Miami (Ohio) Redhawks vs. West Michigan Broncos – College Basketball, February 25, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 24, 2021 2:30 pm PDT

The Redhawks don’t have a great deal to play for here other than pride as they sit around the middle of the standings in the Mid-American Conference. However, the Broncos are looking to avoid coming last in the conference, and they also want revenge for their defeat to the Redhawks last month. But perhaps their most significant incentive is trying to finish above both Central and Eastern Michigan.

The win for Miami last month was their first in seven games against the Broncos. Neither team shot well from three-point range, but the Redhawks did shoot significantly better, which was one of the telling factors. The other was they rebounded much better on the night. The Broncos will be confident of returning to winning ways over the Redhawks, given that they have won five of the previous six home fixtures.

When I look at the last ten games between these two, the thing that strikes me the most is how slow they have both started in the majority of matches. Over those ten games, they have a combined total of 54 points at halftime! That has set the tone for these games, which has meant that more often than not, they are low scoring.

Redhawks vs. Broncos Odds

Redhawks -4.5-110
Broncos +4.5-110
Redhawks To Win+220
Broncos To Win-275
Over 134 Points-110
Under 134 Points-110

The spread looks low in this game, especially seen as it was set at 9.5 only a little over three weeks ago. Although the Redhawks failed to cover it, it was by the narrowest of margins. Presumably, it is set lower tonight because they have little to play for, and the Broncos have a superior record at home. The points total looks high and definitely could be worth taking on.

The Redhawks have won all seven games this season that they have entered as the betting favorites.

Redhawks News

After the Redhawks beat the Broncos, they went on a run of four straight defeats. However, they have turned things around slightly by winning their two most recent games against Northern Illinois, and they also picked up a win in Michigan against Central Michigan. Neither of the teams they beat is highly ranked, but it will have been a confidence booster regardless.

They have been lacking on the road this season and have only won three of their nine away fixtures. However, two of those three wins have come in their last two matches, and the third one was against Eastern Michigan, and they will be hoping to make it a full set against Western Michigan here.

Here are the latest betting trends for Miami (OH):

Bet Type Trend
Total Four of their previous five games have gone over the betting total.
ATS They have only won one of their previous five matches against the Broncos.
SU The Broncos have only won four of their last 20 games on the road.
ATS Miami (OH) is 5-1 in their previous six games played on a Thursday.

The Redhawks have a good offense that would be knocking on the countries top 100 list if they rebounded the ball better. They like to shoot from deep, and why wouldn’t they when they are making 36% of their shots this season. Thus, they don’t tend to get fouled too often, which is a good thing for their opponents as they have the third-highest success rate from the free-throw line in the conference. By getting their shots off early, it also means that they don’t make many turnovers either.

Their defense has been lacking, and they have failed to find a game plan that works for them this season. Ultimately they haven’t marked up well enough, and they have allowed their opponents to score too many easy points. Strangely their defensive rebounding has arguably been their best attributes, but I think that tells you how badly they are defending this season.

Because they haven’t marked up well, it means they haven’t been able to get close enough to their opponents to make many steals either.

Sophomore Dae Dae Grant is having a good time of things this season, but he will hope to do much better than he did last time against the Broncos. He scored only nine points and shot at 16% that night. However, Junior Mekhi Lairy picked up the slack that night as he scored 15 points, made six assists and three steals. If he can reproduce that and Grant can play as he usually does, then the Redhawks will be hard to beat.

The Redhawks have no absentees listed for this game.

Broncos News

After losing to the Redhawks, the Broncos bounced back grandly by beating Bowling Green and their close rivals Central Michigan. However, it appears that the wins went to their head as they were then thumped by Buffalo and lost to Kent State most recently.

The Broncos have the worst home record in the Mid-American Conference as they have only won two of their nine home fixtures. They haven’t won at home this year and have lost their previous five matches.

Here are the latest betting trends for West Michigan:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Broncos have won four of their last five games.
Total Four of their previous six matches have gone under the betting total.
SU They have only won two of their last 11 games.
Total The total has gone under in nine of their previous ten games against Miami (OH).
Total Eight of their last 12 matches played in February have gone under the points total.
Total Their games on a Thursday have been low-scoring affairs as only one of the previous six has failed to go under the betting total.

With so many games going under the betting total, it is no surprise to see that the Broncos have one of the worst offenses in the country. They have only averaged 63 points per game this season. Their best-attacking weapon has been their three-point shooting, but even that has failed to do much damage with only a 33% success rate.

They have the second-lowest success rate from the free-throw line in the Mid-American Conference, so it does pay to play aggressively against them.

You would imagine they make plenty of offensive rebounding with such poor shooting, but you would be wrong as they have made by far the least amount in the conference.

They are making too many turnovers each game also, which will have to stop against a team that uses the ball as well as the Redhawks have this season.

Western Michigan has a point per game difference of -8.2, which is only better than bottom-placed Northern Illinois.

Their defense is better but is by no means good. It matches up pretty well with the Red Hawks defense as they are ranked 218th, and Miami (OH) is 221st. They almost play a blitz style of defense that, in all fairness, they do pretty well. However, you would expect them to make more steals than they do playing this way. The Broncos and the Redhawks have made the least number of steals in the conference, so don’t expect to see many made here.

What you would expect from this defense style is a low block count, and that is precisely what you get with them.

Artis White leads most of the Broncos scoring stats this season, but he has earned more accolades for his talents off of the court than he has on it. He currently has over 1.3 million followers on TikTok and has over 45 million likes on his videos.

Senior Greg Lee will be hoping to emulate his performance against the Redhawks last month as he scored 20 points and shot at 66% that night.

The Broncos also have a clean bill of health heading into this matchup!

Redhawks vs. Broncos Pick

Pick
  • Under 134
    -110

The Redhawks will more than likely cover the spread here, but their poor away form is a concern. Their best asset is their three-point shooting, but they could be canceled out by the Bronco’s high-pressing defense. It’s glaringly apparent that this game points to a low-scoring game given how many times each team has gone under the betting total recently. I can’t turn my back on the stats and will therefore make that my pick.

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