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Ohio at Miami of Ohio
When and Where: Saturday, Feb. 9, Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio, 2 p.m. EST.
It’s a battle to avoid falling to .500 as the bottom two teams in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference — Ohio and in-state rival Miami — face off Saturday.
Bobcats trying to climb out of East cellar
Ohio (11-10, 3-6 MAC East) has seemingly taken two steps back with every step forward as it has alternated two-game losing streaks around back-to-back wins over its last six games.
😼🏀 The 1968-69 @OhioMBasketball team opened up the Convocation Center with an 80-70 win over Indiana on Dec. 3, 1968.
This weekend, the team reunited in Athens to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Convo.
— Ohio Bobcats (@OhioBobcats) February 3, 2019
The latest of its back-to-back losses came last Saturday in a 65-53 defeat at home to Akron. Jason Carter had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season, but the Bobcats endured a miserable shooting night at 37.7 percent and did not help themselves on the defensive end by giving up 16 offensive rebounds that contributed to 28 points for the Zips in the paint.
“We’re playing tight and lacking confidence,” Carter told Ohio’s official website. “I see that a little bit and we just have to get back to enjoying the game and enjoying that end of the floor. I just see a lot of guys lacking confidence and not taking shots that they should be and when one doesn’t go in we’re getting down and not taking ones that we should be.”
Carter is averaging a team-high 16.3 points and is second with 7.1 rebounds per game. Guard Teyvion Kirk is one of those Bobcats players who needs to get back on track. He’s averaging 14.5 points, but that number dips to 9.3 per game on 27.5 percent shooting while going 0 for 10 from 3-point range in his last six games.
Ohio is 2-5 on the road, but only one game has been decided by a single-digit margin. The Bobcats have suffered all five of their road defeats by 11 or more points.
RedHawks back home after splitting two road games
Miami of Ohio (12-11, 4-6 East) saw any chance of catching division leaders Bowling Green and No. 23 Buffalo fall away with its 70-67 loss at third-place Kent State on Tuesday night.
Miami Students – As part of Wayne Embry Day this Saturday, the first 450 of you to come to the game will receive a FREE Wayne Embry replica jersey! Don't be late!#RiseUpRedHawks#WayneEmbryDay pic.twitter.com/4m9lQ37M1a
— MiamiOH Basketball (@MiamiOH_BBall) February 6, 2019
Nike Sibande had 19 points and eight rebounds for the RedHawks, who erased a nine-point second-half deficit only to squander a three-point lead late by going scoreless over the final 1:38 and without a basket in the final 2:49.
Though Miami averages 72.0 points overall, it has been held to 66.9 per contest in conference play while shooting 41.9 percent — almost two full percentage points below its season mark of 43.8. Sibande and Dalonte Brown are the only two RedHawks in double figures at 15.9 and 12.8 points per game, respectively, and the duo have accounted for 95 of Miami’s 202 3-pointers.
Darrian Ringo scored 21 points as Miami snapped a three-game home losing streak to Ohio with a 68-55 victory in the first round of the MAC tournament last season, just its second win in the last eight home games versus the Bobcats.
Miami of Ohio is:
- 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games vs. MAC opponents.
- 19-9-1 ATS in its last 29 home games vs. teams with a sub-.500 road record.
- The favorite is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games between the teams.
- The under is 14-3 in its last 17 games.
- The under is 21-8-1 in its last 30 games following an ATS win.
- The under is 4-0-1 in its last five home games vs. Ohio.
- 5-17-1 ATS in its last 23 road games.
- 0-4 ATS in its last four road games as an underdog between 0.5-6.5 points.
- 1-7 ATS in its last eight games as a road underdog.
- The under is 7-2 in its last nine road games.
- The under is 8-1 in its last nine road games between 0.5-6.5 points.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six games vs. Miami of Ohio.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a pick based on Ohio’s poor road form in conference play more than anything since Miami of Ohio is also somewhat spotty. It is never a good sign when a player is publicly questioning the confidence of his teammates, and the Bobcats also have shown little consistency offensively to promote belief they can cover.
Prediction: Pick: Miami of Ohio -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Ohio is one of the worst shooting teams in the country when it comes to 3-pointers and free throws, and coupled with a RedHawks team that has failed to find its offensive bearings in conference play, the under is a strong pick here. The teams also have played to 132 and under in three of the last six matchups.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 132.5 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Bobcats have been surprisingly stubborn on the road in MAC play, finishing tied at halftime twice and leading by 21 on a third occasion among their four road games. Miami has not inspired much confidence in the first half at home, leading just once in five MAC contests — and that was by five points. Ohio is worth a flyer here if playing.
Prediction: Ohio +3
Half-Time Side Pick
The RedHawks recent form in the first half contributes to this being the best pick within this game. They have been at 60 twice and 43 once in their last three home games, and Ohio has played to 62 and under in three of its four MAC road contests and scored 31 or fewer in three of those games as well.
Miami has scored 35 or less in the first half of all five games at Millett Hall, so the under is the pick.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 62 points