Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
8:00 PM EST. Mercer is coming off two straight wins after downing Chattanooga 84-75 on Saturday. The W was nice, but the Bears benefitted greatly from an unworldly night from the floor after shooting 65.1%, well above their 46.1% season average. The Bears have won nine straight games in this series, which only works in our favor here. One of the reasons oddsmakers may be asking a squad as weak as Mercer to spot points on the road is because of the utter destruction they left in the wake of a 31-point beat down over the Bulldogs at home in Macon just a month ago. The Bears were 9½-point favorites that night and left no doubt in a runaway win that started with a 12-0 run that the Bulldogs would never overcome. That recent lopsided result has no doubt inflated this line, which allows us to take back an inflated price with a team that is being disrespected on its home court. For reference, when Wofford visited the Pete Hanna Center to battle the Bulldogs, they were spotting a similar price as the Bears are here and that's not right because Wofford is superior to Mercer.
The Bulldogs of Samford are 9-18 overall and just 5-9 in Southern Conference play, but they've been a tough out at home in Homewood where they have eight of their nine wins this season. The Bulldogs' market appeal is certainly lessened by their 2-8 record over their last 10 games, but six of those games were played on the road, while home losses to Greensboro and Wofford can be forgiven, as those two schools are two of the best in the conference. In its game against the latter, Samford put up a good fight in a 93-89 defeat, covering as a home pooch. Samford is battle tested after playing the 81st ranked non-conference schedule and took its lumps against Power Five schools like Arkansas and Clemson. The Bulldogs are also capable of putting up points in bunches, as they are averaging 85.1 points per game at home this season. That 50-point night last time out against Mercer was the Bulldogs lowest of the season and a statistical outlier. We trust a correction is coming in this series and we trust that correction will take place here. The host outright gets the call.
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#726 SAMFORD +174 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.48)