Southern Conference NCCAB Picks: Bet UNC Greensboro +6 vs. Furman

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 8, 2016 6:22 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 6:22 PM UTC

There appears to be good underdog value in the Southern Conference Monday night with the UNC Greensboro Spartans turning up as live dogs while visiting the Furman Paladins.


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NCAA Basketball Pick: UNC Greensboro +6 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


The Southern Conference is one of the weaker conferences in the country, but that does not mean no value can be found as the UNC Greensboro Spartans (9-15, 8-9 ATS) appear to be providing just that Monday night when they pay a visit to the Furman Paladins (14-11, 9-7 ATS) at Timmons Arena in Greenville, SC at 7:00 ET in a game available on ASN.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has UNC Greensboro as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6 on the NCAA Basketball odds board at odds of -109.


Letdown Spot for Paladins?
Furman is in fourth place in the Southern with an 8-4 conference mark, and it comes off of a tough game two nights ago where it went on the road vs. the best team in the conference, a Chattanooga team that is 21-3 overall this season, and played the Mocs tough before running out of steam in a 62-54 loss that covered the 11-point spread. That could potentially make this a letdown game for the Paladins returning home to face the sixth place team in the conference.

Greensboro has a losing 5-6 record as an NCAA Basketball pick inside the conference as well as being 9-15 overall, but the Spartans have been competitive while trending in the right direction, going 3-2 straight up in their last five games with one of the losses being by just three points 68-65 vs. second place East Tennessee State (8-3) on Saturday.


First Meeting Went Back and Forth
Remember also that the first meeting between these teams in Greensboro back on January 5th was a real barnburner in a game that had 11 ties and 15 lead changes before the home standing Spartans pulled the mild 67-66 upset as two-point home dogs, marking the fourth time in the last five meetings between these rivals that Greensboro has won both straight up and against the spread.

Furthermore, UNCG won that game by one point despite shooting just 31.8 percent (7-for-22) from behind the three-point line, compared to Furman shooting 11-for-27, 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. Those were anomalous performances from downtown for both teams as Furman ranks just 277th in the country in three-point shooting at only 31.9 percent while Greensboro is a commendable 86th at 36.6 percent.

Thus, if the three-point shooting “normalizes” on both sides here, it would greatly increase the chances of UNCG covering this point spread as an underdog while also giving the Spartans a realistic chance of sweeping the season series outright.


Furman Turnovers are a Concern
Yes, Furman was the only team to beat Chattanooga in Southern play this year and the Paladins made it 2-0 ATS vs. the Mocs with the covering loss on Saturday. However, turnovers remain a concern for Furman as this is a team that ranks 332nd in the country in offensive turnover percentage at 21.6 percent vs. a national average of 18.4 percent, and when combined with the shaky three-point shooting, that makes the Paladins dicey propositions giving points.

Furman is just 219th in the country in offensive efficiency, so Furman is a team that relies on its defense to win games, especially while ranking 52nd in the country in defensive turnover percentage at 20.7 percent. However, Greensboro is above average in not turning the ball over offensively at 17.8 percent and the Spartans did a good job vs. the Paladins’ pressure in the first meeting turning the ball over only a reasonable 11 times.

A repeat of that good ball protection vs. pressure here also bodes well for the underdog Spartans’ chances in this game.


Recent Head-to-Head Success
Finally, as mentioned UNCG has had good success lately in this head-to-head series betting wise going 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, including the mild outright upset by the Spartans in Greensboro earlier this season. The Spartans are also 4-0 ATS in their last four games following an ATS loss and 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss, while Furman is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games vs. teams with a winning percentage below .400.

Look for yet another close game here just like the first meeting this year, resulting in UNC Greensboro covering the underdog point spread visiting Furman on Monday.

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