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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hosts Western Michigan Saturday in college basketball action. Western Michigan had won 7 straight games against UW-Milwaukee until last year when the Panthers eked out a 67-66 win. Both of these teams come into this game with records of 1-0. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET at Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Western Michigan wins openerThe Western Michigan Broncos had a dreadful season last year going 8-24 overall and 2-12 in the Mid American Conference. It was a season they'd rather put in the rearview mirror and move on from. They lost a key player from that team in center Seth Dugan, but overall, hopes are higher this year as they have a lot of players back from a year ago. The Broncos won't be challenging for the conference title this year but they should be better.
They got off to a good start to the 2019-20 campaign with a 75-65 win over McNeese State in their opener. The Broncos only shot 36 percent from the field but forced 14 turnovers. Michael Flowers led the way with 24 points while freshman B. Artis White tossed in 20 points. Jared Printy added 9 points off the bench.
Milwaukee earns first winLike Western Michigan, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee had a season they'd rather forget last year. They finished with a record of 9-22 overall and 4-14 in the Horizon League. But they have two of their best players back from last year in Darius Roy, who averaged 15 points per game last year, and DeAndre Abram, who averaged 12 ppg a year ago, are back for another year. They also got a transfer from USC, center Harrison Henderson, who should help in the paint. Te'Jon Lucas, a transfer from Illinois, will also be heavily counted on to help this year.
The Panthers won their season opener earlier this week, topping Concordia 72-62. It wasn't pretty as they only shot 38 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range, but they came away with the win. Te'Jon Lucas led the way with 19 points and 7 rebounds while Josh Thomas had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Also, DeAndre Abram tossed in 14 points.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Panthers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. Mid-American
- Broncos are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 games following a ATS win.
- Broncos are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Broncos are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I really like Milwaukee in this game. First of all, they are home, which gives them an obvious advantage. But second of all, they are much improved. The transfer Lucas is a huge pickup and he's going to have an immediate impact. Roy did not play in the first game and it's not clear why, but it is expected that he'll play against Western Michigan. I just think the Panthers are flat out a better team and it will show. They have a good chance of making some noise this year in the Horizon.
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. It's hard to know just yet what type of teams these will be, but if you look at their respective opening games, they both did not shoot well. They shot pretty badly, as a matter of fact, under 40%. That leads me to believe that, like last year, both of these teams will struggle to score the basketball this year. So, give me the under here. The under is 4-0 in Milwaukee's last 4 overall and 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games. Also, the under is 5-1 in Western Michigan's last 6 overall and 5-1 in their last 6 road games.