Shootout in Chatanooga: Furman Paladins AT Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs Betting Preview

Furman Paladins AT Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs
Feb 21, 2011 at 7 PM EST
Opening line:   Furman -4.5
Current Line:  Furman -3.5
Opening Total:  141
Current Total:  140.5
Opening Moneyline:  Fur -190 / Chat +160
Current Moneyline:  Fur: -165 / Chat +145

Amu Saaka and the Paladins are favored by 3.5 over Chattanooga

This game brings together two teams that are ranked high in their respective conferences, though those conferences are weak.  Tennessee Chattanooga (TC), despite being only .500 at 12-12, has a 10-5 in Conference record to place them at the top of the Southern – North conference, while Furman’s 12-4 Conference record ranks them 2nd in the Southern – South conference.

Chattanooga, despite being a .500 ballclub, has a negative point differential of -2.8.  They score 71.9 a game, but give up 74.7.  Furman is +6.4, scoring 70.5 and playing good defense to hold opponents to 64.1.  The combinative total of the teams’ offensive output is 142.4, slighly over the total set for tonight’s game.

Some betting trends:

Furman is 4-2 SU in their last 6 road games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Furman’s last 6 on the road.  Furman is 4-9 SU in their last 13 road games against Chattanooga.

Chatanooga is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER In 5 of their last 5 games.  Chattanooga is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home and 3-7 SU in their last 10 games against Furman.  Chattanooga is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home against Furman and 9-4 SU in their last 13 home games against Furman.

The Furman Paladins are led by 6’6″ senior forward Amu Saaka.  Saaka averages 17.0 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 1.1 assists.  He shoots 38.1% from three (43 of 113) and has already had two games with 5+ threes made.  He’s scored in double figures in all but 4 of the Paladins’ games and they are 2-2 in the games he scored less than 10 points in.  Last game, a 7 point win over Samford, Saaka had 23 points and 9 rebounds, while shooting an impressive 7 of 10 from the floor.  In games which Saaka scores 20 or more points, Furman is an outstanding 11-1, so if he can get going, it should be relatively easy for Furman to cover the spread and win this game.  Outside of Saaka, Furman’s 6’8″ senior forward Noah States puts up a decent stat line of 11.1 points per game, 2 assists per game, and 5.0 rebounds per contest.  He has been erratic and inconsistent all season.

The Chattanooga Mocs are led by 6’5″ junior wingman Omar Wattad.  Wattad puts up 14.9 points per game, 2 assists per game, and 3.8 rebounds per game.  Wattad shoots 37.7% from distance (83 of 220).  In the 9 games he has failed to score in double figures, Chatanooga has lost 6 of them, while they are 9-6 in games which he has scored at least 10 points.  Wattad has already had 9 games with 10+ three point attempts, and Chatanooga is 4-5 in those games.  Wattad’s best game of the year came in a 1 point victory over the Citadel on January 13th.  That night Wattad put up 30 points on 11 of 19 shooting.  6’5″ junior shooting guard Ricky Taylor also makes a significant contribution for the Mocs.  He has averages of 13.2 points per game, 1.2 assists per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 33.3% from three (38 of 114).  He has been wildly inconsistent all season, but had an impressive 41 point game in a 111-110 victory over UNC Greensboro.

Tonight’s game should be close, with most of it hinging on how Chatanooga handles Amu Saaka.  If Saaka has a big game, Furman will cover the spread and win it.

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