Offense meets defense when the Mercer Bears (2-1) travel to Liberty to take on the Flames (2-0). The games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 140 points with Mercer opening as a 1.5-point favorite. Action begins at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, November 17, 2017.
Mercer Bears vs. Liberty Flames ATS Preview
The Bears had no trouble getting past the Jackson State Tigers in their last game, 86-58. Rian Holland was the games high scorer with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Mercer played a perfect game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.386 and a turnover percentage of 9.2. For those same stats, Jackson State had marks of 0.118 and 21.6, respectively.
In the Flames last matchup, they beat the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 79-66. Liberty rallied around Lovell Cabbil, who was the games high scorer with 22 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Liberty played a nearly perfect game. They had a free throw rate of 0.392 and an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.1. For those same stats, Wake Forest recorded marks of 0.200 and 23.1, respectively.
Half-court execution will be of utmost importance when two of the NCAAs slowest-paced teams go head-to-head. Liberty ranks 339th in possessions per game (64.4) and Mercer is 340th (64.0) dating back to last season. Additionally, the Bears 33rd-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 113.5) will clash against the Flames 45th-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 97.6).
The Bears are 17-18 straight up (SU) and 16-12-1 against the spread (ATS) since last season. Vegas has been fairly accurate when setting the O/U total of Mercer games since last season with 15 overs compared to 14 unders.
The Flames, meanwhile, are 21-13 SU and 2-2 ATS since last season. Vegas has also been highly accurate when setting the O/U total of Liberty games over that same time frame with an even split between overs and unders.
Mercer Bears vs. Liberty Flames Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Mercer, ATS Winner – Mercer, O/U – Over
Betting Notes (2016-Present):
- The Flames rank 16th in assists allowed per game (10.6) while the Bears rank 163rd (13.3).
- Liberty ranks 17th in blocks allowed per game (2.4) while Mercer ranks 135th (3.4).
- Liberty averages 25.1 three pointers per game, which ranks 35th in the NCAA. Mercer ranks 291st in three pointers allowed per game (24.6).
- The Bears rank 131st in rebounds per game (36.4) while the Flames rank 314th (28.8).
- Liberty ranks 106th in steals per game (6.7) while Mercer ranks 273rd (4.7).