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Mercer vs. UNC Greensboro - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

UNC Greensboro Spartans (21-6) at Mercer Bears (14-13)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm (Hawkins Arena)

The Line: Mercer Bears +1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN 3

The UNC Greensboro Spartans will travel to Hawkins Arena to take on the Mercer Bears this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The UNC Greensboro Spartans won their 5th straight game and improved to 21-6 (12-2 Southern) on the season after defeating The Citadel Bulldogs, 82-66, this past Thursday. UNC Greensboro was outstanding on the defensive end against the high scoring Bulldogs and was able to pull away early in the 2nd half after a 15-2 Spartans run gave UNC Greensboro a 62-43 lead with 10:25 remaining in regulation. UNC Greensboro shot 47.0% from the field while holding The Citadel to 35.0% shooting from the field and 35.1% (13-37) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Spartans was Isaiah Miller who had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. On the season, UNC Greensboro is averaging 74.0 ppg on 44.8% shooting from the field. The Spartans are averaging 9.7 three-pointers per game on 36.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, UNC Greensboro has been led by Francis Alonso (16.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.3 spg), Marvin Smith (12.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), James Dickey (8.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 2.2 bpg), and Demetrius Tory (7.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg). Defensively, UNC Greensboro is holding their opponents to an average of 62.7 ppg on 40.8% shooting from the field. The Spartans have a rebound margin of 6.6 and a turnover margin of 1.3.

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Mercer vs. UNC Greensboro - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Mercer Bears won their 4th consecutive game and improved to 14-13 (7-7 Southern) on the season after defeating the VMI Keydets, 82-58, this past Thursday. Mercer came out of the gates strong in this one and had no trouble securing the victory after going into halftime with a 41-23 lead. Mercer shot 52.0% from the field, 44.4% (12-27) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded VMI by a 40-26 margin in the win. Leading the way for the Bears was Demetre Rivers who had 21 point and 4 rebounds. On the season, Mercer is averaging 76.0 ppg on 47.3% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 8.7 three-pointers per game on 38.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Mercer has been led by Ria’n Holland (19.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg), Demetre Rivers (10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg), Stephon Jelks (10.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.6 apg), and Jordan Strawberry (9.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.6 apg). Defensively, Mercer is holding their opponents to an average of 68.7 ppg on 42.9% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 5.8 and a turnover margin of -0.1.

The Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall however, are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.

UNC Greensboro has won 10 of their last 11 games and has been led by their defense that comes into this matchup ranked 7th in scoring defense, 31st in defensive FG%, and 19th in rebound margin. Mercer has rebounded from losing 4-straight games to win 4-straight and has been solid on both sides of the ball as the Bears rank 115th in scoring offense and 83rd in scoring defense. Mercer is 9-3 at home this season and as I think the Bears defense will give UNC Greensboro trouble as it did in their 70-66 OT loss at UNC Greensboro, I’m taking Mercer and the points in this one. 

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