College Basketball Betting Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas at Minnesota Golden Gophers

Central Michigan Chippewas at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Williams Arena – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Minnesota -16 1/2
Current Line: Minnesota -16 1/2
Opening Total: 128
Current Total: 128 1/2
Opening Money Line: Minnesota -1800 / Central Michigan +1190
Current Money Line: Minnesota -1700 / Central Michigan +1150

Minnesota takes on Central Michigan Tuesday night in Minneapolis. The Gophers are 16.5 point favorites.

The 4-4 Central Michigan Chippewas travel to Minnesota to take on the 10-1 Golden Gophers. The Chippewas are coached by Ernie Zeigler and finished 5th in the Great Alaska Shootout last month with a loss to New Mexico St and wins over Dartmouth and UC-Irvine. The Chippewas have lost two straight games at Temple and Tennessee St. This is the last game on a brutal 7 game road trip for Central Michigan. Minnesota is coached by Tubby Smith. The Golden Gophers came in second in the Old Spice Classic to Dayton. The 86-70 loss to the Flyers is the only blemish for the Gophers. Minnesota has wins over Depaul, Indiana St, USC, and Virginia Tech. Minnesota leads the overall series 2-0 against Central Michigan, but they haven’t played since 2007.

Saturday, Central Michigan was a 5 point underdog at Tennessee St on the college basketball betting line. Central Michigan jumped out to an early 24-11 lead, but Tennessee St then went on a 35-4 run that stretched into the second half. The Chippewas pulled to with 53-48 with 4:26 to go, but could never get any closer. The Tigers held on for the 65-57 win. Central Michigan was 23/59 shooting from the field, including 7/19 from 3 point range. The Chippewas were only 4/8 from the free throw line. Central Michigan had 37 rebounds, 12 assists, and 19 turnovers.  Guard Trey Zeigler, the coach’s son, led the Chips with 17 points, and also added 6 rebounds. Forward Andre Coimbra had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Guard Derek Jackson had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Tennessee St was 22/55 shooting from the field including 4/16 from 3 point range. The Tigers were 17/24 from the free throw line. TSU had 34 rebounds, 11 assists, and 16 turnovers.

Central Michigan is being outscored this season 68-67. The Chippewas are shooting 40% from the field, including 36.1% from 3 point range. CMU makes 61.5% of their free throws. The Chips average 39.5 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of  -3.3. Central Michigan averages 12.9 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 5.6 blocks, and 7.8 steals a game. CMU opponents are shooting 35.8% from the field, including 31.7% from three point range.

Zeigler averages 17.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals a game. He leads the Chippewas in scoring and rebounding. Guard Austin McBroom averages 10.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists to lead the team, and 1.3 steals a game. He is shooting 50% from 3 point range.  Jackson averages 10.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2 steals a game to lead the team. Coimbra averages 9.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks a game to lead the team. Guard Paris Paramore is out for the season for undisclosed reasons, and forward Colin Voss is out until late December with a wrist injury.

Minnesota hosted St. Peter’s Saturday. The Gophers were 18.5 point favorites. Minnesota never trailed in the game. The Gophers took a 34-23 at halftime and never looked back in the 69-47 win. Minnesota had 38 points in the paint to St. Peter’s 22. Minnesota was 17/27 on free throws and St. Peter’s was only 6/10. Minnesota shot 24/52 from the field, including 4/12 on 3 pointers. The Gophers had 31 rebounds, 19 assists, and 10 turnovers. Forward Ralph Sampson III returned tot eh starting line up for the first time since injuring his ankle November 17. He had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks. Guard Julian Welch had 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. Forward Rodney Williams had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block. The Peacocks shot only 19/48 from the field including 3/11 from 3 point range.

Minnesota is outscoring opponents 71-60 this season. The Golden Gophers are shooting 49% from the field, including 33.3% from 3 point range. Minnesota makes 69.3% of their field goals. The Gophers average 35.1 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +6.8. Minnesota averages 15.6 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 5.6 blocks and 9.1 steals a game. Minnesota opponents are shooting 41% from the field including 37.6% from 3 point range. Minnesota is forcing over 15 turnovers a game.

Forward Trevor Mbakwe was the leading scorer and rebounder for Minnesota but he is gone for the season with a leg injury. Welch is averaging 9.9 points, 2 rebounds, 2.5 assists to lead the team, and 1.1 steals a game. Williams averages 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.6 blocks a game. He leads the team in steals in blocks. Austin Hollins averages 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. Sampson averages 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds to lead the team, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 blocks a game. Andre Hollins averages 7 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Forward Oto Osenieks is also probable with a leg injury.

Minnesota is 4-3-1 against the spread this season, and the total is 3-4-1 this season. Central Michigan is 4-2-1 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season. The Chippewas are 4-1 ATS after failing to cover, 5-2 after a straight up loss, 9-25-3 as an underdog, 3-9-2 as a road underdog, 3-12-2 against teams with winning records, 1-6-1 in Tuesday games, and 1-8-1 in road games against teams with winning home records. The Golden Gophers are 8-3 after a win by 20 points or more, 6-13-1 as a favorite, 6-14-1 at home, 5-12-2 overall, 5-13-1 as a home favorite, 1-6-1 after allowing 50 points or less, 1-6 as a favorite of 13 points or more, 1-10 at home against teams with losing road records, 0-8 in Tuesday games, and 0-3-1 following  a cover.

Minnesota isn’t nearly as strong without Mbakwe, but they have won the 4 games since he went down with the injury. The Golden Gophers should win this game easily and cover the 16.5 point spread against a mediocre at best Central Michigan team.

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