Nebraska Omaha vs. Western Illinois - 1/1/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Western Illinois Leathernecks (7-4) at Nebraska Omaha Mavericks (7-6)
College Basketball: Friday, January 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm (Ralston Sports and Event Center)
The Line: Nebraska Omaha Mavericks -8.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Western Illinois Leathernecks will travel to Baxter Arena to take on the Omaha Mavericks this Friday afternoon in College Basketball action.
The Western Illinois Leathernecks lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 7-4 (0-0 Summit) on the season after being defeated by the Loyola (CHI) Ramblers, 72-67, on December 21st. Western Illinois was done by a 35-25 margin at the end of the 1st half and although they cut the lead to 65-62 with 1:36 left to go, the Leathernecks couldn’t any closer. Western Illinois shot 40.0% from the field and 52.4% (11-21) from beyond the arc in the loss. The Leathernecks allowed the Ramblers to shoot 50.0% from the field and committed 13 turnovers. Leading the way for Western Illinois was Garret Covington who had 19 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist. On the season, the Leathernecks have been led by Garret Covington (17.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), J.C. Fuller (16.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 apg), and Jabari Sandifer (9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.7 apg). Offensviely, Western Illinois is averaging 74.3 ppg on 45.7% shooting from the field and 43.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Leathernecks average 8.3 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.39. Defensively, Western Illinois is holding their opponents to an average of 66.4 ppg on 39.2% shooting. The Leathernecks have a rebound margin of 2.2 and a turnover margin of 0.7.
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The Omaha Mavericks won their 2nd straight game and improved to 8-6 (0-0 Summit) on the season after defeating the Southern Jaguars, 74-53, on December 22nd. Omaha used a strong defensive effort in the victory and cruised to a victory after getting a 39-24 lead at halftime. Omaha shot 46.0% from the field and outrebounded Southern by a 43-31 margin. The Mavericks held the Jaguars to just 37.3% shooting from the field and 25.0% (3-12) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Omaha was Tra-Deon Hollins who had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and a block. On the season, the Mavericks have been led by Jack White (16.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg), Devin Patterson (15.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg), and Tre’Shawn Thurman (14.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.4 apg). Offensviely, Omaha is averaging 86.0 ppg on 46.1% shooting from the field and 30.4% shooting from beyond the arc. The Mavericks average 6.1 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.09. Defensively, Omaha is allowing their opponents to average 79.0 ppg on 41.8% shooting. The Mavericks have a rebound margin of 1.2 and a turnover margin of 2.6.
The Leathernecks are 16-38 ATS in their last 54 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 5-13 ATS in their last 18 road games. The Mavericks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Friday games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Western Illinois got off to a great start to their season upsetting the Wisconsin Badgers, however, have come back to earth over the past few weeks losing 4 of their last 6 games. Omaha has been quite competitive this season and although they don’t have a signature win, they’ve played very well on the road against Colorado almost pulling off the upset. Omaha will have the size advantage in this one and although their defense can struggle at times, as long as they limit the damage done by the three-point ball by Western Illinois, I think the Mavericks will be able to get a double-digit victory to open up league play. Take Omaha to cover.