College Basketball Picks: Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers vs. DePaul Blue Demons

Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers at DePaul Blue Demons
Monday, 12/5/11, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  DePaul -2.5
Current Betting Line:  DePaul -3
Opening Total:  134
Current Total:  136
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The DePaul Blue Demons are 10-0 SU all-time against the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers

Wisconsin-Milwaukee is off to its best beginning to a season since the 1992-93 campaign, posting a 7-1 record that includes a 73-71 overtime win over Illinois-Chicago as 14.5-point home favorites.  The Panthers were living and dying with the three-point shot early in the season, attempting 131 shots from beyond the arc in the first six games.  “If we’re going to take that shot, we can wait a little bit and grind it out, but those are the shots that presented themselves,” commented Panthers coach Rob Jeter.  Wisconsin-Milwaukee is 20-12 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus years.

The Panthers have held five of their eight opponents to fewer than 60 points and currently lead the Horizon League in scoring defense.  Offensively, the team has two starters that average in double figures, with junior forward James Haarsma leading the way with 11.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.  He sat out last season after transferring from Evansville.  These two teams met at the Allstate Arena a year ago, as Wisconsin-Milwaukee dropped a 61-47 decision as 1.5-point underdogs.

DePaul will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing 70-68 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels as one-point favorites, while the team has fallen ‘under’ the total in three consecutive games.  The Blue Demons have lost their two games by a combined three points, which has many players in the locker room dreaming of a 6-0 start rather than their current 4-2 record.  “I think we’ve got a chance to make a major leap from year one,” stated Blue Demons coach Oliver Purnell in his second season with the program.  DePaul is 6-7 ATS as a favorite the last two-plus years.

The Blue Demons are in the midst of their 32nd season in playing inside the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL, posting a 307-133  all-time mark.  It’s still important to note that DePaul was picked to finish 16th in the Big East Conference in a vote conducted by league coaches in October.  The previous 10 meetings have all been captured by DePaul on its home court.

Bettors will likely back the Blue Demons due to their 6-1 ATS mark in non-conference action, while the Panthers are 1-6 ATS in the same situation.

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