Oakland vs. Eastern Michigan - 11/18/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-0) at Oakland Golden Grizzlies (0-0)
College Basketball: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Athletics Center Orena)
The Line: Oakland Grizzlies -7 -- Over/Under: 151 See the Latest Odds
The Eastern Michigan Eagles will travel to the Athletics Center O’rena to take on the Oakland Golden Grizzles this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.
Eastern Michigan (1-0; 0-0 MAC) kicked off their season with a solid 70-50 victory over the Vermont Catamounts this past Friday. The Eagles found themselves down by three at halftime however, outscored the Catamounts by a 43-20 margin in the 2nd half to seal up the victory. Eastern Michigan shot 43.1% from the field but struggled form beyond the arc shooting just 18.2% (2-11). The Eagles held Vermont to 30.8% shooting from both the field and 3-point range and forced the Catamounts to commit 21 turnovers. Leading the way for Eastern Michigan was Brandon Nazione who had a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals. Eastern Michigan is without their leading scorer from last season in Raven Lee (16.37 ppg) as he is currently suspended indefinitely for a volition of team rules. Eastern Michigan will have to rely on returning Eagles Tim Bond (6.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Brandon Nazione (3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) to pick up the offense while Lee is suspended. The Eagles will be hoping that newcomer James Thompson can provide an instant impact for Eastern Michigan.
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The Oakland Golden Grizzles finished the 2014-15 season with an overall 16-17 record but played well in the Horizon League going 11-5 and should be one of the few teams that is able to challenge Valparaiso this season. Oakland lost two of their top scorers from last season in Corey Petros (14.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Dante Williams (10.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg) but the good news for the Golden Grizzlies is that they are returning one of the better point guards in the country in Kahlil Felder who averaged 18.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 7.6 apg and 2.0 spg. Also returning for Oakland will be Jalen Hayes (8.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg) who made the Freshman All-Horizon team last season and perimeter shooter Max Hooper (5.9 ppg, 37.7 3P%). Oakland will hope that Iowa State transfer Percy Gibson will be able to provide some of the production that was lost with Petros and Williams no longer available. Oakland is a team that likes the keep the pace up in games as they averaged 74.2 ppg (ranked 30th) in the country last season, however, for this team to have success, they’ll need to get a bit tougher on the defensive end as they allowed an average of 75.2 ppg (ranked 338th).
The Eagles are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. Horizon League however, just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games. The Golden Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games and 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 home games.
Eastern Michigan picked up a nice win against Vermont in the season opener but showed in the first half that they might have some trouble scoring the ball without Raven Lee. Oakland has one of the better players in the country and Kahlil Felder and although their defense isn’t outstanding, I don’t think that Eastern Michigan has the weapons to really exploit the Golden Grizzlies defense. Oakland generally plays well at home (beat Valparaiso last season) and although this is somewhat of a high spread for season opener, I think Oakland will be able to win this one by about 10 and cover this spread. Take Oakland to cover.