Oral Roberts is the NCAA Basketball Pick at Weber State

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, December 1, 2014 7:34 PM GMT

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The visiting team has a chance for an upset Monday night and at the very least seems worth taking with the points when those Oral Roberts Eagles (2-3, 0-2 away) pay a visit to the Weber State Wildcats (2-3, 1-0 home) at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, UT at 9:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Oral Roberts as a moderate road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5 with odds of -110.


Both Teams Come in Off of Tournament Wins
These teams have a bit in common as both squads have 2-3 records with each coming off its second win in a preseason tournament. Oral Roberts opened up the season with a home win over Tulsa before losing three straight games to Missouri, Oregon State and UL Lafayette, with the latter loss coming in the MGM Grand Main Event in Las Vegas. However, they salvaged a win in that event the following day beating Milwaukee 69-66.

After splitting its first two games, Weber State was the losing NCAA Basketball Pick in its first two games of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam to Illinois State and LSU. Like Oral Roberts though, the Wildcats also salvaged a win in the tournament finale getting by the Nevada Wolf Pack 59-56.

Weber State is looking to defend its Big Sky Conference Championship last season, while Oral Roberts joins a new conference in the Summit League this year after going 10-8 inside the Southland Conference and 17-16 overall last season.


Underdog Eagles Could Have Free Throw Advantage
It has been a struggle from the field for Oral Roberts this young season as the Eagles are only averaging 60.8 points while ranking 345th out of 351 Division I teams in field goal percentage at a dismal 33.9 percent. In fact, they have probably done well to average a shade over 60 points while only hitting about one-third of their shots as they have made up for that brick-laying in other areas.

And in no one area more so than from the free throw line. Granted the Eagles are not shooting an extraordinary percentage from the foul line at 71.6 percent, although that is still above the national average of 68.4 percent, but the real story is how often Oral Roberts gets there. You see, the Eagles are second in the entire country in FTA/FGA percentage at 66.1 percent, so they make up for their poor shooting by drawing a high percentage of fouls driving to the basket.

And getting so many opportunities to score points with the clock stopped is never a bad thing for an underdog.


Sloppy Ball-Handling for Favored Wildcats
Weber State is hoping for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament this season by repeating as the Big Sky champ, but the Wildcats are not off to a great start, although to be fair the two losses in the Virgin Islands were both the teams currently ranked in the Pomeroy Top 100 and the opening night loss was to 131st ranked Utah State on the road.

Still, there is cause for concern with how loose the Wildcats have been with the basketball. Weber State was average in offensive turnover percentage on its way to a conference title last season at 19.0 percent vs. a national average of 18.3 percent, but the Wildcats are at an awful 26.3 percent through five games this season to rank 339th in the nation.

To compound those turnover problems in this game, Oral Roberts is a very respectable 86th in defensive turnover percentage while turning opponents over 22.2 percent of the time.


Second Chances another Key
Finally, one would think that Weber State would have little trouble boxing out on the defensive glass while boasting a monster on the inside in Joel Bolomboy, who has at least 10 points and nine rebounds in four of his five games so far. Surprisingly though, the Wildcats are only 337th in the land in defensive rebounding percentage at 41.5 percent.

That should present second chance opportunities as Oral Roberts has a good 34.9 percent offensive rebounding percentage vs. a national average of 31.5 percent. Thus, Oral Roberts seems to make up for its lack of shooting by excelling in a lot of the little things, so take the points at Weber State on Monday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Oral Roberts +5 (-110)