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Mercer vs. Samford - 1/13/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Samford Bulldogs (7-10) at Mercer Bears (7-9)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 4:00 pm (Hawkins Arena)

The Line: Mercer Bears -10.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The Samford Bulldogs will travel to Hawkins Arena to take on the Mercer Bears this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The Samford Bulldogs won their 2nd straight game and improved to 7-10 (3-1 Southern) on the season after defeating The Citadel Bulldogs, 107-91, this past Thursday night. Samford had no problems scoring the basketball in this high-tempo game and pulled away after taking an 81-59 lead midway through the 2nd half. Samford shot 61.9% from the field and 56.3% (18-32) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Demetrius Denzel-Dyson who had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. On the season, Samford is averaging 76.4 ppg on 47.9% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs are averaging 9.1 three-pointers per game on 38.0% shooting from the field. Offensively, Samford has been led by Demetrius Dyson (15.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg), Justin Coleman (12.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.4 spg), Alex Thompson (11.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg), and Eric Adams (7.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 bpg). Defensively, Samford is allowing their opponents to average 78.0 ppg on 48.0% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs have a rebound margin of -2.2 and average 6.9 steals per game.

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Mercer vs. Samford - 1/13/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Mercer Bears lost their 3rd straight game and dropped to 7-9 (0-3 Southern) on the season after being defeated by the Western Carolina Catamounts, 58-56, this past Wednesday. In a tight back and forth game, Mercer couldn’t fight back after a three-pointer from the Catamounts, Marc Gosselin, gave Western Carolina a 54-50 lead with :56 seconds left in regulation. Mercer shot just 35.3% from the field and 23.8% (5-21) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Bears was Stephon Jelks who had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. On the season, Mercer is averaging 77.1 ppg on 47.5% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 9.0 three-pointers per game on 41.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Mercer has been led by Ria’n Holland (19.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg), Stephon Jelks (10.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.6 apg), Demetre Rivers (10.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.1 apg), and Jordan Strawberry (8.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.7 apg). Defensively, Mercer is holding their opponents to an average of 68.5 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 3.8 and a turnover margin of 0.9.

The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Southern opponents. The Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

Samford has struggled defensively this season ranking 301st in scoring defense, however, the Bulldogs do know how to score the ball as Samford ranks 134th in scoring offense, 55th in FG%, and 67th in 3P-FG%. Mercer has struggled as of late, however, the Bears have been solid on both sides of the ball this season as Mercer ranks 120th in scoring offense and 92nd in scoring defense. Mercer is the better team, however, the Bulldogs played Mercer close on the road last season and as I like the experience and offense that Samford brings to the table, I’m taking Samford to cover with the points. 

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