Charlotte vs. Penn State - 11/20/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) at Charlotte 49ers (1-0)
College Basketball: Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm (TD Arena)
The Line: Charlotte 49ers +5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Penn State Nittany Lions and Charlotte 49ers play Thursday afternoon at the TD Arena.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are off to a 2-0 start with wins over Morgan State and Fordham. On the season, Penn State is averaging 67 points on 45.5 percent shooting and is allowing 51 points on 30.2 percent shooting. Penn State wasn’t expected to do much this season in a tough Big Ten due to its lack of offense. However, D.J. Newbill and Shep Garner are combining for more than 30 points and six assists, while the Nittany Lions are shooting 38.7 percent from downtown as a team. John Johnson is scoring 8.5 points and Brandon Taylor is averaging 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Of course, these numbers could change once the schedule gets harder, but Penn State is clearly off to an impressive start. If the Nittany Lions can continue to produce offensively to match its defense, this could be a surprise team moving forward.
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The Charlotte 49ers beat the Elon Phoenix in their season opener, 73-60. In the win, Charlotte shot 50 percent from the field and grabbed 45 rebounds, while the defense held the Phoenix to 31.9 percent shooting and forced 14 turnovers. Pierria Henry and Braxton Ogbueze combined for 24 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Thorne Jr. scored eight points and grabbed 13 boards. All four of Charlotte's bench players scored at least seven points, getting the 49ers season off to a quick start. The Charlotte 49ers are a deep and experienced team that has the potential to make a deep run in the C-USA. In fact, many consider this to be a make or break season for coach Alan Major. Bernard Sullivan is questionable for this matchup with a concussion.
The Nittany Lions are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
I was high on Charlotte last season and I'm even higher with the amount of players that returned. I like Penn State's toughness, but the lack of offense scares me against a balanced team like the 49ers. I think this line is way off, as Charlotte has a great chance to win outright.