Buffalo vs. Akron - 1/5/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Akron Zips (11-2) at Buffalo Bulls (7-6)
College Basketball: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Alumni Arena)
The Line: Buffalo Bulls -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: American Sports Network; ESPN 3
The Akron Zips will travel to Alumni Arena to take on the Buffalo Bulls this Tuesday night in College Basketball action.
The Akron Zips continued their strong start to the 2015-16 season after winning their 8th straight game and improving to 11-2 (0-0 MAC East) on the season with a 80-73 victory over the Lipscomb Bisons this past Saturday. The Bison gave the Zips all they couldn’t handle but Akron used a 17-7 run midway through the 2nd half to take a 56-52 lead and never trailed for the remainder of the game. Akron shot 39.4% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 13-3 margin. The Zips allowed the Bisons to shoot 39.7% from the field and was outrebounded by Lipscomb by a 47-38 margin. Leading the way for Akron was Noah Robotham who had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block. On the season, the Zips have been led by Noah Robotham (11.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg), Pat Forsythe (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg), and Isaiah Johnson (11.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg). Offensviely, Akron is averaging 77.5 ppg on 42.6% shooting from the field and 38.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Zips average 11.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.20. Defensively, Akron is holding their opponents to an average of 64.1 ppg on 37.7% shooting. The Zips have a rebound margin of 3.2 and a turnover margin of 0.2.
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The Buffalo Bulls improved to 7-6 (0-0 MAC East) on the season after defeating the Delaware Blue Hens, 99-79, this past Tuesday. Buffalo played a complete 1st half which allowed them to take a 45-29 lead at the break and never led by less than double digits in the 2nd half. Buffalo shot 50.0% from the field and 36.7% (11-30) from three-point range in the victory. The Bulls held the Blue Hens to 44.1% shooting from the field and 25.0% (3-12) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Buffalo was Willie Conner who had 23 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. On the season, the Bulls have been led by Lamonte Bearden (13.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.2 apg), CJ Massinburg (10.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.9 apg), and Blake Hamilton (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg). Offensively, Buffalo is averaging 77.2 ppg on 41.9% shooting from the field and 31.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Bulls average 6.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.94. Defensively, Buffalo is allowing their opponents to average 75.5 ppg on 43.2% shooting. The Bulls average 7.7 steals per game and have a turnover margin of 1.2.
The Zips are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall. The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. MAC opponents however, just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team a winning road record.
Akron has been consistently one of the best programs in the MAC in recent years and at this point in the season, the favorite to win the MAC. Buffalo made noise last season but lost the keys parts of their team as head coach Bobby Hurley and Shannon Evans went to Arizona State and last year’s MAC Player of the Year, Justin Moss, was dismissed from the team due to off-the-court issues. Buffalo still is a scrappy team that plays well at home however, their offensive is lacking a true go-to scorer and I think the Zips defense will give Buffalo trouble in this one. Although it’s tough taking Akron as they depend so much on the three-pointer, I think they’ll get enough to fall to cover this small road spread. Take the Zips to cover.