Milwaukee Panthers vs Oakland Grizzlies
Betting Spread – Milwaukee -2. Total 153.5
The Milwaukee Panthers are set to host the Oakland Panthers on Friday evening. My favorite look in this game is over the number which has since been steamed down to about 152. While I’m not fully convinced on these steam exacts, let’s talk through why I really like this over the 153.5 number and even up to 155.
As most of you may already know (at minimum), I look for certain key factors when I want to bet an over. Two teams struggling defensively, yet also playing well offensively. Two teams that both like to run and teams that are good converting at the charity stripe. There are of course many other factors, but at minimum I want to be targeting most of these initial conditions. Let’s first talk on the Oakland Grizzlies.
Oakland enters this game with one of largest discrepancies from offense/defense in D1 as per Kenpom. 129 on offense and 318 on defense. They also play at an above average pace and a very above average adjusted tempo. This adjusted tempo likely stems from how quickly they play on defense with teams getting shots up quick when Oakland is on defense. This team is one of the least disciplined defenses in all of D1. Their young team (rank 270th youngest in D1) probably has something to do with this. On the road these defensive numbers are even worse. In true road games vs offenses that rank 225 or better (per Kenpom), Oakland has given up at least 75 points in every game. 11 games in total. Though two of these went to OT (Detroit + Green-Bay), both those teams play much slower than their opponent here though. This Oakland team is a literal slot reel on defense. The lone bright spot for them is their lack of fouling, but they’ve also played a lot of teams in conference who simply not good at drawing contact. Milwaukee is the 4th best team in the Horizon League at drawing contact. The only two teams that Oakland has played who are slightly better than Milwaukee at drawing contact are Wright State and Cleveland State. Four total games where Oakland averaged nearly 17 fouls per game. Remember, this Oakland team plays fairly fast, so it’s not crazy to think on a per possession basis Oakland is well above average at not fouling, but this team still can pile up fouls against teams that force the issue. Oakland’s lack of fouling may also explain why they are so poor defensively. They are clearly not all that physical on defense, but have played a soft schedule in regards to teams who draw contact. What I’m getting at is I think Oakland’s elite numbers in regards to lack of contact defensively is somewhat smoke and mirrors. They now play a team that should find their way to the free throw line and Milwaukee converts at nearly 75% as a team. May seem like a minor detail, but many overs and unders cash based on FTs, so it should never be overlooked. Milwaukee also should be able to get many easy baskets with how poor Oakland is in the interior. Let’s go into more detail now on this Panthers team.
The Milwaukee Panthers play at a very fast pace on offense and when you combine this with how quickly teams often get shots up vs Oakland, this should result in many quick transition shots for the Panthers. Switching over to defense though, this Panthers team is well below average. They have conceded at least 76 points in their last five games. The two Northern Kentucky games are glaring for me because that Northern Kentucky team is just a slower version of Oakland and they averaged 83 with average at best shooting. Oakland is by no means a good 3 point shooting team, but Milwaukee is so bad defending the three. Based on pace alone here, I’d expect Oakland to get many transition good looks, and also draw contact as they often do. Milwaukee is good on the defensive glass, so this should somewhat neutralize Oakland grabbing easy put backs, but if this game has briefs stints of a blazing pace, these opportunities will organically surface.
As for as individual players, both these teams are no strangers to scorers. Milwaukee has four players who average more than 9 ppg and Oakland has 6 players who average more than 8 ppg. Both are also lead by great scorers. Oakland has Jalen Moore who averages about 18 ppg and Milwaukee has DeAndre Gholston who averages over 16 ppg. Back to team basketball, Oakland is a much better team at moving the basketball around from an assists/FGA perspective and this is important because Oakland defensively is also one of the worst at allowing it. This should create a stream of good looks from both teams with many assist opportunities.
Talking back on the steam, I get that this is a large number and this game may get slowed down a bit on Oakland’s offensive end, but when I encompass all factors, the over makes a lot of sense here despite the large number. Both teams are comfortable playing into the 80s, both teams have played at an over pace recently and now meet each-other for the first time this year. Milwaukee tends to speed their opponents up and Oakland has no issue running with teams who like to. If shooting numbers hover over 45% and refs call this game neutrally from a foul perspective, I really like this to go over. The steam moving down does show some concern, and maybe a player or two get ruled out late. If this happens, I’ll advise the group via discord about potentially hedging off. Assuming this does not happen though, let’s roll on the over here at 153.5 and actually it’s even lower now, so more favorable. May the odds be ever in our favor.
JJ’s Best Bet
Milwaukee vs Oakland OVER 153.5 -110 (FD)