Welcome ladies, gentlemen and fellow NCAA men's college basketball degenerates, to my weekly Horizon League review and recap! I take a lot of pride in both breaking down and handicapping these CBB plays, simply because you can find some real edges in the market (along with other small conferences), and that's why you hear me constantly covering them in the podcast and on Twitter as well. This will be the intro in every article, and I will also be recapping/reviewing the Horizon League. Both of these conferences play on back-to-back nights vs. the same opponent in order to cut down on travel for COVID purposes.
Don’t be confused about this conference's schedule when you go to bet these games, as each of these conferences mainly play Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Both articles will be out by Wednesday night every week through March Madness. Personally, I handicap every conference game and keep a lot of my work private. I do this because it forces me to look at every conference game and it helps me find real holes since we are somewhat limited on our weekly choices. If you have any questions, thoughts or insights for now and/or going forward, feel free to contact me on Twitter any time @DanRivera228.
RECAP: Robert Morris Colonials (3-9, 2-7) @ Wright State Raiders (13-4, 11-3)
Game 1: WRST 79-70 (Rob M +13.5, over 145.5)
Game 2: WRST 86-56 (WRST -15, under 145)
Last year: didn’t play
Robert Morris is new to Horizon League conference play this year, and they are currently 12th out of 12 teams. This team isn’t good, as evidenced by Wright State having a bad night shooting and still winning by nine points. Wright State shot 29.4% from three while Robert Morris shot 40% from downtown and still nearly lost by double digits. And the poor three-point night for Wright State was because of misses, not Robert Morris playing good defense. Robert Morris had a good three-point shooting night here overall, making the scorer closer than it should've been and covering the +13.5 spread in the process in Game 1.
In Game 2 Wright State showed up and took care of business en route to a blowout win. Wright State is the best team in Horizon League now in my opinion over Cleveland State, as these Raiders can just put up points in bunches and play good defense, compared to Cleveland State having more of a mediocre offense.
RECAP: UIC Flames (8-7, 5-5) @ Northern Kentucky Norse (9-8, 7-5)
- Game 1: NKU 72-68 (NKU -3.5 over 135.5)
- Game 2: NKU 69-67 (UIC +2.5, push)
- Last year: NKU 2-1 SU/ATS, 1-2 O/U
Somehow NKU sits in third place in this conference despite some bad losses - particularly to IUPUI twice at home. This is a team which I believe is better than its record implies because they have won the Horizon League tournament in three of the last four years. In both of these games NKU shot 28.6% combined and 25% from three and the Norse still won! UIC shot 41.9% and 41.2% from three themselves, but turnovers killed this team. It takes a lot to overcome double digit turnovers and FT shooting that falls below 70%.
RECAP: Green Bay Phoenix (5-13, 5-9) @ Cleveland State Vikings (12-5, 12-2)
- Game 1: CLST 74-68 (CLST -4, over 136.5)
- Game 2: CLST 73-65 (CLST -3.5, over 136)
- Last year: Green Bay 1-1 SU/ATS, 1-1 O/U
Two games with two very similar final scores here. The only difference was in Game 2 for CLST when the the host Vikings were up 41-23 after the first half. They then were outscored 42-32 in the second half and still came out with a win and ATS cover. CLST took care of business and got the wins here, but I would've definitely guessed bigger margins for a Vikings squad that's 12-2 in Horizon League Conference play.
RECAP: Detroit Mercy Titans (6-8, 5-5) @ Youngstown State Penguins (8-10, 4-10)
- Game 1: Detroit 78-75 (Detroit +1, over 147.5)
- Game 2: Detroit 77-72 (Detroit +1, push)
- Last year: Youngstown State 1-1 SU/ATS, 1-1 O/U
Detroit is now sixth overall in the Horizon League Conference standings to my surprise (someone has to win some games), and this is another back-to-back weekend series with similar box scores here. Both teams stink and you unfortunately don’t have the option to fade both teams when they play each other. The only real way to play these schools is on the road when you have to lay a premium against them.
RECAP: Oakland Golden Grizzlies (8-13, 7-5) @ IPFW Mastodons (6-9, 5-9)
- Game 1: Oakland 81-66 (Oakland +1, under 155.5)
- Game 2: Oakland 82-75 (Oakland -1, over 155)
- Last year: didn’t play
IPFW has really come down the last couple weekends, and the Mastodons are now on a four-game losing streak. Also to my surprise? Oakland is now tied for third place in the Horizon League standings. Box scores in both games had similar stats, except for one statistic in particular. In Game 2, IPFW got to the FT line two times the entire game. The Mastodons, on the other hand, sent Oakland to the line 33 times while the Grizzlies made 26 total foul shots. You can’t expect to win when you send your opponent to the line 30 more times than you. Oakland was thus able to escape with a road sweep and back-to-back ATS covers.
RECAP: Milwaukee Panthers (7-6, 5-5) @ IUPUI Jaguars (4-7, 3-7)
- Game 1: IUPUI 73-68 (IUPUI +4.5, under 148)
- Game 2: Milwaukee 83-76 (-1.5, over 146)
- Last year: Milwaukee 2-0 SU/ATS, 1-1 O/U
This was just two more bad Horizon League teams playing each other, and one weekend battle that went back and forth. IUPUI in Game 1 had a good field goal night overall, but the next night the Jaguars struggled to score from the field. Milwaukee is a team with good to average stats, but the Panthers have also played some bad teams this year such as IUPUI, Green Bay, and Robert Morris. Each team winning once is right around what I was expecting, while the weekend series also split down the middle ATS and for the O/U.