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The Eastern Michigan Eagles (10-13 / 4-6 MAC) will be looking to build on a nice win over NIU last time out, as they face the MAC East bottom-feeder Ohio Bobcats (11-11 / 3-7 MAC) on Tuesday night at the Convocation Center in Athens, OH.
This highly anticipated matchup features..
Oh stop it! The only one’s who are anticipating this game are the fans of each school, because this game will be a tough one to watch for the rest of us!
But, the line setters have issued the Eagles as slight road favorites, so we might as well discuss something we could expect to come from this big-time affair in MAC play.
The Eagles are, at least, showing signs of life after the NIU win, but the Bobcats have lost their last 3 games, and the rim must look like a key-hole the way Ohio is shooting lately.
Eagles Looking To Build On.. Something Positive!?
Well, let’s try to sugarcoat this a little at least, as the Eagles are still 3 games under .500 for the year and won’t be finishing in last place in the MAC West with how bad Western Michigan has been in conference play (0-10).
Eastern heads to Athens to take on Ohio Tuesday Night
— EMUHoops (@EMUHoops) February 10, 2019
The Eagles pretty much score and give up 70 points a game, and they’ve only won 2 of their 10 road games this year although the line setters have given them the nod tonight as slight favorites against Ohio tonight.
Senior guard Paul Jackson leads this squad in scoring putting up 14 PPG to go along with 4.6 dimes a night, although his scoring is down about a point from last season in his first year as an Eagle. Jackson transferred from Eastern Kentucky after two seasons there averaging about 7 PPG as a freshman and sophomore before coming over for his last 2 campaigns. He also has a stretch of 12 games with double-digits after dumping 23 on Northern Illinois last time out.
Senior forward Elijah Minnie is a load inside at 6-9, as he sits right behind Jackson with 13.9 PPG in his final year with head coach Rob Murphy. He, too, transferred over after 2 season’s with Robert Morris, and has been here for the past 2 years, although his production is down from a year ago as well. Minnie averaged 16.8 PPG last year as a junior, but he is down to just under 14 points a game this year.
Senior center James Thompson IV has a massive 6-10 frame that should have him bringing in more than his 10.3 PPG, although the 10.3 RBG sure do look nice alongside. Thompson sits third on this team in scoring, but he has only managed to find 12 points from his last 3 games combined
Notice I used the word senior for all 3 players, and yet here they sit at 10 – 13 with a chance to at least finish strong and get better placement in the MAC Tourney.
Ohio Hoping Home Court Finds Them Another MAC Win
The only place the Bobcats have played basketball this year is at home, because they have 11 wins all season, and 9 of them have come here in Athens.
— OhioMen'sBasketball (@OhioMBasketball) February 11, 2019
Similarly to the Eagles, the Bobcats basically score and give up about 70 points too, with the defensive numbers sticking out a little bit to the wrong side of the number ranking 202nd allowing 72.2 PPG.
The first thing that ran through my head when I saw I had this game, was why the total was a little too low at 131, being that these two both can give up and score 70 points on any given night for the most part.
Doesn’t 70 and 70 add up to like, 140, or am I just a math major who should be working for NASA? Rockets baby, light ’em up! LOL
So, will they both get there tonight?
This is why averages can kinda throw people off, because the last 3 games have been so horrible for the Bobcats shooting the rock, that makes it a little more understandable as to why this total might be where it sits, right?
Makes sense to me, because my goodness the Bobcats have heard the word ‘airball’ being chanted their way over these last 3 games, and it’s ugly stuff.
They scored 60 in the loss to NIU, then followed that up with 53 against Akron before falling to Miami OH this past Saturday, 79 – 59.
Let’s see.. 60 + 53 + 59 = 172 points /3 outings and 57.3 PPG tells us that wins are scarce when you can’t find the net!
Also, things come in 3s more often than not, so maybe that 3-game run of ugliness can be followed up with a semblance of life at home?
At least the Bobcats do play well here having taken 9 wins from 12 home games, and they did put up nice points in the two efforts at home before the Akron debacle here in Athens.
Sophomore forward Jason Carter leads this squad with his 16.3 PPG, but he is 1 of only 2 Bobcats who are averaging double-digits this year. Carter snatches 7 boards a night as well, which is nice considering this Bobcat team ranks 65th in the nation in offensive rebounding (37.8 DRBG).
Shooting from distance? Well, not so much for this team, as they rank 334th of 352 teams converting 29.8% from behind the arc.
Sophomore guard Teyvion Kirk is the team’s second-leading scorer and only other double-digit man for the Bobcats, as he nabs 14.7 PPG and takes in a nice 6 boards a game from the backcourt. Kirk has certainly been off the mark over his last 7 games, as he is only 29 for his last 98 from the floor (22.8%).
• Bobcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
• Bobcats are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. Mid-American.
• Bobcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Tuesday games.
• Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
• Eagles are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 vs. Mid-American.
• Over is 6-2 in Eagles last 8 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will grab the team that is favored and that is at least showing us signs of life right now.
Ohio isn’t scoring lately, although I expect them to fix some of those issues at home tonight, just not enough to pull out the win.
EMU 74 – Ohio 70, and amazingly they topple the 140 mark, much less this low total.
Eastern Michigan -1.5 is the 3* Play on the Side.
Prediction: EMU -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Call it a hunch, but I do think Ohio finds a way to at least break out of this 3-game scoring slump they are in the midst of right now.
Home cookin’ should help them out, but EMU still goes on to win a game in the 70s.
The Over 131 is the 3* Play on the Total.
Prediction: Over 131