Central Michigan at Miami of Ohio
When and Where: Saturday, Jan. 5, Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio, 2 p.m. EST.
With an impressive record yet still untested to a large degree, Central Michigan looks to start Mid-American Conference play on a positive note Saturday at Miami of Ohio.
Chippewas seek sixth straight win
Central Michigan (0-0, MAC West) enters this contest sporting an 11-2 mark, but three of those victories came against non-Division I opponents. Additionally, both its losses came against teams that were at or above its level in Weber State and TCU.
The Chippewas’ final tuneup for conference play was a laugher Sunday night as they pounded Indiana-South Bend 123-76. David DiLeo hit 6 of 9 from 3-point range and led seven players in double figures with 24 points. Central Michigan made 16 of 33 from beyond the arc and shot 64.2 percent overall in extending its winning streak to five games.
“We’re hungry,” DiLeo told the school’s official website. “We’re coming in day after day and we’re getting after it. No one is content with where we’re at; 11-2, obviously, is a great nonconference (record), but we realize we have to show up each and every night to win every game.
“There’s no gimmies and you’ve got to maintain focus. Eighteen (league) games — that’s a long season. It’s a grind. There’s going to be ups and downs. On the ups you don’t get too high, and on the downs you don’t get too low. Stay on the even keel, keep working, stay hungry.”
DiLeo leads the team with 35 3-pointers and is one of four Chippewa players with at least 20 treys. He is also fourth on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game, trailing Larry Austin Jr. (19.2 ppg), Shawn Roundtree (15.5), and Kevin McKay (14.0).
Central Michigan is forcing 17.6 turnovers per game, good for tops in the Mid-American Conference and 19th in the country. The Chippewas are scoring 88.0 points per game, good for eighth among Division I teams.
RedHawks put perfect home record on line in MAC opener
Miami (8-5, 0-0 East) also has fluffed up its record to a degree with a pair of home wins versus non-Division I opponents, which has contributed to its spotless 6-0 record at Millett Hall.
— MiamiOH Basketball (@MiamiOH_BBall) January 2, 2019
The RedHawks are looking to improve to 3-0 on their current four-game homestand after turning back Evansville 70-67 on Sunday. Freshman and Evansville native Mekhi Lairy scored all 14 of his points in the second half of his first collegiate start, including a basket with 2:42 to play that gave Miami the lead for good.
Dalonte Brown scored 16 points off the bench as the RedHawks offset 38.1 percent shooting by grabbing 17 offensive rebounds that led to an 11-2 advantage in second-chance points. Bam Bowman grabbed seven of those offensive caroms and had 13 overall while adding eight points and two blocks.
Brown is averaging 15.0 points, trailing only Nike Sibande‘s 16.2 per contest. The duo have combined for 58 of the team’s 122 3-pointers as Miami is averaging 9.4 makes from beyond the arc while shooting 34.1 percent there.
Miami, which has not finished with a winning record since going 17-13 in 2008-09, went 4-5 at home in MAC play last season.
Miami of Ohio is:
- 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games following an ATS loss.
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven games vs. above-.500 teams.
- 4-0 ATS in its last four games vs. above-.600 teams.
- The over is 5-0 in its last five games when its opponent scores 100 or more points in its previous game.
- The over is 7-3 in its last 10 games as a favorite between 0.5-6.5 points.
Central Michigan is:
- 1-5 ATS in its last six road games.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five road games vs. teams with an above-.500 home record.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five road games after playing three or more consecutive home games.
- The over is 23-7-2 in its last 32 games.
- The over is 26-10-2 in its last 38 games vs. MAC opponents.
- The over is 8-3 in its last 11 games vs. above-.600 teams.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It would be easier to like the Chippewas if they were starting conference play at home, but they have a horrible track record at Millett Hall with 10 losses in their last 11 games there. Central Michigan’s non-conference schedule is also somewhat of a concern with only three opponents ranked above 300th on KenPom’s schedule strength, more so with both losses coming to those teams.
Prediction: Pick: Miami -4.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The RedHawks have a fairly efficient offense that should benefit from more possessions in the up-tempo style the Chippewas play. The teams have also reached 157 or more points in four of their last six meetings, and with both teams lacking a solid defense, the over should deliver here. Hopefully, you got in here because the line has since climbed to 150.5 points.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 148.5 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
Despite being 6-0 at home, the RedHawks have led just twice at intermission in their four games versus D-I teams. Additionally, the Chips have been up in three of their five road and neutral site games after 20 minutes. Central Michigan has also shot 37.5 percent or better from 3-point range in its last five games, so the hedge is Keno Davis’ team keeps this close for 20 minutes.
Prediction: Pick: Central Michigan +2.5
Half-Time Side Pick
The tempo of the Chippewas plus their solid perimeter shooting of late should help carry the over here. Miami also has been productive in its four home games vs. D-I teams, scoring 40 or more first-half points in three of them.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 70.5 points