Teams angling to snap out of their recent funk battle on Wednesday morning when the South Alabama Jaguars battle the Mercer Bears in non-conference action in Macon, Ga. This will be the first meeting between the teams since 1976, with South Alabama holding a 3-1 edge in the series. The Jaguars (4-5) have dropped two in a row, following a three-game win streak in mid-to-late November. The Bears (2-5) have also lost two in a row and four of their last five. Two of those losses, however, came against SEC opponents -- No. 22 Alabama and Georgia.
The game will tip off at 11 a.m. ET from Hawkins Arena. South Alabama is averaging 70.7 points per game, while Mercer averages 65.4. The Bears are 3-point favorites in the latest South Alabama vs. Mercer odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 132. Before making any Mercer vs. South Alabama picks, you'll want to see the predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters Week 5 of the 2023-24 season on a 98-61 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $2,000 for $100 players. It is also off to a 10-2 start on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.
- South Alabama vs. Mercer spread: Mercer -3
- South Alabama vs. Mercer over/under: 132 points
- South Alabama vs. Mercer money line: South Alabama +141, Mercer -167
- SA: The Jaguars have hit the game total under in 10 of their last 17 away games (+2.10 units)
- MER: The Bears have hit the first-half money line in their last five games at home (+5.35 units)
- South Alabama vs. Mercer picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Mercer can cover
The Bears are led by senior forward Jalyn McCreary, who is in his second season with the team after a year at South Florida and two at South Carolina. He has made 32 starts in 40 appearances for the Bears, and has been red hot from the floor, connecting on 48.1% of his field goals, including 1 of 2 from 3-point range this season. For the year, he is averaging 13.7 points and five rebounds. He is coming off a 15-point, four-steal and three-rebound performance at Georgia on Friday.
Freshman Jake Davis has provided a spark off the bench for Mercer. In seven games, he is averaging 25 minutes, eight points, 4.1 rebounds and one assist. He scored 13 points in the loss at Georgia, adding three rebounds and two assists. He scored 10 points and added six rebounds in a 60-59 win over Tennessee State on Nov. 24. See who to back at SportsLine.
Why South Alabama can cover
Three Jaguars players are averaging double-digit scoring, including senior guard Isiah Gaiter, who is in his first year with the program. He has scored 10 or more points in seven of nine games, including a 24-point effort in two games. The last was in an 86-74 win over SIU Edwardsville on Nov. 19. He narrowly missed a double-double in a 74-62 win over Lynn on Nov. 21. Gaiter is averaging 15 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and one steal in 34.1 minutes of action.
Also powering South Alabama is sophomore forward Julian Margrave. In six games, he has reached double-digit scoring in three, including a 22-point effort in a win over SIU-Edwardsville. For the year, he is averaging 11.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28.2 minutes of action. He is connecting on 48.1% of his shots from the floor, including 40.5% from 3-point range. See who to back at SportsLine.
How to make South Alabama vs. Mercer picks
The model has simulated Mercer vs. South Alabama 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Over, and it also says one side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Mercer vs. South Alabama, and which side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 98-61 roll on its top-ranked college basketball picks, and find out.