The Southern Conference Tournament wraps up tonight in what’s expected to be a tight college basketball betting battle between the two top seeds in the conference.
No. 1 seed Chattanooga Mocs (26-7) dispatched Wofford 79-56 in blowout fashion in the semifinals, while the No. 2 Furman Paladins (22-11) overcame a halftime deficit for a 71-68 win over Samford to earn a spot in the finals.
This will be the third meeting this season between the SoCon’s top two teams. Chattanooga won both prior matchups, but will they make it a perfect 3-0?
Check out our free college basketball picks and predictions for Furman vs. Chattanooga on Monday, March 7 to find out.
Furman vs Chattanooga odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Chattanooga opened as a very slight -1 favorite, and that’s where the line resides as of early Monday morning, with the total still sitting at 143.
Furman vs Chattanooga predictions
Predictions made on 3/7/2022 at 7:42 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Furman vs Chattanooga game info
• Location: Harrah's Cherokee Center, Asheville, NC
• Date: Monday, March 7, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Furman at Chattanooga betting preview
Furman: None to report.
Chattanooga: None to report.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Paladins are 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Furman vs. Chattanooga.
Furman vs Chattanooga picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Chattanooga advanced to the semifinals with a dominant 79-56 win over a quality Wofford team. Malachi Smith, the team’s best player, went wild for 25 points and 11 rebounds. Smith averages 20.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists as the do-it-all guard who makes the engine go. Fans may also remember Silvio de Sousa from his playing (and fighting!) days at Kansas.
The Moc’s are KenPom’s 69th-rated team in adjusted efficiency, ranking 52nd offensively and 102nd defensively. They’re Top 75 in both scoring offense (75.1 ppg) and scoring defense (65 ppg). This is a solid, well-rounded team on both sides of the ball without a glaring weakness.
Furman was down by double-digits against Samford in the semifinals but rallied back for the nail-biting 71-68 win. The Paladins pulled off the comeback primarily by forcing 19 turnovers, converting them into 20 points. Arguably their most impressive trait as of late has been their ability to battle through adversity, a crucial virtue come March. They rank 74th in KenPom's adjusted efficiency, checking in at 19th offensively — but only 181st defensively.
The advanced stats show that Chattanooga is the more complete team, while Furman possesses the unique ability to change games with a robust offense that focuses on the deep ball. The Paladins shoot the fourth-most threes per game, chucking 30.6 attempts from long range. They’re second nationally in 3-point rate, as 51.4% of their attempts come from beyond the arc.
It's truly live by the three, die by the three, and Chattanooga appears uniquely equipped to slow down the 3-point barrage coming its way. The Mocs limit opponents to only 29.9% efficiency from downtown and rank 11th in 3-point defense per Haslametrics. They thrive off defending the 3-point line and that’ll be put to the test Monday night. Furman managed only 3-for-20 from downtown in the last meeting but was 9-for-23 in the first meeting.
It’s unlikely the Paladins can resort to forcing turnovers in this matchup as they did in the semifinal game — Chattanooga adequately takes care of the ball, ranking 63rd nationally in offensive turnover rate.
These teams met twice this season, with Chattanooga coming out on top both times. The Mocs must rely on their stellar 3-point defense, as they’ll miss out on the NCAA Tournament if the Paladins get hot from deep. The final scores of the first two meetings were 71-69 and 64-58, so this one will likely again be decided by the slimmest of margins — and we're leaning with Chattanooga to come away victorious against Furman for the third time this season en route to a SoCon Championship and ticket to the Big Dance.
Prediction: Chattanooga -1 (-110)
Both teams are better offensively than defensively, as previewed above in the KenPom rankings. Furman is 17-15 to the Over on the season, while Chattanooga sits at 17-14 O/U.
Surprisingly though for two proficient offensive teams, neither one plays at a fast pace. Furman ranks 288th in adjusted tempo, while Chattanooga is right behind at 293rd. This is a championship game and both teams aren’t expected to be pushing the pace, which should limit possessions.
As alluded to earlier, Chattanooga is uniquely positioned to limit Furman’s offensive output, especially from downtown. The Mocs are not elite defensively, but they match up well with the Paladins’ 3-point heavy attack. The nature of the long ball is notoriously fickle from game to game, so the handicap of both the spread and total may come down to how Furman shoots.
In both prior matchups, the total came in below the mark of 143 that is set for this game. Even if Furman gets hot from downtown, this game is expected to be played at a relatively slow pace and therefore could still hit the Under.
Prediction: Under 143 (-110)
This should truly be a terrific conference championship game.
It’s difficult to pick against a battle-tested team like Furman, but Chattanooga has come away victorious twice and we like them to do so yet again tonight.
The Mocs are well-rounded and match up well with the Paladins on paper, so we’re taking them to win the Southern Conference Tournament and go dancing.
Pick: Chattanooga -1 (-110)
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