NCAA Basketball Picks: Furman's Offense To Take Advantage Of Samford's Squad

Swinging Johnson

Monday, January 11, 2016 3:23 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 3:23 PM UTC

Southern Conference action features Furman welcoming Samford to Greenville, South Carolina where we review what the NCAA basketball odds are hanging on this one as we look to cash in.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Furman -3½ 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Samford Bulldogs (10-6 SU, 8-4 ATS in lined games)
Saturday night the Bulldogs traveled to Wofford installed as 4 ½ point underdogs by the NCAA basketball odds makers and lost a 69-64 decision which proved to be a heartbreaking failed cover for all those who included Samford in their NCAA basketball picks. What made the loss even worse was that the Bulldogs had the game well in hand with a 64-55 lead over the Terriers before the team went stone cold while Wofford heated up. Wofford bucketed the last 14 points of the game to hand Samford a brutal conference loss.

Darius Jones-Gibson led the Bulldogs with 17 points in that recent setback and is currently leading the team in points, averaging 16.1 per game. Sophomore guard Christen Cunningham is next in line averaging 13.9 points per game and leads the team in minutes with an average of 32.9 per game. Samford’s 6’8” freshman center Wyatt Walker is the team’s rebound leader averaging 5.6 boards per contest and 7.5 points per game.


Furman Paladins (8-8 SU, 3-4 ATS in lined games)
Furman has won and covered two of their last three with their latest conquest an impressive victory over UT-Chattanooga. The Paladins came in as five-point home underdogs in that game and came away with a 70-55 decision as Devin Sibley (18 points) and Stephen Croone (17 points) led the way. The Paladins shot 50 percent and handed the UT-Chattanooga only their third loss of the season. It was a huge defensive game for Furman who doused the flame of the hot-shooting Mocs who had averaged over 77 points per game, holding them to only 43 percent from the floor. Kendrec Ferrara contributed six blocks and the Paladins forced 20 turnovers.

Senior guard Stephen Croone is the bug gun for the Paladins averaging 15.6 points per game while freshman forward Matt Rafferty is leading the team in rebounds with 7.5 per contest. Defense has been the key to any success the team has had this season holding opponents to just 62.9 points per game which ranks them 20th in the nation. Offensively however they have been challenged averaging only 69.8 points per contest which places them tied for 253rd in the country.


Betting Analysis
These schools have yet to tip off against each other this season but over their last four contests the teams are 2-2 straight up but Samford is 3-1 against the all-important number. In January of last season Samford welcomed Furman to their home court and dribbled away with a 68-58 victory as four-point home favorites. However, in their previous meeting on Furman’s home court seven weeks prior the Paladins notched a 74-64 victory as 3 ½ point home favorites.

In this meeting we have a team in Samford that is putting up 74 points per game versus Furman averaging only 69.8. However defensively the teams are far apart with Furman locking opponents down to under 63 points per game on average while Samford is allowing 70.5 per game. The Paladins are fierce in their own gymnasium with a 7-1 straight up record and 2-0 ATS (only two lined games at home this season for Furman) while Samford has a 6-5 straight up mark and a solid 7-3 ATS mark on the highway.

This one will feature a suffocating defense that I don’t believe the Bulldogs are capable of handling. Furman shutdown a much more talented UT-Chattanooga squad in their last outing and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did the same thing here.

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