Mercer vs. Western Michigan - 11/29/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Western Michigan Broncos (3-3) at Mercer Bears (5-1)
College Basketball: Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Nashville Municipal Auditorium)
The Line: Mercer Bears -1 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: American Sports Network
The Western Michigan Broncos and the Mercer Bears will face off in the Challenge In Music City this Sunday night in College Basketball action.
The Western Michigan Broncos improved to 3-3 (0-0 MAC) on the season after defeating the Liberty Flames, 68-58, this past Friday. Western Michigan used a 13-3 run in the 1st half to take a 33-25 lead at halftime and held pretty much a 10 point lead throughout the 2nd half. Western Michigan shot 51.0% from the field and 33.3% (4-12) from beyond the arc. The Broncos allowed the Flames to shoot 41.9% from the field and outrebounded Liberty by a 34-19 margin. Leading the way for Western Michigan was Tucker Haymond who had 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, the Broncos have been led by Tucker Haymond (17.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Thomas Wilder (15.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg), and Anthony Avery Jr. (8.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Offensively, Western Michigan is averaging 72.8 ppg on 46.3% shooting. The Broncos are shooting 35.5% from beyond the arc and have a turnover margin of -2.5. Defensively, Western Michigan is allowing their opponents to average 70.2 ppg on 41.1% shooting. The Broncos have a rebound margin of 6.2 and average 4.7 spg.
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The Mercer Bears won their 2nd straight game and improved to 5-1 (0-0 SoCon) on the season after defeating the Appalachian State Mountaineers, 71-70, this past Friday. Mercer found themselves down 67-62 late in the game, but got seven straight points from Phillip Leonard that helped Mercer secure the victory. Mercer shot 51.0% from the field and 84.2% (16-19) from the FT line. The Bears allowed the Mountaineers to shoot 46.2% from the field and 44.8% (13-29) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Mercer was Phillip Leonard who had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. On the season, the Bears have been led by Phillip Leonard (14.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.5 apg), Stephon Jelks (11.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.2 apg), and Desmond Ringer (7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Offensively, Mercer is averaging 74.7 ppg on 47.2% shooting. The Bears average 16.2 assists per game and 4.7 three-pointers per game. Defensively, Mercer is holding their opponents to 64.5 ppg on 37.3% shooting. The Bears have a rebound margin of 11.5 and a turnover margin of -2.3.
The Broncos are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 neutral site games. The Bears are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games and 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
Western Michigan is still without their leading player in Connar Tava due to injury but has gotten off to a nice start offensively this season led by Tucker Haymond and Thomas Wilder. Mercer should still be one of the SoCon favorites even though they lost one of their players in Ike Nwamu who transferred to UNLV, and is led by their backcourt consisting of Phillip Leonard and Jibri Bryan. Western Michigan can certainly score the basketball even without Tava, however, I think the difference in this one will be the Mercer defense. I’m taking Mercer to cover the small spread in this one.