Mercer vs. East Tennessee State - 2/8/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
East Tennessee State Buccaneers (20-4) at Mercer Bears (12-12)
College Basketball: Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm (Hawkins Arena)
The Line: Mercer Bears +8 -- Over/Under: 138.5
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers and the Mercer Bears meet in SoCon college basketball action from the Hawkins Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers will look to build on back-to-back wins after an 80-64 win over Chattanooga last time out. Tray Boyd III led the Buccaneers with 18 points on 6 of 15 shooting with 5 threes and 3 steals while Bo Hodges added 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting with a pair of threes. Daivien Williamson added 14 points with a team-high 10 assists for the double-double while Lucas N’Guessan matched his 12 points with 12 rebounds for his own double-double. Isaiah Tisdale added 11 points to round out the group of double-digit scorers for ETSU as all five East Tennessee State starters scored in double figures in the winning effort. Hodges leads East Tennessee State in scoring with an average of 13.5 points per game while Tisdale leads the Buccaneers in assists with 2.9 assists per game and Jeromy Rodriguez leads East Tennessee State in rebounding with 7.9 rebounds per game this season. As a team, East Tennessee State is averaging 76.5 points per game on 47.3% shooting from the field, 34.1% from behind the arc and 66.9% from the foul line this season.
The Mercer Bears will look to rebound from a 79-57 beatdown loss to Mercer last time out. Kamar Robertson led the Bears with 15 points coming on 5 threes while Maciej Bender added 10 points with 8 rebounds as the only other double-digit scorer for Mercer in the losing effort. Ethan Stair added 7 points with team-highs of 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals whie Djordje Dimitrijevic had just 6 points on 2 of 13 shooting. Despite the off night, Dimitrijevic leads Mercer in scoring and assists with an average of 17.5 points and 3.1 assists per game while Stair leads the Bears in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Mercer is averaging 72.1 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field, 36.5% from behind the arc and 73.3% from the foul line this season.
East Tennessee State is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 Saturday games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. Mercer is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games as a home underdog. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I get why the points with Mercer would be tempting, as the Bears were on a nice run before losing the firm in last time out. However, East Tennessee State has been one of the tougher teams in the SoCon this season and are looking like one of the teams to beat. The Buccaneers are out scoring teams by 9.4 points per game in their last five games and are holding your opposition to just 62.5 points per game while outscoring them by 13.9 points per game this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mercer keep this one close, but I think a Buccaneers double digit victory is more likely, so I’ll lay the points with East Tennessee State here