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Illinois-Chicago vs. Youngstown State - 1/28/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Youngstown State Penguins (8-13) at Illinois-Chicago Flames (2-17)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm (UIC Pavilion)

The Line: Illinois-Chicago Flames +4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Youngstown State Penguins will travel to the UIC Pavilion to take on the UIC Flames this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Youngstown State Penguins snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 8-13 (3-5 Horizon) on the season after defeating the Cleveland State Vikings, 70-55, this past Sunday. Youngstown State was up 35-31 at the break and used an 11-0 run late in the 2nd half to secure the win. Youngstown State shot 40.0% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 15-9 margin. The Penguins held the Vikings to 35.3% shooting from the field and 27.8% (5-18) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Youngstown State was Francisco Santiago who had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and a block. On the season, the Penguins have been led by Cameron Morse (18.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.7 spg), Matt Donlan (13.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 apg), Bobby Hain (12.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.5 apg). Offensively, Youngstown State is averaging 74.5 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Penguins are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.19. Defensively, Youngstown State is allowing their opponents to average 81.1 ppg on 46.2% shooting. The Penguins have a rebound margin of -7.6 and average 7.8 steals per game.

Illinois-Chicago vs. Youngstown State - 1/28/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The UIC Flames lost their 9th straight game and dropped to 2-17 (0-8 Horizon) on the season after being defeated by the Wright State Raiders, 80-66, this past Sunday. UIC was down by a 44-32 margin at halftime and although they made a little run early in the 2nd, didn’t have enough answers on the defensive to get back into this one. UIC shot 41.5% from the field and was outrebounded by Wright State by a 40-27 margin. The Flames allowed the Raiders to shoot 53.7% shooting from the field and 42.9% (9-21) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for UIC was Dikembe Dixson who had 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Flames have been led by Dikembe Dixson (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.6 apg), Tai Odiase (8.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg), and Paris Burns (6.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.5 apg). Offensively, UIC is averaging 65.7 ppg on 38.8% shooting from the field and 30.0% from beyond the arc. The Flames average 4.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.79. Defensively, UIC is allowing their opponents to average 77.8 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Flames average 4.6 blocks per game and have a turnover margin of -3.2.

The Penguins are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing road record however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. The Flames are 4-1 AS in their last 5 Thursday games however, just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.

Youngstown State will do everything in the power to keep the game at a fast tempo and although they have pulled off some decent wins this season against Green Bay and Oakland, the Penguins are giving up an average of 85.5 ppg in conference play this season. UIC has had a tough season as they’ve have really struggled offensively with only one player averaging more than 10 ppg and have been hurt by turnovers. It’s hard to know which Youngstown State team is going to show up but UIC has more competitive at home as of late and knowing that this is one of the few opportunities for a win, I think the Flames keep this one close to at least cover with the points. 

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UIC Flames +4

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