SoCon foes will collide when the Samford Bulldogs (9-18, 5-9 SoCon) meet the Mercer Bears (12-13, 5-7 SoCon) at Pete Hanna Center. Mercer opened as a 4-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 158.5 points. Action starts at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, February 12, 2018.
Mercer Bears vs. Samford Bulldogs Free Preview
The Bears defeated the Chattanooga Mocs in their last matchup, 84-75. With 13 points and eight assists, Jordan Strawberry had a good outing for Mercer. The Bears had an absurd effective field goal percentage of 0.779 (above their season average of 0.543) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 37.5 (above their season average of 32.9).
The last time the Bulldogs played, they topped the Citadel Bulldogs, 116-103. With 24 points on 10-for-11 shooting, Alex Thompson was Samford’s high scorer. Samford dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.339 (above their season average of 0.229) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.814 (above their season average of 0.539). For those same stats, Citadel recorded marks of 0.239 and 0.606, respectively.
This contest should be a battle of conflicting tempos. Samford has preferred to play fast (100th in possessions per game), while Mercer has been slower-paced (310th in possessions per game). Additionally, the Bears 30th-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 113.9) will try to take advantage of the Bulldogs 344th-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 114.9).
Both of these teams have typically gone over the O/U total. Games featuring Mercer have finished over 55.0 percent of the time, while 71.4 percent of Samford games have gone over. The Bears have the better straight up (SU) record (12-13 vs. 9-18), but the Bulldogs hold the clear advantage against the spread (ATS) (8-13 vs. 6-11-3).
Eric Adams has been impressive recently for Samford, averaging 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals over the last five games.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to put up 131 points in that game, which was well under the projected point total of 149. The Bears won 81-50, covering as 10-point favorites. The Bears dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 41.2 and a superb effective field goal percentage of 0.563. The Bulldogs had marks of 17.1 and 0.387, respectively, for those same stats. Ria’n Holland scored a game-high 23 points.
Mercer Bears at Samford Bulldogs Free Prediction
College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Mercer, ATS Winner – Mercer, O/U – Over
- The Bulldogs rank 47th in steals per game (7.4) while the Bears rank 148th (6.0).
- Samford ranks 40th in blocks allowed per game (2.6) while Mercer ranks 117th (3.5).
- On the road, Mercer is 4-7-3 ATS with 9 overs and 5 unders.
- Samford is 5-2 ATS at home with 6 overs and 1 under.
- Samford averages 24.4 three pointers per game, which ranks 64th in the NCAA. Mercer ranks 251st in three pointers allowed per game (25.4).
- The Bears average 14.8 assists per game, which ranks 96th in the nation. The Bulldogs rank 270th in assists allowed per game (19.7).
- Mercer ranks sixth in rebounds allowed per game (29.5) while Samford ranks 170th (35.5).
- Samford is 2-3 ATS with 5 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Mercer is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Bulldogs average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 4.6, up from 4.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 75.8 points per game (0.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 77.0 points per game (7.9 above their season average).