Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#787 Mercer -6.5 vs.
#788 The Citadel 154.5
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Scott Reichel

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This Wednesday, there is an NCAAB matchup between the Mercer Bears and The Citadel Bulldogs. This meeting will take place at the McAlister Field House and it will occur at approximately 7:00 PM.

Mercer Looks To Stay Above .500

The Mercer Bears have looked like a slightly above average college basketball team so far this season. The Bears have won 15 of their first 29 games and they enter this game on a high note after beating Chattanooga on the road by five points in their last game. In that game, Mercer's offense was solid as it scored 85 points while shooting 50.0% from the floor. Now, Mercer will be looking to keep its winning record with another conference road win on Wednesday. Luckily, the Bears have a winning record on the road this season so they have looked pretty good in hostile environments up to this point.

Leading the Bears offensively is senior guard Djordje Dimitrijevic who has been very solid this season as he is averaging a team-high 17.1 points per game along with 4.1 rebounds. However, he is also averaging a team-high 2.6 turnovers per game so he will need to make better decisions in the future.

Mercer's most underrated player is senior guard Ethan Stair who has been pretty good so far this season as he is averaging 14.9 points per game along with a team-high 8.8 rebounds. In addition, he is averaging 1.2 steals per game so he has been very active on both sides of the ball.

Bulldogs Look For First Conference Win

The Citadel Bulldogs have looked like a terrible college basketball team this season. The Bulldogs have lost 21 of their first 27 games and they enter this game on a low note after losing to Western Carolina on the road by 12 points in their last game. In that game, The Citadel's defense was terrible as it gave up 96 points while allowing the opposition to shoot 47.8% from the floor. To make matters worse, the Bulldogs have lost each of their first 16 conference games this season so they will be looking for their first conference win at home on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs have a 3-10 record at home this season so they have struggled in front of their home fans up to this point.

Leading the Bulldogs offensively is senior guard Kaelon Harris who has looked pretty good this season as he is averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game along with a team-high 7.1 rebounds. However, he is also averaging 2.2 turnovers per game so he will need to make less mistakes in the future.

The Citadel's most underrated player is junior guard Kaiden Rice who has looked okay this season as he is averaging 12.7 points per game along with 2.9 rebounds. However, he is also shooting 39.7% from the floor so he has been very inefficient offensively up to this point.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though The Citadel has home-court advantage for this game, the Bulldogs have looked like a disaster up to this point so I have to fade them in this home game. The Citadel has lost every conference game this season and Mercer has won each of its last two games so I think that these two teams are headed in opposite directions. Plus, The Citadel is allowing roughly nine more points per game so it should struggle to get enough stops in order to cover this point spread. As a result, I think that there is some value with the road team.

Prediction: Mercer -6.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both of these teams have been very solid offensively so I think that this total should be a bit higher. The Citadel is averaging 76.0 points per game while Mercer is averaging 72.6 points per game so I think that this game has the potential to turn into a track meet. Plus, The Citadel loves to play at an extremely fast pace as it ranks sixth in the nation in adjusted offensive tempo according to Kenpom Rankings so I think that this game should feature a lot of opportunities in transition which bodes well for the over in this game. As a result, I think that there is some value with the over.

Prediction: Over 153.5

Half-Time Side Pick

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The Citadel have been awful at home this season so I do not think that it home-court advantage is that relevant for this game. Mercer has a winning record on the road and it already won the first meeting this season so it should be able to get out to a fast start over the first 20 minutes of this game. Plus, Mercer is averaging roughly two more rebounds per game so it should be able to generate enough second-chance points in order to cover this first half point spread. As a result, I think that there is some value with the road team in this spot.

Prediction: Mercer 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.