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Eastern Michigan vs. Akron - 3/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Akron Zips (14-17) at Eastern Michigan Eagles (20-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm (Quicken Loans Arena)

The Line: Eastern Michigan Eagles -5.5 -- Over/Under: 134 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

We have some MAC tournament quarterfinals action on Thursday as the #11 seed Akron Zips take on the #3 seed Eastern Michigan Eagles in a college basketball matchup. 

The Akron Zips come into this one fresh off of a first round upset of #6 seeded Western Michigan by a final score of 79-78. Daniel Utomi led the Zips with 26 points on 9 of 12 shooting with 6 threes while Virshon Cotton came 2nd with 21 points on 6 of 11 shooting with 4 threes and a team-high 7 assists with a pair of steals. Malcolm Duvivier added 12 points and Torrey Patton chipped in 10 points to round out the quartet of double digit scorers for the Zips in the win while Jimond Ivey added a team-high 8 rebounds in the winning effort. Utomi leads Akron in scoring with 16.8 points per game while Ivey leads Akron in rebounding and assists with 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season. As a team, Akron is scoring 72.2 points per game on 43.6% shooting from the field, 36% from behind the arc and 69.9% from the foul line this season.

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Eastern Michigan vs. Akron - 3/8/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Michigan Eagles got a first round bye after finishing with the #3 seed in the conference tournament thanks to an 11-7 mark in conference play as part of their 20-11 overall record this season. EMU got out to a solid 9-4 start to the year with wins over South Florida and Arkansas State while hanging tough against some solid opposition like Syracuse, Oakland and Indiana. The Eagles struggled to start conference play, sitting at 3-6 before rattling off wins in 8 of their last 9 games, including 6 straight victories to close out the regular season. Elijah Minnie led the Eagles in scoring with 16.8 points per game while Paul Jackson led Eastern Michigan in assists with 4.5 assists per game and James Thompson IV led Eastern Michigan in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 15.3 points along with his team-high average of 11.5 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Eastern Michigan is scoring 72.1 points per game on 47% shooting from the field, 33.2% from behind the arc and 68.7% from the foul line this season.

Akron is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 neutral site games. Eastern Michigan is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 Thursday games while the under is 15-5-1 in their last 21 conference matchups. The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.

Akron’s win over Western Michigan was impressive as the Zips recovered from an early 23-point deficit. However, Eastern Michigan is a step above the Broncos and in my opinion are the most balanced team in the MAC offensively. I like the Eagles to advance to the semi finals with a win and cover over Akron here.

__________________________________________________Win $1,000,000 playing fantasy football this week. Draft your team and take a shot at cashing out on Sunday! Sign up today (T+C’s apply)__________________________________________________

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