Michigan basketball vs. Eastern Michigan: Keys, prediction, odds, and how to watch

All the key info you need for Michigan basketball vs. Eastern Michigan including the odds, how to watch, and a prediction.

Toledo v Michigan
Toledo v Michigan / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

Michigan basketball returns to the court on Saturday against Eastern Michigan. It's a buy game, but it's an important one for the Wolverines because Juwan Howard will return as head coach.

Howard didn't just get a clean bill of health -- he was also cleared of any wrongdoing in the recent incident with Jon Sanderson, as Warde Manuel announced on Friday. Howard is back as the head coach and the cloud of uncertainty hovering over this team has lifted.

We don't know if Jon Sanderson will be on the bench on Saturday. He filed an HR complaint and was away from the team for the past week. Hopefully, Sanderson and Howard can put this behind them. Yet, for better or worse, this is Juwan's program.

Michigan basketball is sitting at 5-5. However, the Wolverines did notch a key win over Iowa last weekend. The Wolverines have another huge game on Tuesday against Florida, but building some momentum on Saturday, as a 23-point favorite (according to DraftKings) would be huge.

Here's the key info that you need. The over/under is 146 and here is no money line offered for either side.

Michigan basketball vs. Eastern Michigan how to watch

Date: Dec. 16 Game Time: 2:30 PM EST Venue: Crisler How to Watch: Big Ten network | Fubo TV

Keys for Michigan basketball vs. Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan has the same record as Michigan basketball, but EMU is ranked 304th in the Kenpom rankings compared to No. 41 for Michigan. Eastern Michigan has the No. 331 adjusted defense and the No. 257 offense according to Kenpom. Eastern Michigan does have a dynamic point guard in Tyson Acuff. He'll be a defensive challenge for the Wolverines and averages 21 points per game, but outside of that, the Eagles don't have anyone that averages in double figures.

Michigan should also be able to dominate in the paint. The Eagles have just two players at 6-foot-8. Tarris Reed should be able to build on his performance against Iowa on both ends of the floor. Michigan should be able to limit this EMU offense to under a point-per-possession. If not, it's hard to have any hope for this defense this season.

A big key for this team has been focus though. You'd hope that Howard's return would be a jolt of energy. He's the head coach for a reason and having him back should make things run more smoothly. We'll see on Saturday, but this team has a tendency to play down and that will be really annoying if that's the case against Eastern Michigan.

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Prediction: Michigan 90, Eastern Michigan 63