College Basketball Predictions: Mercer at Oklahoma Odds
by George Monroy - 12/2/2013
The Oklahoma Sooners may not be a ranked team just yet, but the squad can score points in a hurry. Oklahoma has been held to fewer than 85 points only once this season, and that was in a loss to the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans 10 days ago—and even then, the team did manage to score 76 points. The Sooners average 87.5 points per game, which is ranked 18th in the nation, and are being led by senior guard Cameron Clark, who is averaging 18.8 points for the 5-1 Big 12 squad.
The Mercer Bears are also a high-scoring group and average 86.9 points per game, which is good for a 21st ranking in the nation. The Atlantic Sun Conference leaders have already scored over 100 points twice this season, but they have lost three games early in the year. The Bears have only made the NCAA Tournament twice in the school’s history back in 1981 and 1985, and they are hoping to improve on a 23-11 record from last season. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s Mercer versus Oklahoma matchup and figure out which side of the spread has the most value to bet on.
Mercer at Oklahoma Betting Story Lines
The Sooners started out the year on a strong note, winning five of their first six games and staying competitive against the No. 1 team in the nation. Oklahoma has four players scoring in double-digits this season and is earning assists on half of the team’s shots. Second-year forward Ryan Spangler is averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game, while guard Isaiah Cousins is adding nearly 12 points and three assists per game.
During Oklahoma’s last outing—a 20-point victory—the team had all five of its starters score double-digit points, with each grabbling at least two rebounds and contributing at least two assists. The Sooners’ well-rounded offense has allowed the team to score points from all areas of the court while maintaining a very good shooting percentage. Oklahoma struggled from the free throw line during its last matchup against Arkansas-Little Rock but made up for it by grabbing 44 rebounds and making 12 three-pointers.
Mercer is coming off a triple-overtime game against the Valparaiso Crusaders where they managed to score 117 points on 46.2 percent shooting from the field, including 47.6 percent from the three-point line. The team missed only six free throws and played a near perfect game on the offensive end. The Bears defense, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. Mercer allowed three opposing players to score 20 or more points, and they gave up 32 foul shots, which the Crusaders took advantage of by making 90.6 percent of their attempts. The Bears have five players on their roster that average 10 or more points per game, and as a team they average 18 assists The team has not had a posted line all season, and the Bears will finally get the chance to cover a spread when they play the Sooners tonight.
Mercer at Oklahoma NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Oklahoma opened as a -7.5 point favorite over the underdog Bears. The total was off the board at the time this article was written. The Sooners are 4-1 ATS over their last five games after scoring 100 points or more. The team is also 14-5 ATS over its last 19 home games but 2-5-1 ATS over its last eight overall games. The Sooners have also struggled after SU wins and have a 0-3-1 ATS record over their last four games in those situations. The Bears have a 9-2 ATS record over their last 11 games against teams with a .600 percent winning percentage or better. Mercer is also 9-3 ATS against teams with a winning SU record but only has a 2-5-1 ATS record over its last eight overall games.
College Basketball Predictions: Mercer at Oklahoma Betting Picks
Mercer will be playing in its first nationally-televised game of the season and will probably be looking to put its high-scoring offense on display. These games might not mean much to Oklahoma, but tonight’s matchup could very well be the biggest game of the year for Mercer. With that being said, the Sooners have a fast-paced offense of their own and already have two 20-point victories under their belts. Expect the game to be competitive at first, but Oklahoma has enough talent and firepower to put Mercer away in the second half and win by more than 7.5 points. Take Oklahoma minus the points.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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