Oakland Grizzlies (13-3 SU, 8-5 ATS, 2-10-1 O/U) at Illinois-Chicago Flames (8-7 SU, 7-4 ATS, 6-5 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 8, UNC Pavilion, Chicago, Ill., 5pmET
Line: Oakland -9
Oakland comes into this game red-hot, having won four straight games. That included a big road win over Valparaiso, 78-66 on Jan. 6. Illinois-Chicago beat Detroit on Friday, 78-64 to improve to 1-1 in the Horizon League. UIC fell in both games to Oakland last season, including an 74-63 game at home.
Walker leads Oakland to big road win
Martez Walker scored 25 points to lead Oakland over Valpo on Friday to allow the Grizzlies improve to 3-0 in the Horizon League. Stevie Clark added 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Jalen Hayes scored 12 and grabbed five boards. Oakland shot 47.3 percent from the field and 8-of-24 from beyond the arc (33.3%). Defensively, they held the Crusaders to just 36.2 percent from the field and forced 16 turnovers.
Despite the loss of Kay Felder to the NBA, Oakland still has a high-octane offense, averaging 80.1 points per game and shooting 44.9 percent from the field. They allow 67.2 points per game and 39.1 percent from the field. They don’t have a player as electrifying as Felder, Walker (6-6, 185) is pretty darn good. The former Texas Longhorn averaging 18.1 points and shooting 44.2 percent from the field. Hayes (6-7, 213) adds 13.4 points per game and shoots 55.5 percent from the floor (57.1% 3pt). He also leads in rebounds with 6.4 pr game.
Flames red-hot against Titans
UIC shot 57.8 percent from the floor and 8-of-15 from beyond the arc, in their 14-point home win over Detroit on Friday. Tarkus Ferguson led the way with 16 points, six rebounds and six assists for Loyola-Chicago. The Flames held Detroit to 38.1 percent from the floor and outrebounded them by 11. But the Flames can’t turn the ball over 23 times against Oakland.
The Flames average 79.3 points per game and shoot 47.2 percent from the floor. They allow 73.9 points per game and 41.9 percent from the floor. Tai Odiase leads UIC in scoring with 12.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. Their leading scorer through the first 10 games was Dikembe Dixson, who averaged 20.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. Unfortunately, Dixson suffered a torn ACL on Dec. 14 and is out for the season.
College Basketball Trends:
- 25-8-3 ATS last 36 as a favorite
- 20-6-1 ATS last 27 road games.
- 3-14 ATS last 17 as a dog of 7.0-12.5.
Illinois-Chicago was a pretty good team before Dixson got hurt. But they really have beaten nobody since then. At least not a quality team. They also lost at Valpo at home by 11, a team Oakland thrashed on the road.