Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro Odds & Picks: How to Bet Thursday’s Southern Conference Showdown
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Malachi Smith.
- The Chattanooga Mocs take on the UNC Greensboro Spartans in SoCon action on Thursday night.
- The Mocs sit at the top of the conference standings, so the Spartans are looking to pick up a huge win at home.
- Check out Keg's full betting breakdown and pick for the game below.
Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro Odds
-105o / -115u
|UNC Greensboro Odds|
-105o / -115u
Chattanooga will head to Greensboro on Thursday in hopes of moving to 5-1 in Southern Conference play.
In its last game, Chattanooga snapped an eight-game skid to Furman. The 71-69 win over the Paladins moved the Mocs into first place in the SoCon and put them at 14-4 on the season.
Chattanooga’s success has been largely due to the efforts of Malachi Smith, who leads the SoCon with 21.5 points per game.
UNC Greensboro, meanwhile, is looking to snap a two-game losing streak and add to its recent success against Chattanooga. The Spartans have won six of the last eight over Chattanooga, including a season sweep last year.
The Mocs have not won in Greensboro since 2015-16. Overall, they are 15-8 at home in the series, 9-13 away, and 3-7 over the last 10.
UNCG, however, dropped back-to-back conference road games last week — one to The Citadel on Thursday and one at Mercer on Saturday. It now sits at 2-3 in conference play.
But the Spartans should be looking forward to the return home, as they have lost just one game at the Greensboro Coliseum all season and have consistently performed better in games at the friendly confines.
Chattanooga has been better than most when it comes to offense on the season, ranking 64th in the country in shooting percentage at 46.1%. It also ranks 96th in college basketball, averaging 73.7 points per game.
And while the two teams rank fairly evenly in 3-point shooting, the Mocs should have an advantage when it comes to shots from outside the arc, as they average more made 3-pointers per game.
The Mocs also have a considerable advantage in transition, as they rank 88th in the country in transition offense and defense. UNCG, meanwhile, ranks 322nd.
When it comes to rebounding, Chattanooga hasn’t been as efficient as the Spartans. However, when it can pull down rebounds, it’s been great at making the most of second-chance opportunities, ranking 51st in the country in second-chance conversion percentage.
The offensive and rebounding advantages have come via two of the top three scorers for the Mocs. Smith is the leading scorer in the Southern Conference, and Kansas transfer Silvio De Sousa leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game.
On defense, the Mocs should have a slight advantage over UNCG, as they’re allowing opponents to average 65.5 points per game.
They’ve also been dominant at limiting opposing teams’ rebounds. The Mocs rank 12th in the country in opposing team rebounds, allowing only 30.1 per game.
Chattanooga moved to 5-1 this season when trailing at halftime following Saturday’s 38-33 deficit to Furman at the break. The Mocs are also a perfect 13-0 this season when leading with five minutes left.
The UNCG offense will likely be at a disadvantage when matched up against the Chattanooga defense.
Chattanooga ranks 127th in the nation in defensive efficiency, while UNCG is just 283rd in offensive efficiency. The Spartans have also struggled to find rhythm shooting the ball, sitting 268th in field goal conversion.
Around the basket, they’re coming down with 37.3 rebounds per game, but I don’t expect that to continue against Chattanooga, which has a serious advantage when it comes to height.
The Spartans are also one of the weaker D-I teams at converting second-chance opportunities, ranking 306th.
Turnovers have been a lingering issue for UNCG as well. It’s the 286th-worst team in the country in that area, giving the ball away 14.4 times per game. Its rating for potential points allowed off of steals is even worse, ranking 341st in the country.
On the defensive side, opposing teams have averaged a shooting percentage of just 39.8% against the Spartans. They have also been able to limit opponents to just 63 points per game, good for 33rd nationally.
The Spartans will be able to hold Chattanooga to less than their average of 73 points per contest, but the defense won’t be the biggest reason why.
It’s because this game, in all likelihood, will move at one of the slowest paces we’ve seen in college basketball all year. UNCG is the eighth-slowest team in the nation, ranking 351st in adjusted tempo. Chattanooga isn’t much faster, sitting at 331st.
Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro Betting Pick
Chattanooga is the much better team between these two, and while it’s coming off of a massive win over Furman — a team it had not beaten in its last eight tries — the difference UNCG has shown on its home court cannot be ignored.
But even with that advantage, I think this spread is too low for the Mocs, and I expect them to continue their domination of the SoCon.
Their ability to make the most of second-chance points — along with how much better they have been shooting the ball — will be the biggest factor when it comes to a game that is played this slow.
I got the Mocs at -3.5 and would take them as high as a 5-point favorite.
Pick: Chattanooga -5 or better
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