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Saturday evening college hoops action brings us to a Conference-USA contest between the Charlotte 49ers and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. This series has been somewhat one-sided in recent years as Western Kentucky has won seven of the last nine meetings including the last three. Charlotte knocked off Marshall while the Hilltoppers topped Old Dominion last time these teams took the court. Tip-off is set for approximately 5:00 PM ET from the E.A. Diddle Arena for this showdown.
49ers Nudge Past MarshallCharlotte slid past Marshall 77-75 last time around to build on their nice winning streak. The Victory was their fourth in a row and they have now won eight of their last ten contests. The 49ers have yet to register either a quadrant-1 win or a quadrant-2 win so far this season. Two of their five losses have been listed as quadrant-3 losses while two more of them have been listed as quadrant-4 losses which hurts their resume.
Jordan Shepherd leads the Charlotte attack with 14.5 points per game. Jahmir Young averages 11.6 points with 5.1 rebounds and Drew Edwards adds 9.9 points an outing as well. The 49ers grab 33.3 boards per contest and they shoot 45.5% from the floor with 32.9% from downtown. They commit 14.5 turnovers a night and they shoot 71.9% from the free throw line as a team. Charlotte's NET ranking is 148th while Kenpom lists them at 156th and their RPI ranking is 191st this season.
Hilltoppers Hold On Over ODUWestern Kentucky pulled a 71-69 victory over Old Dominion last time they took to the court. This was the team's second win in a row and their fourth in the last five games after a tough stretch where they lost four of five. The Hilltoppers have picked up one quadrant-1 win so far in their campaign this season. Three of their six losses to date have been listed as quadrant-3 losses and none have been listed as quadrant-4 losses.
Charlotte comes to town tomorrow and is undefeated in @ConferenceUSA play. Big opportunity for the Hilltoppers, and we need another special Diddle environment! #GoTops— WKU Hilltopper Basketball (@WKUBasketball) January 17, 2020
📝 | https://t.co/pzmVuig1M8 pic.twitter.com/Bc5cnb7W05
Charles Bassey leads the Western Kentucky offense with 15.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, although he is listed as questionable for Saturday. Taveion Hollingsworth averages 14 points an outing as well. The Hilltoppers snag 34.2 boards a game and shoot 46.9% from the floor with 33.8% from deep. They commit 12.9 turnovers a night and shoot 77.7% from the free throw line. Western Kentucky's RPI ranking is 104th, Kenpom lists them at 118th and their NET ranking is 129th so far this season.
- Charlotte is 6-2 ATS their last 8 games overall
- Charlotte is 4-1 ATS their last 5 games played on Saturday
- Trends provided by oddsshark.com
- Western Kentucky is 2-4 ATS their last 6 games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am loving the road underdog in this Conference-USA contest. Charlotte has been blazing hot as they have opened conference play with a four game winning streak. Western Kentucky has found themselves barely squeezing by a couple of their opponents lately, and they quite possibly could be short-handed for this game as Charles Bassey and Camron Justice are both listed as questionable for this contest. Justice isn't a huge loss offensively, but Bassey is as he is the team's leading scorer and rebounder. I like the 49ers to keep this game close all the way through and it wouldn't surprise me if they were to win outright as well.
Prediction: Charlotte 49ers +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I am playing the under in this conference contest Saturday evening. Western Kentucky plays at a moderately average pace as they come in ranked 146th in the country with an average of 72.3 possessions per game. The 49ers will attempt to slow the tempo down in this contest as they come in ranked 250th in the NCAA with an average of 70.1 possessions per game. Charlotte has now played to the under in six of their last seven games this season and the Hilltoppers have played to the under in three of their last four as well. These teams have cashed an under in the previous three meetings of this series also and I expect those trend to continue in what will be a slow-moving, low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Under 134