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Samford vs. East Tennessee State - 1/4/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

East Tennessee State Buccaneers (10-4) at Samford Bulldogs (5-9)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Pete Hanna Center)

The Line: Samford Bulldogs +7.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The East Tennessee State Buccaneers will travel to the Pete Hanna Center to take on the Samford Bulldogs this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The East Tennessee State Buccaneers won their 4th straight game and improved to 10-4 (1-0 Southern) on the season after defeating the Mercer Bears, 74-55, this past Sunday. East Tennessee State led by a 36-30 margin at halftime and pulled away after taking a 63-50 lead with 4:39 left in regulation. East Tennessee State shot 56.9% from the field and 55.6% (10-18) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Buccaneers was Jalan McCloud who had 22 points, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 1 block, and 2 steals. On the season, East Tennessee State is averaging 76.6 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field. The Buccaneers are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 32.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, East Tennessee State has been led by Desonta Bradford (13.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.7 spg), Jalan McCloud (11.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg), Devontavius Payne (9.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.2 spg), and Peter Jurkin (8.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg). Defensively, East Tennessee State is holding their opponents to an average of 67.1 ppg on 41.5% shooting from the field. The Buccaneers have a rebound margin of 1.9 and a turnover margin of 3.6.

Samford vs. East Tennessee State - 1/4/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Samford Bulldogs improved to 5-9 (1-0 Southern) on the season after defeating the Chattanooga Mocs, 73-56, this past Saturday. Samford used a 16-6 run at the end of the 1st half to take a 41-30 halftime lead and put the game out of reach after a 10-0 Bulldogs run gave Samford a 67-47 lead with 5:00 minutes left in regulation. Samford shot 61.7% from the field and 33.3% (4-12) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Justin Coleman who had 28 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, Samford is averaging 73.9 ppg on 46.5% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs are averaging 8.6 three-pointers per game on 36.2% shooting from beyond the arc. On the season, Samford has been led by Demetrius Dyson (14.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg), Justin Coleman (13.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.5 spg), Alex Thompson (10.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg), and Eric Adams (6.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 spg, 1.2 bpg). Defensively, Samford is allowing their opponents to average 76.7 ppg on 47.9% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs have a rebound margin of -2.6 and a turnover margin of 0.3. Both Christen Cunningham (Illness) and Wyatt Walker (Leg) are questionable for this matchup.

The Buccaneers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games however, are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games however, are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

East Tennessee State has won 8 of their last 9 games and has gotten it done on both ends of the court, as the Buccaneers rank 133rd in scoring offense, 74th in scoring defense, and 97th in defensive FG%. Samford is a better team than their record/stats show as the Bulldogs had a tough non-conference schedule to begin the season with games on the road against Arkansas, LSU, Loyola-Chi, Memphis, and Clemson. If Samford is going to have success this season, they’ll hope to improve a defense that ranks 276th in scoring defense and 320th in defensive FG%. East Tennessee State has shown to be a solid team this season, and almost knocked off Xavier on the road, however, if Samford is at full-strength, they have the talent offensively to keep this one close. Samford lost in double-OT at home against East Tennessee State last season and as I think the Bulldogs will be able to keep this one close, I’m taking the home team and the points. 

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