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

Jacksonville State Gamecocks (11-4) at Tennessee State Tigers (5-8)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 8:30 pm (Gentry Complex)

The Line: Tennessee State Tigers +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: http://ovcdigitalnetwork.com/watch/

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks will travel to the Gentry Center to take on the Tennessee State Tigers this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks won their 2nd straight game and improved to 11-4 (2-0 OVC) on the season after defeating the Morehead State Eagles, 76-69, this past Saturday. Jacksonville State found themselves trailing by a 40-31 margin at halftime, however, the Gamecocks were outstanding defensively in the 2nd half and pulled away late after taking a 69-63 lead with 1:36 left in regulation. Jacksonville State shot 43.3% from the field and outrebounded the Eagles by a 45-33 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Gamecocks was Norbertas Giga who had a double-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. On the season, Jacksonville State is averaging 77.1 ppg on 49.0% shooting from the field. The Gamecocks are averaging 6.4 three-pointers per game on 36.2% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Jacksonville State has been led by Malcolm Drumwright (13.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.4 apg), Marlon Hunter (10.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.2 spg), Norbertas Giga (10.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Jason Burnell (10.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 bpg). Defensively, Jacksonville State is holding their opponents to an average of 64.0 ppg on 38.4% shooting from the field. The Gamecocks have a rebound margin of 9.6 and a turnover margin of -0.8.

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

USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee State Tigers lost their 5th consecutive game and dropped to 5-8 on the season after being defeated by the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, this past Sunday. Tennessee State went into halftime trailing by just a 29-27 margin, however, the Tigers struggled on the defensive end in the 2nd half and allowed the Redhawks to pull away after an 17-0 Southeast Missouri State run gave the Redhawks a 66-44 lead with 7:17 left in regulation. Tennessee State shot 42.9% from the field and was outrebounded by the Redhawks by a 39-27 margin in the loss. Leading the way for the Tigers was Delano Spencer who had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. On the season, Tennessee State is averaging 64.6 ppg on 40.4% shooting from the field. The Tigers are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 32.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensviely, Tennessee State has been led by Delano Spencer (14.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg), Christian Mekowulu (11.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.5 bpg), Ken’Darrius Hamilton (9.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg), and Armani Chaney (6.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.7 spg). Defensively, Tennessee State is holding their opponents to an average of 68.2 ppg on 42.7% shooting from the field. The Tigers have a rebound margin of -2.3 and a turnover margin of 1.2.

The Gamecocks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. OVC opponents and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss. The Tigers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 however, just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games.

Jacksonville State shocked everyone in the OVC last season when they won the conference championship and the Gamecocks are off to another good start this season in conference play, led by their defense that ranks T-25th in scoring defense, 19th in defensive FG%, and 9th in rebound margin. Tennessee State has struggled as of late and will need to quickly find some answers on the offense end if they want to have any success this season as the Tigers rank just 337th in scoring offense, 326th in FG%, and 269th in 3P-FG%. Jacksonville State was able to take care of business on the road last season against Tennessee State, coming away with a 86-79 victory, and as I think there is even more separation between the talent levels of these teams, I think taking Jacksonville State to cover this small road spread is the call in this one. Take Jacksonville State to cover!

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