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Furman vs. Mercer - 1/3/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Mercer Bears (5-8) at Furman Paladins (12-2)
Date & Time Thursday January 3, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Furman Paladins -9 -- Over/Under: 134.5
TV Channel
ESPN+
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NCAA BB | Mercer Bears (5-8) at Furman Paladins (12-2)
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Mercer Bears will travel to Timmons Arena to take on the Furman Paladins this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The Mercer Bears dropped to 5-8 (0-1 Southern) on the season after being defeated by the Harvard Crimson, 71-67, this past Saturday afternoon. Mercer fought back in the 2nd half after trailing by a 41-28 margin at halftime, however, Harvard hit their FT’s down the stretch and never allowed Mercer to get within 4-points of the lead. Mercer allowed Harvard to shoot 48.9% from the field & 42.9% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Bears was Ross Cummings who had 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

On the season, Mercer is averaging 74.4 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 7.4 three-pointers per game on 32.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Mercer has been led by Ross Cummings (14.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.8 apg), Djordje Dimitrijevic (11.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.8 apg), Jaylen Stowe (11.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), and Ethan Stair (9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.7 spg). 

Defensively, Mercer is holding their opponents to an average of 68.1 ppg on 41.5% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 1.1 and a turnover margin of 1.8.

The Furman Paladins lost their 2nd straight game and dropped to 12-2 (1-1 Southern) on the season after being defeated by the East Tennessee State Buccaneers, 79-56, this past Saturday. Furman was overmatched on both ends of the court by the Buccaneers and couldn’t fight back after falling behind by a 52-36 margin with 14:19 left in regulation. Furman allowed East Tennessee State to shoot 60.0% from the field while the Paladins shot just 37.0% from the field & 22.7% from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Paladins was Matt Rafferty who had 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a block.

On the season, Furman is averaging 79.8 ppg on 47.1% shooting from the field. The Paladins are averaging 10.3 three-pointers per game on 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Furman has been led by Jordan Lyons (17.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg), Matt Rafferty (16.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 4.4 apg, 2.2 spg, 1.6 bpg), Clay Mounce (11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg), and Alex Hunter (8.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg).

Defensively, Furman is holding their opponents to an average of 66.6 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Paladins have a rebound margin of 3.1 and a turnover margin of 3.3.

The Bears are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. Southern opponents and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 road games. The Paladins are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 Thursday games and 33-15-1 ATS in their last 49 home games.

Mercer is a tough team to figure out as although they’ve lost 5 of their last 6 games, this is still a Mercer team that has been competitive on the road agianst Georgia State, NC State, & Florida this season. The Bears have been decent on both ends of the court as they rank 175th in scoring offense, 99th in scoring defense, & 100th in defensive FG%. Furman will look to get things back on track after tough back-to-back road losses to LSU & ETSU. The Paladins are very good team that will be one of the better Southern teams by the end of the season and currently rank 67th in scoring offense & 75th in scoring defense. I think the public is still very high on the Paladins causing this line to be a bit more than it should for Furman and between the fact that Mercer has been competitive on the road and that 3 of the last 4 matchups against the Paladins have been decided by three or less points, I’m taking Mercer and the points in this one.

Pick:
Mercer Bears +9

Brett has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2014 and currently focuses on College Basketball, College Football, and Fantasy Sports!

We have to deal with Brett being a New England sports fan as he is from New Hampshire so you can imagine how willing he is to talk about Boston sports.

Brett loves diving into the numbers/analytics of his match-ups to provide you with not only great information but most importantly, winners!

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