- A top ten matchup will take place in Ann Arbor this Saturday as Oregon visits Michigan.
- Both teams are highly ranked but somewhat unproven against elite teams.
- This is a chance for one of these teams to make a statement and prove they deserve their top 10 spot.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - If you’re a fan of college basketball, you’ll be tuned in to CBS at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday to watch what should be the best game of the weekend as the tenth-ranked Oregon Ducks visit Ann Arbor to take on the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
The Michigan Wolverines
Michigan enters the game the higher-ranked team, but have lost two of their last three games at the hands of Louisville and Illinois, respectively. The Wolverines have a balanced approach to the game – four of their players are scoring more than 11 points per game, and of those four players (Isaiah Livers, Jon Teske, Zavier Simpson and Eli Brooks) none have less than 8.9 shot attempts per game, and none have more than 10.4.
They come into Saturday’s game ranked 17th in SRS , which functionally measures how well they performed relative to expectations. A ranking this high suggests that they are a team that has been outperforming expectations so far this season.
As far as the spread, they’re 6-4 ATS, and 3-2 ATS at home. They have not lost a game at home this season, with a perfect 5-0 home record.
This all comes together to paint a picture of a team in need of a statement win – the loss to number one ranked Louisville is understandable, but the loss to unranked Illinois is worrying, and they need to prove they deserve their ranking.
The Oregon Ducks
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Oregon, meanwhile, comes into the game ranked lower but hitting some impressive statistical markers. They are outscoring opponents by almost 12 points per game on average, and their losses have been close. A one-point loss to No. 6 Gonzaga and a four-point loss to No. 17 UNC are absolutely reasonable outcomes.
This trend is represented in the Duck's SRS , where they are ranked fifth in the nation relative to expectations. Oregon is 7-2 ATS so far this season, but hasn’t played a true road game yet, with a 5-0 home record and a 2-2 record at neutral sites.
The Ducks are led by Payton Pritchard in more ways than one. The senior guard leads the team in minutes per game (by over seven minutes), points per game (by eight) and assists per game (by 3.5) just to name a few. He is a solid bet to be the key to the game, and a stark contrast to the relatively more balanced offense run by Michigan.
The Ducks as a team are shooting three-pointers at a 40% clip, good for 19th in the nation. One player who deserves praise for his shooting is Anthony Mathis, who is shooting a blistering 51% from beyond the arc this season, on 5.2 attempts per game. Mathis is almost a pure three-point shooter – he takes 7.3 shots per game total, and as mentioned, 5.2 threes per game – 71% of his shots are threes.
All things told, USAOnlineSportsbooks.com thinks this should be a fantastic game, chock full of compelling narratives, interesting gameplay and elite players. The teams have fairly similar statistical profiles –average defense, above-average offense, relatively overperforming expectations – but arrive at those statistical profiles in completely different ways. It should be a fantastic watch.
Maxwell joined the USAOnlineSportsbooks team in 2019. He focuses on creating sports betting content that informs and educates. He focuses on the NBA, the NFL, College Football and Basketball, and whatever else comes across his desk.