The Mercer Bears (10-12, 3-6 SoCon) welcome the Furman Paladins (15-7, 6-3 SoCon) in a matchup that pits phenomenal offense against superb defense. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 139.5 points with neither team favored. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Furman Paladins vs. Mercer Bears Free Preview
In the Paladins’ last matchup, they dismantled the Western Carolina Catamounts, 100-66. Devin Sibley was the top scorer from either team with 23 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Furman played a nearly flawless game. They had an absurd effective field goal percentage of 0.637 (above their season average of 0.542) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 24.2 (below their season average of 29.5). Western Carolina recorded marks of 0.379 and 16.7, respectively, for those same stats.
The Bears are trying to rebound after their 76-74 loss to the Citadel Bulldogs in their last contest. Jordan Strawberry was the game’s high scorer with 22 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Citadel was lights out from beyond the arc (14-35; 40.0 percent). Mercer, meanwhile, did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (22-28; 78.6 percent).
This showdown pits one of the nation’s top offenses against one of its elite defenses. Mercer ranks 48th in offensive efficiency and Furman is 47th in defensive efficiency.
Of Furman’s 16 games that accepted bets, nine have finished under the O/U total, while 9 of Mercer’s 17 games have finished over the O/U total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Paladins have a sizable advantage. They are 15-7 SU and 9-6-1 ATS, while the Bears are 10-12 SU and 4-10-3 ATS.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to put up 145 points in that game, which was just under the projected point total of 147.5. The Paladins won 74-71, covering as 3-point favorites. The Paladins dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a turnover percentage of 11.3 and a solid free throw rate of 0.308. The Bears had marks of 20.9 and 0.264, respectively, for those same stats. Daniel Fowler had a stellar game, with 21 points.
Furman Paladins at Mercer Bears Prediction
Basketball Prediction: SU Winner – Furman, ATS Winner – Furman, O/U – Under
- The Paladins rank 14th in steals per game (8.4) while the Bears rank 134th (6.0).
- Mercer is 1-3 ATS at home, while Furman is 5-4 ATS on the road.
- The Paladins have 5 overs and 4 unders in 9 road games.
- The Bears have 3 unders and 1 over in 4 home games.
- Furman ranks eighth in three pointers attempted per game (29.4) while Mercer ranks 247th in three pointers allowed per game (25.2).
- The Paladins rank 45th in assists per game (16.2) while the Bears rank 182nd in assists allowed per game (14.4).
- Mercer ranks sixth in rebounds allowed per game (29.6) while Furman ranks 132nd (34.7).
- Mercer is 0-4-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Furman is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Bears have been outscored by an average of 1.0 point in their last five games.
- For the season, Mercer has defeated opponents by an average of 7.5 points.
- During their last five games, the Paladins have scored an average of 74.0 points per game (5.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.0 points per game (0.9 above their season average).