Toledo Rockets at Oakland Grizzlies
NCAAB: Friday, November 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM EST
Toledo opens their 2018-2019 season on the road to face an Oakland team that already won a game. Last season the Rockets were 23-11 and missed out on the NCAA Tournament losing in the MAC title game. They had a good season in the last one and look to build upon that with some key returning players and a solid recruiting class.
Last season Oakland was 19-14 and they did not play in the Big Dance after an upset loss to Cleveland State in the Horizon League conference tournament semifinals. The Grizzlies already have a win under their belt where they thrashed a Division III school and needless to say Toledo will give them a tougher test.
Improve the D
Last season Toledo was a solid team with a solid offense, but the defense was their main issue only ranking 232nd in the nation giving up an average of 74.5 ppg. They lost their top-scorer from last season, but Jaelan Sanford returns as do the other two players that averaged in double figures last season in Nate Navigato and Luke Knapke. The Rockets were led by their offense last season and their D has to improve to make a run this season. The Rockets have a very weak early season schedule and they do not face one team all season that is from a major conference.
The Rockets have the talent and some size inside with 6’11” Knapke being the main man in the paint and he will be looked on to solidify the paint in this season after the last one where he averaged 10.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
Grizzlies throttle the little minnow
Oakland had their home opener in their last game where they crushed D3 Kalamazoo 99-45. They shot 52.9% from the floor and only allowed Kalamazoo to shoot 29.6%, but the Grizzlies were facing a Division III team. Oakland will have to play good D in this game, as they will have their growing pains this season since they lost their top three scorers from last season. Xavier Hill-Mais led the Grizzlies in the Kalamazoo game going for 27 points on 5/9 shooting and Karmari Newman had 16 points coming off the bench. The Grizzlies have some bite left in them with a legit incoming class and a few contributing players that are back in the fold.
Hear from #OaklandMBB press conference after tonight's exhibition win over Kalamazoo
— Oakland Basketball (@OaklandMBB) November 7, 2018
Oakland has won their only one game on the season, but they will be tested a tad more facing a D1 Toledo team.
The Oakland Grizzlies are:
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Friday games
- 7-22 ATS in their last 29 games overall
- 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games
The Toledo Rockets are:
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Oakland easily won their opening game of the season facing a D3 team, but facing Toledo they will not be as fortunate. The Grizzlies may have some early-season issues with several new players that have to contribute right away. They are talented, but Toledo has the more experienced team and that will show in this game. The Rockets will not only cover, but get the win as well in their first game of the season.
Prediction: PICK: Toledo
Full-Game Total Pick
Have to take the Under in this game because of the betting trends and the young team Oakland has. The Under has been the pick in Toledo’s last four games and in six of Oakland’s last seven games. These team will be feeling each other out in this game in what will be a low scoring game. Take the Under in this non-conference affair.
Prediction: PICK: Under