The Grand Canyon Antelopes (22-11) will be 6.5-point favorites in the College Basketball Invitational at Grand Canyon University Arena when they square off against the Mercer Bears (18-14). The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 142.5 points and it can be seen on ESPN 3 at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
Mercer Bears vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes Betting Odds
Both teams lost in their last matchup. The Antelopes were beaten by the New Mexico State Aggies, 72-58, while the Bears lost big to the Wofford Terriers, 73-53.
Mercer held Wofford to an offensive rebounding percentage of 6.9 (below their season average of 25.8) while Grand Canyon had a better effective field goal percentage (0.446 vs. 0.473). Grand Canyon was lifted by Keonta Vernon, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Stephon Jelks, meanwhile played a pivotal role for Mercer with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The physical Grand Canyon offense could be getting to the foul line a lot in this matchup. The Antelopes rank 48th in the nation with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.280, while Mercer ranks 173rd in FTA rate allowed (0.232). Moreover, the 25th-ranked offense of the Bears (offensive efficiency of 114.6) will face off against the fourth-ranked defense of the Antelopes (defensive efficiency of 92.2).
Vegas has typically been fairly accurate when predicting totals of Bears games, with 14 overs compared to 13 unders. Mercer heads into the game with records of 18-14 straight up (SU) and 12-12-3 against the spread (ATS).
Vegas has a tendency to place the total high when the Antelopes are involved, as two of their 27 games have finished under the projected point total. Grand Canyon has a solid 22-11 SU record, but they are just 2-3 ATS.
Alessandro Lever has been playing at a high level recently for Grand Canyon, averaging 22.6 points and 7.0 rebounds over the last five games.
Mercer Bears vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes Odds Pick
Pick: SU Winner – Grand Canyon, ATS Winner – Grand Canyon, O/U – Under
- Grand Canyon ranks 10th in three pointers allowed per game (17.0) while Mercer ranks 300th (26.2).
- The Antelopes rank 77th in blocks per game (3.9) while the Bears rank 246th (1.7).
- The Bears rank third in rebounds allowed per game (28.9) while the Antelopes rank 219th (36.4).
- Grand Canyon ranks fourth in assists allowed per game (9.6) while Mercer ranks 218th (14.6).
- The Antelopes’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 3.6, down from 9.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 72.6 points per game (2.9 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.8 points per game (0.9 above their season average).