The East Tennessee State Buccaneers (26-4, 15-2 SoCon) and Western Carolina Catamounts (18-10, 10-7 SoCon) will square off at Freedom Hall Civic Center to bring the regular season to a conclusion. Action starts at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Western Carolina Catamounts vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers Odds Preview
The last time the Catamounts played, they had no trouble getting past the Samford Bulldogs, 109-78. With 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, Mason Faulkner led the way for Western Carolina with his first triple-double this season. Western Carolina played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary offensive rebounding percentage of 37.8 (above their season average of 29.4) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.625 (above their season average of 0.547). Samford recorded marks of 20.8 and 0.435, respectively, for those same stats.
The Buccaneers hope to keep it rolling after beating the Wofford Terriers in their last contest, 60-54. East Tennessee State was lifted by Tray Boyd III, who led the team in scoring with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. East Tennessee State dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a turnover percentage of 20.3 (worse than their season average of 15.1) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 18.5 (below their season average of 34.0). For those same stats, Wofford was 26.9 and 16.0, respectively.
It might turn into a shootout as a pair of the NCAA’s top offenses battle. East Tennessee State currently ranks 10th with 113.3 points per 100 possessions and Western Carolina is 34th (110.5). Opposite paces will be on display in this showdown. The fast-breaking Catamounts rank 50th in possessions per game, while the more methodical Buccaneers rank 274th.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Catamounts, it’s been Carlos Dotson, who has averaged 20 points,11.6 rebounds, while the Buccaneers have gotten solid contributions from Boyd III (14 points,1.6 steals).
These two teams have already met once this season. The Buccaneers won 85-66. The Buccaneers’ 10.6 turnover percentage was their largest strength over the Catamounts, who had a rate of 14.7. Isaiah Tisdale put up a double-double in the victory with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Western Carolina Catamounts vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers Free Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – East Tennessee State, ATS Winner – East Tennessee State, O/U – Over
Western Carolina ranks 50th in rebounds per game (38.4) while East Tennessee State ranks 132nd (35.9).
The Buccaneers’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.0, down from 13.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Catamounts have scored an average of 83.6 points per game (3.9 above their season average) and allowed an average of 78.4 points per game (3.5 above their season average).