Detroit vs. Illinois - Chicago, 02/17/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#858 University of Detroit Mercy Titans
vs.
#857 University of Illinois at Chicago Flames

Friday, February 2 2017, at 7:00pm EST

Written by

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Illinois-Chicago Flames (13-13 SU, 14-8-0 ATS, 12-10-0 OU) vs Detroit Mercy Titans (6-19 SU, 9-13-1 ATS, 14-9-0 OU)

When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, February 17, 2017

Where: Calihan Hall in Detroit, Michigan

Lines: Illinois-Chicago -1

Total:163

Horizon League college hoops action on Friday night and the Ill-Chicago Flames will rumble with the Detroit Mercy Titans at Calihan Hall in Detroit, Michigan. The Flames come in off a hard-fought 66-63 home win over Cleveland State, while the Titans are off an 89-80 home loss to Oakland. The Flames took the first meeting this year by a score of 78-64.

Flames Take Tough Home Loss To Vikings

The UIC Flames have had a very average year so far as they are 13-13 overall and just 6-7 in league play. They have won just two of their last seven games and they come in off a tough 66-63 home loss at the hands of Cleveland State. The Flames have not had many issues on offense this year, but they did in their loss to the Vikings as they hit just 43.8% of their shots overall, including just 30% of their shots from long range. They did beat Cleveland State on the road earlier in the year, but they scored just 59 points in that game, so they have had their issues with this defense this year. Leading their attack in the loss was leading scorer Tai Odiase (11.3 ppg), who had 17 points, while Dominique Matthews and Marcus Ottey each had 12 points to round out their double-digit scorers in the game. The defense had a good game as they allowed 66 points in the loss, after giving up 85.5 ppg in their previous six games.  

Illinois-Chicago has averaged 73.9 ppg and have allowed 75.8 ppg in conference play overall, while in true road games for the year they have averaged 79.0 ppg and have allowed 82.8 ppg. The Flames check in at 89th in the nation in scoring, putting up 77.5 ppg, while also ranking 140th in FG% (45.2%), 94th in 3-point shooting (37.1%) and 115th in free throw shooting (72.0%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been poor as they come in ranked 260th in points allowed, giving up 75.4 ppg, while also ranking 137th in defensive FG% (42.8%) and 201st in 3-point defense (35.3%).

Defense Continues To Struggle For The Titans

The Detroit Titans have had a rough year so far as they are just 6-19 overall, including just 4-9 within the Horizon League. Their problems this year have not been because of the offense, but it has been because of their defense, which is one of the worst in the nation. The Titans come in off an 89-80 home loss to Oakland and they have now allowed 88.4 ppg (regulation) in their last seven games. With numbers like that, you just won’t win many games and they have gone just 2-5 in their last seven games. In the loss to Oakland, they allowed the Golden Grizzlies to hit 53.6% of their shots overall, including 40.0% of their shots from long range. On offense, they shot just 43.1% of their shots overall, but they did hit 37.0% of their shots from long range. Leading their attack was Jaleel Hogan, who had 23 points, while Josh McFolley had 21 and Corey Allen who had 18 to round out their double-digit scorers in the game. All offense and no defense does make for exciting games, but it hasn’t helped the Titans in the win column.    

The Titans have averaged 80.0 ppg and have allowed 85.8 ppg in conference play overall, while here at home for the year they have averaged 78.4 ppg and have allowed 83.4 ppg. Detroit enters this contest ranked 84th in the nation in scoring, putting up 77.7 ppg, while also ranking 132nd in FG% (45.3%), 106th in 3-point shooting (36.7%) and 325th in free throw shooting (64.5%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been very poor as they come in ranked 349th in points allowed, giving up 85.7 ppg, while also ranking 350th in defensive FG% (50.6%) and 317th in 3-point defense (38.0%).

Trends

Illinois-Chicago is:

  • 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up loss
  • 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record

Detroit Mercy is:

  • 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. the Horizon League
  • 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven Friday games

This game could be a high-scoring game and it will come down to the team that will play a bit better defense. That gives the Flames the edge. Their offense is very solid and should have a field day against this Detroit defense that has allowed 88.4 ppg in regulation in their last seven games. The Flames defense has not been great of late as they have allowed 80.6 ppg in their last five games in regulation, but still that is nearly 8.0 ppg less than the Titans have allowed in their last seven games. Look for the Flames to take this thriller by at least five points.

Pick: Illinois-Chicago -1

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David Hess

I have always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so I combined the two to become a handicapper and a blogger. I love sports and I love writing about them and all the info I put in my blogs is well-thought-out and well-researched. I am a big fan of all the major sports and the colleges, plus I know golf pretty well, tennis and the WNBA. I am very versatile. Hope you enjoy my content.