Last Updated: 2017-03-06
The Furman Paladins (9-8) visit the Mercer Bears (12-4) in what should be a low-scoring game. Action begins at 7:00 pm ET on Thursday, Jan. 14 and can be seen on ES3.
The Bears enter this game hoping for similar success after topping Citadel 91-80 in their last matchup. Stephon Jelks was a key piece, recording his seventh double-double of the season with 24 points and 17 rebounds. The Paladins, meanwhile, are coming off a 77-57 win against Samford in their last game. Daniel Fowler played well for Furman, registering 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals.
Half-court execution will be of utmost importance when two of the nation’s slowest-paced teams square off. Mercer ranks 306th in possessions per game (66.5), while Furman is 331st (65.5).
Mercer is a seven-point favorite against Furman and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at 125 points.
For updated lines, check out BTB’s College Basketball Odds.
The Bears come into this game 12-4 Straight Up (SU) and 7-4 Against The Spread (ATS). The rebounding edge goes to the Bears in this matchup, who are one of the top rebounding teams in the nation with an average of 41.9 boards per game. The Bears have really locked down opponents on the defensive end, ranking 14th in the country with a .380 opponent field-goal percentage.
In the other locker room, the Paladins have records of 4-4 ATS and 9-8 SU.
These conference foes meet for what will be their first head-to-head battle of the season. Furman won the last game in the matchup, but the win was not enough to overtake Mercer in their recent head-to-head series. Its record is now 2-5 SU over the most recent meetings. With a 3-0 record, the Paladins have the advantage ATS. Neither team held the edge in field goals, rebounds, or three-pointers in a single game during this span.
Predictions: SU Winner – Furman, ATS Winner – Furman, O/U – Over
Furman is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road.
In its last game, Furman won by a margin of 20 points. Mercer is 5-1 in games decided by a margin of 18 points or more. Furman has a 5-3 record in blowouts.
The Mercer Bears have a defensive rating of 96.1 (ranked 58th), while the Furman Paladins have an offensive rating of 107.1 (ranked 147th).
Furman has an average field goal percentage of 43.5%. Mercer is undefeated (2-0) when opponents have a similar or higher field goal percentage.
The Mercer Bears rank higher based on their field goal percentage (115th) than their effective field goal percentage (172nd). The Furman Paladins rank higher based on their effective field goal percentage (161st) than their field goal percentage (209th).
Mercer ranks 75th in assists, registering 15.3 per game. Furman performs worse at 215th with 12.9 assists per game.
Mercer ranks 90th in offensive rebounding. Furman ranks 238th in defensive rebounding.
Furman makes an average of 6.8 steals per game. Mercer has a winning 7-3 record when it allows at least 6 steals.