SoCon foes will clash when the Samford Bulldogs (8-11, 2-3 SoCon) challenge the Mercer Bears (7-11, 1-4 SoCon) at the Pete Hanna Center. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 18, 2020.
Mercer Bears vs. Samford Bulldogs Odds Preview
In the Bears’ last contest, they beat the VMI Keydets, 73-62. Djordje Dimitrijevic was the game’s leading scorer with 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Mercer dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a free throw rate of 0.200 (above their season average of 0.198) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 36.0 (above their season average of 31.5). VMI was 0.052 and 22.2, respectively, for those same stats.
The Bulldogs are trying to rebound after their 88-63 loss to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in their last game. Josh Sharkey was the game’s high scorer with 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting. East Tennessee State had a turnover percentage of 11.0 (better than their season average of 16.2). Samford, on the other hand, did a fantastic job of making free throws (15-19; 78.9 percent).
Contrasting styles will be on display in this contest. Samford prefers to play up-tempo (20th in possessions per game), while Mercer is slower-paced (128th in possessions per game). Moreover, the Bears, who rank 257th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.199), will square off against the Bulldogs, who rank 57th in opponents’ FTA rate (0.174).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. The Bears won both meetings played against each other last season. In the most recent matchup, Mercer won 65-62. Mercer had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.491 vs. 0.388). Samford, on the other hand, did a terrific job of making free throws (17-23; 73.9 percent).
Mercer Bears at Samford Bulldogs Betting Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Samford, ATS Winner – Mercer, O/U – Over
Mercer ranks 143rd in three pointers allowed per game (22.1) while Samford ranks 269th (29.0).
The Bulldogs’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 12.8, up from 3.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Bears have scored an average of 74.4 points per game (3.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 67.2 points per game (4.7 below their season average).