Mercer Bears vs. Citadel Bulldogs Betting Odds

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The Mercer Bears (16-13, 9-7 SoCon) will travel to McAlister Field House to take on the Citadel Bulldogs (10-18, 5-11 SoCon) in their home finale. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 168.5 points with Mercer set as an 8-point favorite. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Mercer Bears at Citadel Bulldogs ATS Preview

The Bears were victorious over the Western Carolina Catamounts in their last contest, 81-64. Demetre Rivers was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Mercer dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had an offensive rebounding percentage of 27.3 (below their season average of 32.4) and a free throw rate of 0.280 (matching their season average). Western Carolina put up marks of 17.2 and 0.192, respectively, for those same stats.

The last time the Bulldogs played, they defeated the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 84-82. Citadel’s Frankie Johnson had a good outing, recording 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. The Bulldogs made 19 of their 23 free throws (82.6 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.551 (above their season average of 0.507).

It will be a showdown of contrasting paces as the up-tempo Bulldogs will look to push the more grind-it-out Bears. The Bulldogs rank second in possessions per game while the Bears are 323rd. Additionally, the 25th-ranked offense of the Bears (offensive efficiency of 115.4) will try to take advantage of the 316th-ranked defense of the Bulldogs (defensive efficiency of 111.1).

Games involving these teams have typically gone over the O/U total. Mercer games have gone over 58.3 percent of the time, while Citadel games have finished over 57.1 percent of the time. The Bears have the significant advantage straight up (SU) (16-13 vs. 10-18), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Mercer is 10-11-3 ATS, while Citadel is 10-10-1 ATS.

Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Bears, it’s been Ross Cummings, who has averaged 19.0 points, while the Bulldogs have gotten solid contributions from Zane Najdawi (22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks).

These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to score 150 points, which was under the projected point total of 164. The Bulldogs won 76-74, covering as 16-point underdogs. Citadel made 14 of its 35 three pointers (40.0 percent). Mercer, meanwhile, did a great job of converting from the free throw line (22-28; 78.6 percent). Despite the loss, Jordan Strawberry was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points.

Mercer Bears at Citadel Bulldogs Betting Prediction

Pick: SU Winner – Mercer, ATS Winner – Citadel, O/U – Over

Betting Notes:

  • The Bulldogs rank third in steals per game (9.8) while the Bears rank 175th (5.7).
  • Citadel ranks 135th in blocks per game (3.2) while Mercer ranks 225th (1.8).
  • On the road, Mercer is 5-7-3 ATS with 9 overs and 6 unders.
  • Citadel is 5-5 ATS at home with 6 unders and 4 overs.
  • Mercer ranks third in rebounds allowed per game (29.0) while Citadel ranks 303rd (43.1).
  • The Bulldogs average 34.6 three pointers per game, which ranks second in the nation. The Bears rank 267th in three pointers allowed per game (25.7).
  • Mercer ranks 83rd in assists per game (14.8) while Citadel ranks 275th in assists allowed per game (19.8).

Bettings Trends:

  • Citadel is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
  • Over their last five games, Mercer is 5-0 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
  • The Bulldogs’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 6.8, up from 5.1 for the season.
  • During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 79.6 points per game (3.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 68.0 points per game (0.7 below their season average).