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Akron vs. Miami (OH) - 3/11/19 MAC Tournament First RoundCollege Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Miami (OH) at Akron
Date & Time Monday March 11, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location
James A. Rhodes Arena
Akron, OH
The Line
Akron Zips -5.5 -- O/U: 129.5
TV Channel
ESPN+
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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami-Ohio Redhawks and the Akron Zips meet in a MAC tournament first round matchup in college basketball action from the James A. Rhodes Arena on Monday night.

The Miami-Ohio Redhawks enter the conference tournament as the #9 seed after finishing with a 15-16 overall record, including 7-11 in conference play. The Redhawks had a tough road matchup against Butler right out of the gate and had some tough tests against Xavier and Montana. Miami-Ohio was streaky in the beginning, starting 0-4 before getting to 3-4 but then consistency issues settled in, alternating wins and losses in each of their next 8 games before finishing the year on a 3-game losing streak. Nike Sibande led Miami-Ohio in scoring with 15.8 points per game while Dalonte Brown was 2nd in team scoring with 11.7 points per game and Bam Bowman was 3rd with 10 points per game along with a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game. Darrian Ringo led the Redhawks in assists with 4.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Miami-Ohio is averaging 71.5 points per game on 42.6% shooting from the field, 32.9% from behind the arc and 71.6% from the foul line this season.

The Akron Zips enter the conference tournament as the #8 seed after finishing the regular season with a 16-15 overall record, including 8-10 in MAC conference play, finishing in a tie with Northern Illinois but losing out on a tiebreaker with the Huskies for the #7 spot. Akron hung around with some tough opposition, including Nevada, Clemson and Illinois State. What was more impressive was that Akron either won or lost by no less than 6 points in any of their non-conference games. Akron split their first 6 games before getting to 5-3, but that was where the wheels fell off as the Zips lost 7 of their last 10 games down the stretch to finish in the 8th spot. Daniel Utomi leads Akron in scoring with 14.1 points per game while Loren Cristian Jackson came 2nd with 13.5 points per game and Jimond Ivey came 3rd with 12 points per game while also leading the Zips in rebounding and assists with 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season. Tyler Cheese added 11.5 points per game as Akron’s 4th double-digit scorer on the year. As a team, Akron is averaging 69.2 points per game on 41.1% shooting from the field, 31.6% from behind the arc and 70.1% from the foul line this season.

Miami-Ohio is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record and 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall while the under is 9-3 in their last 12 road games. Akron is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall while the under is 12-4 in their last 16 conference games. Miami-Ohio is 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings between these two teams.

I can understand the Zips being favored here considering that the first round matchups are played at campus sites and Akron did win the regular season meeting at home against Miami-Ohio by 12 just a few weeks ago. However, Miami-Ohio has been solid ATS as of late, and has pretty much owned Akron ATS head-to-head over the years. I’m not calling an outright upset here, but I definitely think the Redhawks are capable of keeping this game close so I’ll take a shot with Miami-Ohio and the points in this one.

Pick:
Miami-Ohio +5.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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