The Mercer Bears (7-11, 1-4 SoCon) will be at the Pete Hanna Center to go head-to-head against the Samford Bulldogs (8-11, 2-3 SoCon) in a SoCon matchup. Action starts at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 18, 2020.
Mercer Bears vs. Samford Bulldogs Betting Odds
In their last contest, the Bulldogs lost big to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 88-63, while the Bears defeated the VMI Keydets, 73-62.
Mercer played a nearly flawless game. They had a free throw rate of 0.200 (above their season average of 0.198) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 36.0 (above their season average of 31.5). VMI had marks of 0.052 and 22.2, respectively, for those same stats. Samford, on the other hand, did an excellent job of converting from the free throw line (15-19; 78.9 percent). Josh Sharkey had a solid performance for Samford, contributing 18 points. Meanwhile, Mercer was led by Djordje Dimitrijevic, who finished with 26 points.
The Bears dominated this series last year, winning both games. In the most recent game, Mercer won 65-62. Mercer’s 0.491 effective field goal percentage was its biggest advantage over Samford, who had a rate of 0.388. This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year.
It will be a matchup of conflicting tempos as the up-and-down Bulldogs (ranked 20th in the NCAA in possessions per game) will look to push the slower-paced Bears (128th in possessions per game). Furthermore, the Bears, who rank 257th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.199), could have a difficult time getting to the line against the Bulldogs, who rank 57th in opponents’ FTA rate (0.174).
Mercer at Samford Pick
Prediction: SU Winner – Samford, ATS Winner – Samford, O/U – Under
- Mercer ranks 45th in rebounds allowed per game (32.2) while Samford ranks 260th (39.3).
- The Bears average 7.2 steals per game, which ranks 92nd in the country. The Bulldogs rank 171st in steals allowed per game (7.5).
- Mercer ranks 45th in blocks allowed per game (2.8) while Samford ranks 61st (3.0).
- The Bears rank 101st in assists per game (13.9) while the Bulldogs rank 251st in assists allowed per game (17.6).
- Mercer ranks 143rd in three pointers allowed per game (22.1) while Samford ranks 269th (29.0).
- The Bulldogs’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 12.8, up from 3.1 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 74.4 points per game (3.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 67.2 points per game (4.7 below their season average).