Check out our Top Plays in today’s “Fab Five” video:
Detroit closed the conference season with an underwhelming 3-9 overall record, but their tough non-conference schedule prepared them for Horizon League play where they are off to a 4-1 start. Can the Titans continue their fast start with a win at home against Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon?
Panthers even up conference record
Wisconsin-Milwaukee got back to .500 in Horizon League play on Thursday evening, winning on the road against Oakland 67-64. DeAndre Abram scored 18 points, while Darius Roy finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists to help the Panthers squeeze out a late win after nearly blowing a 15-point lead.
Pat Baldwin’s squad comes into the weekend slotted at No. 299 in the latest KenPom rankings after getting out to a 1-2 start in conference play. The Panthers are scoring 96.9 points per 100 possessions (284th in the NCAA), while allowing 108.0 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (284th in the NCAA). Milwaukee takes care of the basketball on offense, turning the ball over on only 17.4 percent of their possessions (92nd in the NCAA), but they’ve struggled in nearly every other statistical category. The Panthers are shooting just 46.3 percent from inside the arc (286th in the NCAA) and 32.7 percent from 3-point range (228th in the NCAA).
On defense, the Panthers struggle to force turnovers and they’ve been sending opponents to the line at a high rate. Opposing teams own a free throw rate of 36.8 percent (250th in the NCAA) versus the Panthers defense. They have also allowed their opponents to shoot 51.6 percent from inside the arc (218th in the NCAA) and haul in 29.4 percent of their missed field goal attempts for the season (209th in the NCAA).
McFolley leads Titans to another win
Detroit bounced back from their first conference loss of the season on Thursday night, defeating Green Bay 101-83 behind a lights out shooting performance. The Titans shot 53.4 percent from the field and hit 14 of their 31 3-point attempts on the night. Josh McFolley and freshman Antoine Davis scored 29 points apiece for the Titans, who also forcing 19 Phoenix turnovers in the win.
Mike Davis’ squad has hit their stride as of late, winning four of their first five games of the conference season to enter the weekend ranked at No. 209 in the latest KenPom rankings. The Titans are scoring 103.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (174th in the NCAA) and they have been one of the most disciplined teams with the basketball in the entire country. Detroit has turned the ball over on just 15.5 percent of their offensive possessions (19th in the NCAA) and they have shot 37.7 percent from 3-point range (42nd in the NCAA) for the season. They have done most of their damage from beyond the arc this year, getting 41.7 percent of their total points from long distance (9th in the NCAA), while attempting 43.1 percent of their total field goal attempts from the 3-point line (75th in the NCAA).
The Titans have allowed 107.3 points per 100 possessions (269th in the NCAA) on the year, but that number has improved drastically during conference play. Through five Horizon League games, Detroit has allowed only 103.2 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the Horizon League), while forcing opponents to cough up the basketball 21.6 percent of the time (1st in the Horizon League). Horizon League opponents have shot just 29.4 percent from inside the 3-point line (1st in the Horizon League) and sport an effective field goal percentage of only 49.3 percent (2nd in the Horizon League) versus the Titans’ defense.
- Titans are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a ATS win.
- Titans are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Titans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Horizon League.
- Under is 4-1 in Panthers last 5 road games.
- Under is 11-5 in Panthers last 16 vs. Horizon League.
- Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Milwaukee has absolutely dominated this series, covering the spread in nine of their last 11 trips to Detroit Mercy and 13 of the last 19 meetings overall. The underdog is also 10-4 against the spread in the last 14 meetings between these two teams and the Titans are favored by 7.5 points coming into this game. Despite the wide margin and the history between these two teams, it is hard to trust Milwaukee in this spot. They barely squeezed out a win on the road against Oakland in their last game and they’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in the conference through their first four games. Take the Titans to cover the number at home int hits spot on Saturday.
Prediction: Pick: Detroit Titans -7.5
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have stayed under the projected total in each of their last four meetings in Detroit Mercy. The Titans rely on shooting the 3-ball, but they might have to find other ways to generate points against a Panthers’ defense that is allowing opponents to shoot 32.3 percent from 3-point range (105th in the NCAA). Meanwhile, the Panthers have been inefficient from the offensive end all year long. Take the under in this Horizon League battle on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Under 143