- The Citadel (9-5, 2-5 Southern) battles Western Carolina (6-8, 0-7 Southern) on Monday, Feb. 1, at 12 pm ET
- The Catamounts have dropped seven in a row, all of which have come in conference play, while the Bulldogs have lost five of six
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
Are you a sucker for an underdog story? Hopefully, because that’s what you’re in for when The Citadel faces Western Carolina on Monday, Feb. 1 at 12 pm ET. Dating back to mid-December, both of these teams have only been favored once — spending most of their games on the underdog side of the money line and point spread.
Of course, someone has to be the favorite in this one, and that happens to be Western Carolina. Here’s a look at the odds:
The Citadel vs Western Carolina Odds
|The Citadel Bulldogs||+5.5 (-110)||+200||Over 169.5 (-110)|
|Wester Carolina Catamounts||-5.5 (-110)||-245||Under 169.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Jan. 31st.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Neither team has spent much time hanging out in the win column of late, with The Citadel winning just once in its past six games and Western Carolina losing seven in a row.
Here’s one thing to know about these teams: you’ll have to play close attention to the game action, because the players move quickly. The Citadel has the ninth-shortest average possession length in NCAA Division I (14.9 seconds) and has the second fastest adjusted tempo, per KenPom. Western Carolina, meanwhile, isn’t nearly as speedy with its possessions (16.5 seconds, 103rd in D-I), but has a fairly swift adjusted tempo that ranks 62nd.
— Anthony Patterson (@PattersonHoops) January 19, 2021
Between them, the Bulldogs and Catamounts have zero KenPom top 100 wins and six wins against non-D-I opponents. That’s what you call a cupcake schedule.
The Citadel ranks 352nd among 357 D-I teams in adjusted defensive efficiency, but counters with the 24th-ranked effective field goal percentage (55.3 percent). They score a staggeringly high 87.9 points per game, led by senior forward Hayden Brown (21 points, 10.2 rebounds per game).
Western Carolina is not as high offensively or low defensively. The Catamounts’ strength is probably their offense inside the arc (52.6 percent 2-pt. shooting, 74th in D-I), but they still attempt too many threes (42 percent of their field goal attempts, 63rd in D-I).
— The Citadel Basketball (@CitadelHoops) January 28, 2021
What’s notable is that The Citadel beat Wofford on Wednesday, 77-69, and Western Carolina lost to Wofford last weekend, 91-78.
The Citadel is 6-4 against the spread overall, but they’re 1-4 ATS on the road (and 1-4 ATS in their past five games). The Bulldogs were 11-point underdogs in their most recent game, but they were trounced, 112-84 by East Tennessee State.
Western Carolina is 4-10 ATS, including 1-2 ATS at home. They covered as 9-point underdogs in their most recent game, snapping a four-game ATS losing streak.
— Western Carolina Basketball (@CatamountMBB) December 7, 2020
Both of these teams play very fast, but the 169.5 over/under is pretty steep. The Citadel has seen the under hit in three of its past four, while Western Carolina has seen the under hit in five of its past six.
Last year, Western Carolina won both matchups with The Citadel straight up, but The Citadel covered both spreads as the underdog. They covered those spreads by a combined 3.5 points though, so it was tight.
The Citadel had three freshmen starters last year, and returned four starters overall. Western Carolina, on the other hand, started two seniors last year and has three returnees.
We’ll take the points with The Citadel, whose ability to cover in last year’s matchups — and to beat common opponent Wofford — make them an enticing play.
Pick: The Citadel +5.5 (-110)