UIC vs. Oakland - 2/29/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

UIC vs. Oakland - 2/29/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Golden Grizzlies (12-18) at UIC Flames (15-15)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm (Credit Union 1 Arena)

The Line: UIC Flames -2.5 -- Over/Under: 134 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Oakland Golden Grizzlies (12-18, 7-10 HL) go on the road to face the Illinois-Chicago Flames (14-15, 9-7 HL) in a Horizon League battle at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago. The last time these teams squared off, Illinois-Chicago annihilated Oakland 80-50 as a 4-point road underdog. 

Since that defeat, Oakland has gone 5-4 against the spread in their last 9 games and 4-1 against the spread in their last 5, with the lone loss coming in their last game on the road against IUPUI. That home loss to Illinois-Chicago seemed to wake up an Oakland team that has outscored opponents by 1.78 points per game in the 9 games since.

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Oakland is 8-5-1 against the spread on the road this season and 4-4 against the spread in their last 8 road games. Oakland is ranked 238th by KenPom, with the 241st ranked offense and 243rd ranked defense. Oakland is led by Senior forward Xavier Hill-Mais, who is averaging 16.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game with a 54.3 eFG%. 

Illinois-Chicago is 7-3 straight up and 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games and is outscoring opponents by 4.33 points per game in their 9 games since they last played Oakland. Oakland is currently 3rd in the Horizon League and has a realistic shot to make the NCAA Tournament if they can keep their momentum going and win their conference tournament with the Horizon being particularly weak this year.

Illinois-Chicago is just 5-8 against the spread at home and an impressive 10-5 against the spread on the road. Some teams strangely play better on the road, and Illinois-Chicago seems to be one of them. Illinois-Chicago is ranked 223rd by KenPom, with the 276th ranked offense and 156th ranked defense. Illinois-Chicago is led by Senior guard Tarkus Ferguson, who is averaging 14.2 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game with a 49.8 eFG%.

The last time these two teams played it was a bloodbath. Oakland has seemed to use the loss as a springboard to turn around their season, and has played well since. In the last 10 meetings between Oakland and Illinois-Chicago, the home team is 5-5 against the spread. The under is 8-2 in Illinois-Chicago’s last 10 games, and the over is 6-3-1 in the last 10 games for Oakland.

I like Illinois-Chicago here to sweep the season series on Senior Night and go into the Horizon League Tournament with something to play for.

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Erik’s Pick Illinois-Chicago -2.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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