Denver vs. Milwaukee - 11/13/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Milwaukee Panthers (0-0) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (0-0)
NCAA Basketball: Friday, November 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm (Leavey Center)
The Line: Denver +5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Milwaukee Panthers will travel to the Leavey Center to take on the Denver Pioneers this Friday night in the Cable Car Classic.
The Milwaukee Panthers got off to a slow start in 2014-15 but won 7 of their last 9 games and finished the season with a 14-16 (9-7 Horizon) record. Offensively, Milwaukee averaged 65.4 ppg (ranked 221st) on 42.1% shooting (ranked 245th). The Panthers were solid at the FT line hitting 73.7% (ranked 34th) of their free-throws. Defensively, Milwaukee allowed an average of 69.2 ppg (ranked 254th) on the 45.1% shooting (ranked 348th). Head coach Rob Jeter has six of his top seven players returning from last year’s team but will need to replace point guard Steve McWhorter who averaged 14.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.6 spg. Leading the Panthers this season will be Matt Tiby (13.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.9 apg) and Akeem Springs (10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.7 apg). Milwaukee won the Horizon during the 2013-14 season and will the experience that coach Jeter has on this year’s team, Milwaukee should be one the better teams in the Horizon this season.
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The Denver Pioneers were a popular choice to contend for the Summit League championship last season but had a disappointing season as Denver finished the year with a 12-18 record (6-10 Summit League). Offensively, Denver averaged 62.2 ppg (298th) on 48.0% shooting (ranked 18th). The Pioneers were solid at the FT line as they shot 76.6% (ranked 9th) however, struggled on the boards averaging just 23.9 rpg (ranked 351st). Defensively, Denver allowed an average of 63.0 ppg (ranked 81st) on 47.4% shooting (ranked 340th). Denver will be looking to replace their top two players in Brett Olson (13.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Cam Griffin (11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.4 apg) who both graduated last year. Denver’s top returning players include Nate Engesser (10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg) and Marcus Byrd (8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg). Denver certainly has the ability to do some damage from beyond the arc, but the lack of size down low and the loss of Olsen and Griffin could lead to Denver having another tough season.
The Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall however, just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. The Pioneers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 Friday games.
Milwaukee played extremely well towards the end of last season and now that they are once again eligible for the post season, I think they’ll be very ready at the beginning of this season. Denver struggled last year and although Nate Engesser can light it up, I don’t see the Pioneers being able to handle Matt Tiby or Akeem Springs. I think Milwaukee wins by double-digits in this one. Take Milwaukee to cover.