Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#657 Eastern Michigan -4 vs.
#658 Detroit 145
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#657 Eastern Michigan University
#658 University of Detroit Mercy


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Two teams that are trending in opposite directions will meet on Saturday afternoon when Eastern Michigan (7-1) travels to face Detroit (1-6) at Calihan Hall. The Eagles lone loss came two gamers ago against UC Irvine, but they bounced back with a win against Valporaiso. Detroit has lost three games in a row since picking up a win against UC Irvine for its only win of the season. The Anteaters are the common factor between these two teams, but the results are the opposite of what their records would show.

Eastern Michigan entering with just one loss

Eastern Michigan opened the season with six wins in a row. The Eagles picked up wins against Siena Heights, Goshen, Michigan-Dearborn, North Texas, UMBC and North Carolina A&T. Their only loss on the season came in a 77-56 loss on the road against UC Irvine last Saturday. Eastern Michigan bounced back with an 85-79 win against Valparaiso on Tuesday night. A 56.2 percent shooting effort from the field propelled Eastern Michigan to the win.

The Eagles are led by junior forward Ty Groce, who is scoring 12.5 points per game and grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. He can stretch the floor as well, shooting 9 of 32 from the 3-point line. Junior guard Noah Morgan is scoring 10.6 points per game and grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game. He is 12 of 36 from beyond the arc. Senior center Boubacar Toure is adding 10.1 points per game and leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per game. He has struggled shooting free throws, only making 13 of 24 from the charity stripe. Freshman guard Chris James is making an immediate impact, connecting on 11 of 18 from the 3-point line.

Detroit looking for second win

Detroit has had a nightmare start to the season. The Titans opened the season on a three-game losing streak, dropping games against North Carolina State, Clemson and Wyoming. Their most stunning result of the season was the lone win—an 86-74 victory against UC Irvine. Detroit entered the game as a 12.5-point underdog, but came away with the win. The Titans were not able to build on that game, however, losing their last three games to Louisiana, Ohio and Kent State.

The Titans are a one-man wrecking crew on the offensive side of the ball. Sophomore guard Antoine Davis is the only scorer averaging double figures, pouring in 24.9 points per game. Davis is third in the country in points per game, only trailing Marquette’s Markus Howard and Northeastern’s Jordan Roland. Davis has not been efficient, though, only shooting at 35.1 percent from the floor. Senior forward Justin Miller is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.7 boards per game. He has struggled shooting the ball, though, only making 18 of 67 attempts. Brad Calipari, the son of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, is third on the team in scoring with 6.3 points per game.

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I like Detroit to break out of its funk and cover an inflated number here. The Titans are underrated in the market due to a ridiculous schedule to start the season. They have only played one home game all year—the big upset win against UC Irvine. Eastern Michigan has not been nearly as good in its road games as it is at home, having lost its most recent road game to UC Irvine. The Eagles are also ranked the No. 1 luckiest team in college basketball this season, according to KenPom, so they are overrated in the market.

Prediction: Detroit +3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Neither one of these teams are great on the offensive end of the floor. Detroit plays up-tempo, coming in at No. 32 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo rankings. However, the Titans do not shoot the ball well, ranking No. 198 in adjusted offensive efficiency. Eastern Michigan looks to slow the ball down a little more, ranking No. 179 in tempo. The total has gone under in six of the Eagles’ last eight games and it has gone under in four of Detroit’s last five home games. I like those trends to continue here, as neither team excels at putting the ball in the basket.

Prediction: Under 142

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.