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Darian DeVries’ first year as head coach has gotten off to a good start. Drake is off to a 5-1 start under DeVries and they’ve won their last four games entering play on Thursday night. Can they keep their win streak alive on the road against the Milwaukee Panthers?
Drake off to a fast start under DeVries
The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to four games on Saturday with a 95-88 victory over the North Dakota State Bison. Nick Norton went off for 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 assists on the night, while fellow senior Nick McGlynn poured in a team-high 23 points to helped Drake come away with yet another win. The Bulldogs led throughout and led by as many as 16 points in the first half before holding on for a seven-point win. Drake shot 12 of 23 from three-point range and turned the ball over just 10 times to push their win streak to four.
— Nick Tabbert (@KCCITabbert) November 4, 2018
Darian DeVries’s squad comes into Thursday night’s matchup ranked No. 188 in the latest KenPom rankings. Drake is scoring 103.5 points per 100 possessions (166th in the NCAA), while allowing 105.9 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (233rd in the NCAA). The Bulldogs move the ball well on offense, assisting on 65.4 percent of their total made field goal attempts (6th in the NCAA) for the season. They also do most of their damage either behind the arc or at the free throw line. The Bulldogs shoot 48.9 percent of their total field goal attempts from three-point range (11th in the NCAA), where they connect at a rate of 34.3 percent (158th in the NCAA). They also get to the free throw line at a 43.6 percent rate (36th in the NCAA) and hit 73.0 percent of their free throws as a team (76th in the NCAA).
On defense, Drake doesn’t force turnovers at a high rate and they put an emphasis on defending the three-point line, which has led to them giving up a lot of easy baskets at the rim. They have limited opponents to just 30.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc (97th in the NCAA), but opposing teams are turning the ball over on only 16.9 percent of their possessions (269th in the NCAA) and shooting 55.9 percent from two-point range against the Bulldogs’ defense (300th in the NCAA).
Panthers struggling to put the ball in the basket
The Panthers lost their second straight game on Saturday, falling to Stephen F. Austin 66-51. No Panthers player scored in double-figures on the night, as the team shot just 4 of 27 from three-point range and turned the ball over 15 times en route to a blowout loss at home. Jake Wright, Carson Warren-Newsome and Wil Sessions all had nine points apiece to tie for the team-lead in scoring.
Wil Sessoms out-rebounds THREE FIU players to put Milwaukee ahead 76-74! 🏀👍🏽🏀👍🏽 pic.twitter.com/crKf9zf2Yu
— Milwaukee Men's Basketball (@MKE_MBB) November 14, 2018
Pat Baldwin’s squad comes into this game ranked No. 272 in the latest KenPom rankings. Milwaukee is scoring just 98.0 points per 100 possessions (276th in the NCAA), while allowing 106.4 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (245th in the NCAA). The Panthers take care of the basketball at a high level on offense, but that’s about where the good things end for Milwaukee. They are shooting just 46.3 percent from inside the arc (258th in the NCAA) and 30.7 percent from three-point range (258th in the NCAA) for the season, while sporting an offensive rebounding rate of 26.7 percent (235th in the NCAA) and a free throw rate of only 27.0 percent (292nd in the NCAA). Part of the reason for their struggles on offense is that the Panthers play a lot of isolation basketball, as evidenced by their assist rate of just 44.1 percent (310th in the NCAA). On defense, The Panthers do a good job of defending the three-point line, allowing opposing teams to shoot just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc (53rd in the NCAA).
- Panthers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 5-1 in Panthers last 6 overall.
- Over is 5-1 in Panthers last 6 non-conference games
- Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Bulldogs are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Drake has been playing well so far this season. They play a modern style of basketball, taking most of their shots either behind the arc or at the free throw line. Milwaukee doesn’t generate turnovers on defense and they have really struggled to put the ball in the basket on the other end of the floor. Look for Drake to win this game outright on the road in this spot.
Prediction: Pick: Drake Bulldogs PK
Full-Game Total Pick
Milwaukee has gone over the projected total in five of their last six games and Drake has gone over in four of their last five overall. Both of these teams rank outside the top-225 in defensive efficiency so far this season. Drake shoots a lot of three-pointers and they play at a top-50 pace, so look for this game to go over the projected total in Milwaukee on Thursday night.
Prediction: Over 148