Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#701 Toledo vs.
#702 Detroit
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 3:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul



#701 University of Toledo
#702 University of Detroit Mercy


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The Toledo Rockets will head to Calihan Hall on Saturday afternoon as they prepare for a non-conference battle against the Detroit Mercy Titans.

Toledo cruised to a 7-2 record through the first nine games of a relatively easy non-conference schedule. While the Rockets are still without a quality win, they managed to give Notre Dame a run for its money in a 64-62 overtime loss a couple of weeks ago. They will be up against a Detroit Mercy team that has opened the season with eight losses in nine games. Can Toledo cover the number on the road versus the Titans on Saturday?

Rockets soaring after 7-2 start

Toledo pushed its current winning streak to four games with an 82-72 victory at home over Marshall on Sunday. Luke Knapke scored 33 points and hauled in 11 rebounds while junior guard Marreon Jackson finished with 24 points and five assists to help Toledo keep its momentum alive.

Tod Kowalczyk’s squad has suffered a pair of tough two-point losses but has otherwise played well through their first nine games. The Rockets enter Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 81 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 7-2 start and they come in scoring 104.7 points per 100 possessions for the season. Toledo does most of its damage from beyond the arc, where it has shot 43.2 percent of its total field goal attempts for the season. The Rockets also do a good job of getting to the free-throw line, where they sport the 25th-best free-throw rate in the country at 41.3 percent. Through nine games, they have shot 50.2 percent from 2-point range, 40.0 percent from long distance, and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe as a team this season.

On defense, the Rockets have given up 95.3 points per 100 possessions for the season while limiting their opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 44.4 percent. Opposing teams have shot just 43.4 percent from inside the arc and 30.7 percent from long-range against the Rockets’ defense so far this season.

Titans can't stop slide, lose fifth straight vs. Notre Dame

Detroit dropped to 1-8 on Tuesday after losing its fifth straight contest 110-71 on the road against Notre Dame. Antoine Davis scored a team-high 27 points while Brad Calipari chipped in 12 for the Titans, who allowed the Fighting Irish to shoot a blistering 20-for-39 from long-range in the loss.

Mike Davis’ squad comes into the weekend ranked No. 303 in the latest KenPom rankings after riding into the weekend on a five-game losing streak. Detroit has been one of the worst defensive teams in the country this season, allowing 109.4 points per 100 possessions through their first nine games. Opposing teams have been able to get nearly whatever they’ve wanted on the inside against the Titans, who have let opponents make 59.8 percent of their attempts from inside the arc this season.

While the offense hasn’t been nearly as bad, it hasn’t been good enough to keep Detroit in games either. The Titans come in scoring 97.5 points per 100 possessions while sporting an effective field goal percentage of only 43.0 percent. They have shot just 40.1 percent from 2-point range and 30.7 percent from deep for the season while turning the ball over on 20.2 percent of their offensive possessions. About the only thing the Titans have done well is hit their free throws. Detroit has made 78.8 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe as a team.

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Detroit’s lone win of the season came against a shorthanded UC Irvine team. The Titans aren’t afraid to shoot the ball from deep, so this could turn into a 3-point shooting contest of sorts but that would be bad news for Detroit. Toledo is shooting 40.0 percent from 3-point range for the season while the Titans are connecting at a rate of just 30.7 percent. Detroit’s inability to get stops on defense was on full display in their last game against the Fighting Irish, as they gave up a season-high 110 points in the loss. Toledo held that same Notre Dame team to 64 points in a 64-62 double-overtime loss on the road in South Bend. That should give you an indication of how far apart these teams are coming into this one. Take the Rockets to cover the number on the road in this non-conference matchup on Saturday.

Prediction: Toledo Rockets

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Detroit plays at one of the fastest paces in the country and they don’t offer up much resistance on the defensive end of the floor. The Titans rank 40th in the nation in adjusted tempo and they let their opponents get their shots up in just 15.9 seconds on defense, which is the 23rd-fastest mark in the country. They also rank 339th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 336th in effective field goal percentage defense, so it’s safe to say that the Rockets should be able to get whatever they want on offense in this game. Toledo shoots a lot of 3-pointers at a high percentage and they get to the free-throw line at a high rate, which should also push the total higher in this one. Take this non-conference tilt to go over the projected total on Saturday night.

Prediction: Over

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.