Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#765 Oakland University 128 vs.
#766 Western Michigan
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Sean Jackson

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#765 Oakland
#766 Western Michigan University
4-4
4-4
18-14
15-16-1
15-17
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Oakland (4-4) is hoping to win one on the road against a familiar rival. On Tuesday, they travel to face a Western Michigan team that's also looking to get back into the win column.

The Broncos (4-4) lost to Seattle 59-55 in the third place game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Western Michigan wants to replicate its recent success over the Golden Grizzlies, as they won their most recent contest 85-77 in 2018.

Tuesday's game takes place at the University Arena with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

Oakland's hopes to recover from a heart-breaker

In the Golden Grizzlies' recent loss to Toledo, they had two opportunities to win this game late, but missed both of them. However, in that loss, it revealed several advantages Oakland hopes to employ on Tuesday.

The first is in post play. The Golden Grizzlies had 36 points in the paint against the Rockets. On Tuesday, they face a Western Michigan defense that lost the battle in the paint to Seattle 24-16. Look for Oakland to use their size to dominate in the paint on Tuesday.

Another advantage is Oakland's offensive versatility. They had four players score in double figures lead by Blake Lampman, who's really coming into his own as a perimeter shooter. He made five of his 10 three-point attempts to finish with 18 points.

Meanwhile, Western Michigan had two players scoring in double figures. If the Golden Grizzlies can contain Michael Flowers and Brandon Johnson, then Western Michigan doesn't have many other proven scorers they can rely on. This is the blueprint to Oakland's success.

Western Michigan needs balance on the offensive end

The Broncos' stout defense was all for naught, as cold shooting dispelled any chance of them winning. They made just five of their 22 three-point attempts. Some of this was due to Seattle's stout defense. However, if they don't improve upon this on Tuesday, then they could be playing from behind all game.

Oakland's versatility on the offensive end will provide a formidable challenge to Western Michigan's defense. Simply, there isn't one or two playmakers the Broncos can focus on. Instead, they must communicate on the defensive end to make timely switches and force turnovers.

This is one area where they excel. They forced Seattle to commit eight turnovers by which they converted into eight points and they held Seattle's offense scoreless for five minutes. The defense might have to come up with another big performance to win on Tuesday.

One player to watch is Rafael Cruz Jr. In his last four games, he's come off the bench to average over 10 points and five rebounds per game. He could be the offensive spark Western Michigan needs.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I like Oakland to win this one for several reasons. One, they'll hold the advantage in the paint where they'll have more opportunities for easy scores and put backs. Two, their perimeter game is much stronger thanks to the improved play of Lampman. This versatility stretches Western Michigan's defense leading to many scoring opportunities. Oakland knocks enough shots down late to win.

Prediction: Oakland

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Oakland is 9-1 in the Under in their last 10 after a loss. Expect this trend to continue as they face a Western Michigan offense that doesn't score points in bunches. Part of this concerns their lack of scoring production outside of their two stars and Cruz Jr. Look for Oakland to control the pace of the game by winning the battle inside and prevailing in a lower-scoring contest.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Sean Jackson

Sean Jackson is a freelance writer based out of Fort Myers. Prior to joining our team here at StatSalt and Winners & Whiner, Sean was a national college football columnist with the Score. We are very glad to have Sean as a part of our team as he is a solid and confident handicapper. Let Sean win for you.