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Pick on the Spread for Youngstown State-Fort Wayne on February 4

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Sunday’s college basketball matchup between the Fort Wayne Mastodons and Youngstown State Penguins.

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NCAA Basketball: IUPU - Ft. Wayne at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Youngstown State Penguins enter Sunday just a half-game out of a tie for first place in the Horizon League, but standing in their way first is a test on the road against the Fort Wayne Mastodons.

Youngstown State Penguins (-5.5, 153.5) vs. Fort Wayne Mastodons

Fort Wayne has one of the better perimeter defenses in college basketball despite playing an uptempo brand of basketball, ranking 48th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage at home and 31st in possessions per game while allowing its opponents to shoot just 27.8% from deep.

Both teams have similar defensive metrics with both Fort Wayne and Youngstown State entering the weekend ranked 70th and 76th, respectively, in points allowed on a per-possession basis. However, the Mastodons have the edge in ball control.

Both teams have a similar turnovers per possession percentage, as well, with Fort Wayne ranked 58th and Youngstown State ranked 72nd. But, Fort Wayne turns the ball over far less frequently when playing at home and the same goes for Youngstown State far more often when playing on the road.

The Mastodons commit turnovers on just 11.2% of possessions at home, good for 22nd in the nation in home turnover rate. However, when playing on the road, that percentage jumps up to 14.9%. Meanwhile, the Penguins turn the ball over on 10.2% of possessions at home, which ranks seventh in the nation but their turnover percentage balloons to 15.9% when playing on the road, good for 189th in the nation.

Fort Wayne has a defense that will exploit this weakness, ranking fifth in turnovers forced on a per-possession basis while Youngstown State ranks just 206th in turnovers created on a per-possession basis when playing on defense.

Take the Penguin’ recent struggles of taking care of the ball on the road and pair it with the Mastodons’ stout perimeter defense and the Mastodons will steal any chance at a share of first place in the Horizon League on Sunday.

The Play: Fort Wayne +5.5