Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#785 Oakland University 132.5 vs.
#786 Wisconsin-Milwaukee -1.5
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#785 Oakland
#786 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
7-12
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A pair of teams from the Horizon League take to the parquet floor in Cream City. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are on the road as they make the trek to visit the Milwaukee Panthers Saturday night. Oakland comes in off a 73-69 road loss to Green Bay in their previous contest Thursday night. Milwaukee was knocked off 90-84 at home by Detroit Mercy in their previous game Thursday night. The Golden Grizzlies lead the all-time series between the teams 8-6, including an 89-73 road win in the most recent matchup on February 16, 2019.

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Oakland Golden Grizzlies Trying to Get Back on Track

Oakland has had their struggles for coach Greg Kampe this season as things have come apart after a strong start. The Golden Grizzlies opened the season winners of three of their first four games and four of their first six games before things unraveled from there. Oakland has won just three of their last 13 games coming into this one. The Golden Grizzlies are just 2-4 in Horizon League play and they have yet to beat a team ranked higher than 194th in the KenPom rankings at this point of the season. There aren’t many chances in conference play to better that as the two teams that are higher than that ranking (Northern Kentucky, Wright State) both beat Oakland by double-digits with the Golden Grizzlies as the hosts.

The Golden Grizzlies are averaging 64.3 points per game, which is 323rd in the nation in scoring offense, so far this season. Oakland collects 36.7 boards per contest (187th) while dishing out 13.4 assists per game (195th) this season. The Golden Grizzlies have been tough defensively, allowing an average of 66.9 points per game, which is 128th in the nation for scoring defense. Xavier Hill-Mais leads the team with 15.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest on the year. Daniel Oladapo puts up 8.8 points plus 5.7 rebounds a night while Kevin Kangu chips in 6.6 points plus 3.7 boards a night. Brad Brechting adds 9.8 points plus 6.2 rebounds a night as a solid option. Rashad Williams put up 16 points in his season debut against Green Bay on January 16 and will be looked to going forward to try and spark the offense. Oakland is shooting 42.2 percent from the field on the season. The Golden Grizzlies knock down an average of 5.5 triples a night while shooting only 28.4 percent from beyond the arc. Oakland is struggling at the free throw line as they are hitting only 68.3 percent at the line as a team.

The Golden Grizzlies are slightly above average in defensive efficiency, ranking 159th in the nation according to KenPom. Oakland plays at a slow pace as they are 308th in tempo this season with 65.8 possessions per game this season. Sadly, the slow pace and the decent defensive play has been unable to make up for the putrid offensive numbers the team generates. The Golden Grizzlies are 277th in effective field goal percentage (46.8 percent), 337th in three-point percentage and 296th in turnover percentage (21.7 percent) this season.

Milwaukee Panthers Looking to Pick Up Home Conference Win

Milwaukee started strong, hit a rough patch and has started to right the ship for coach Pat Baldwin of late. The Panthers are 8-10 on the season overall and stand 3-3 in conference play this season. Of course, Milwaukee hasn’t beaten anyone even in the top-200 of the KenPom rankings as their best win came over Green Bay, who checks in at #217. Still, you have to beat the teams on your schedule. After starting the year 5-2, the Panthers dropped seven straight, including defeats to Kansas and Wisconsin on the road. Milwaukee had won three straight before losing to Detroit Mercy Thursday night.

The Panthers are slightly above average on the offensive end of the floor, ranking 142nd in scoring offense with 73.3 points per game. Milwaukee collects 37.1 rebounds per contest and dishes out 11.9 assists a night this year. The Panthers are below average on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 281st in the nation by allowing 73.4 points per game. Darius Roy leads Milwaukee with 16.5 points to go with 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists a night. Te’Jon Lucas (15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists) and Josh Thomas (10.3 points) are averaging in double figures as well. DeAndre Abram (10 points, 5.5 boards), Amir Allen, Wil Sessions, Harrison Henderson, Courtney Brown Jr. and C.J. Wilbourn each are logging solid minutes a night. Milwaukee is shooting 41.3 percent from the field as a team this season. The Panthers knock down eight three-pointers a night while shooting only 33 percent from beyond the arc. Milwaukee sputters at the free throw line as they convert only 67.9 percent of their attempts at the stripe this season.

The Panthers play at a quick pace according to the numbers from KenPom.com as they are 113th in tempo with 70.2 possessions per game this season. Offensive efficiency is a problem as the Panthers are just 262nd in that category mainly due to the team being 292nd in effective field goal percentage at 46.2 percent. Milwaukee doesn’t a decent job hanging on to the ball as they are 129th in turnover percentage at 18.8 percent. The Panthers are solid on the offensive glass, ranking 85th by rebounding 31 percent of their missed shots this season.

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Milwaukee showed some grit by attempting to rally from 21 down to make a game of it against Detroit Mercy. The Panthers were hurt by the fact that the Titans took advantage of their trips to the line (28 of 31) to help seal their win. Still, Milwaukee put points on the board in a vast quantity. The Panthers’ 84 points in the loss are more than Oakland has put up in any game this season barring their season opener over Goshen. In fact, the Golden Grizzlies have hit the 70-point barrier in only three of their other 18 games since the opener while Milwaukee has hit that mark eight times. Look for the Panthers’ ability to score to be the difference here as they get the win at home.

Prediction: Milwaukee Panthers -1

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Oakland has been decent defensively of late in conference play but one has to remember that Wright State lit them up a couple of weeks ago to the tune of 96 points in a 27-point home defeat. Both teams struggle shooting the ball as Oakland is 256th in the nation in field goal percentage while Milwaukee is 302nd in the nation in that category. The Golden Grizzlies, being poor perimeter shooters, can't even take advantage of the Panthers' issues defending the perimeter. That will help keep Oakland's scoring in check a bit. As it turns out, the Panthers should get to that 70-point mark, and that helps push this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 133.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.