 8-11 ATS) pay a visit to the Wright State Raiders (13-10, 9-10-1 ATS) at the Nutter Center in Dayton, OH at 7:00 ET in a game available on ESPN3.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Milwaukee as a tiny road underdog for this contest with the current line at +1½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -102.

 

Teams Heading in Different Directions
These teams appear to be going in opposite directions right now, and that could put Milwaukee in line to avenge an 84-82 home loss in overtime to Wright State to open up the Horizon League season. The Panthers made it three wins in the last four games by nipping rival Green Bay 95-94 last Friday, improving Milwaukee to 15-7 overall and 6-3 inside the conference.

Wright State is one-half game ahead of Milwaukee in conference play at 7-3 as well as 13-10 overall, but the Raiders were sitting pretty at 7-1 including win over the prohibitive favorites to win the Horizon in Valparaiso before the defense suddenly disappeared, as they have now been the losing NCAA Basketball picks in two straight games at Oakland and Detroit while surrendering 89 and 75 points respectively.

 

Milwaukee Beat Two Big Ten Teams
The Panthers played the more difficult non-conference schedule and they certainly gave great accounts of themselves by knocking off a pair of Big Ten Teams in Wisconsin and Minnesota both on the road, as well as playing Notre Dame tough in an 86-78 loss, also on the road in South Bend. The Panthers may not beat out Valparaiso for the Horizon title, but they are certainly alive for a second place finish in the regular season.

Milwaukee is 50th in the country in offensive efficiency and second in that category during Horizon play, and the strength of the Panthers is inside where they are 35th in the country in two-point shooting at 53.2 percent overall, a percentage that goes up to a whopping 55.7 percent vs. conference opponents, which is easily tops in league play.

That inside dominance should continue tonight with the Panthers having the size advantage in the frontcourt with the 6-foot-10 J.J. Panoske and 6-foot-8 Matt Tiby, while the Raiders usually prefer to play small with no starter bigger than 6-foot-6.

 

Foul Shooting Could Make a Difference
Unlike Milwaukee, Wright State did not have any statement non-conference wins, although the conference win over Valparaiso was certainly impressive. Still, that was one of the worst shooting games for Valpo all season with the Crusaders shooting just 36.1 percent overall, so that win was a bit of an outlier, and besides the win at Milwaukee, none of the other wins by Wright State have come vs. the top teams in the conference, making the 7-3 mark deceiving.

Also, because they like to play small, the Raiders hardly ever get any second chances as they rank a distressing 349th out of 351 Division I teams in offensive rebounding percentage at 18.2 percent vs. a national average of 30.0 percent. And it is not as if Wright State makes up for its lack of second opportunities with great shooting either, resulting in the Raiders ranking 256th in offensive efficiency.

Remember also that if this is a close game late, Milwaukee would have the edge from the foul line. In fact, the Panthers are sixth in the entire country in free throw shooting at 76.5 percent overall while the Raiders are at 69.6 percent overall and a disturbing 67.7 percent during league play.

 

Revenge Time
Finally, the conference season opening overtime win by Wright State snapped a 4-0 run both straight up and ATS by Milwaukee in this head-to-head series. The Panthers have also been Road Warriors going 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games, while the Raiders are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up loss.

Expect those patterns to continue and for Milwaukee to gets its revenge for the earlier overtime loss when it visits Wright State on Thursday.