Bucknell -1.5 at Lehigh O/U 154
Patriot League play has a ray of sunshine for Bucknell which has steamrolled their first four opponents by nearly 21 points per game. The Bison played admirably against the better non-conference teams they faced as well so perhaps it’s no surprise that the step down in class to league play has seen them flourish thus far. At North Carolina State, Bucknell shot 51.6% and lost just 99-86 and they also hung within eight of ACC member Wake Forest (lost 90-82) and lost by just four to Penn State 62-58. The high octane, 94-foot style of Bucknell has seen them become vulnerable on the defensive end allowing 1.03 points per possession. However, with four of the top six in their rotation shooting between 44-52.5% from the field, they’ve been able to easily outscore league opposition. Lehigh does not subscribe to the up-tempo philosophy but they’ve been dragged into it multiple times this season by teams who prefer running. The situation here of a home, conference game for Lehigh does suggest that they should somewhat be able to control the pace but not sure they can prevent Bucknell from getting this game revved up for periods of time. Lehigh has shown a solid home/road split so far as their home games average 148.0 total points while the road tilts average only 138.3. The numbers suggest that the Mountain Hawks will play whatever speed the other side dictates and that favors Bucknell. Lehigh’s best offensive asset is the 3-pointer but Bucknell happens to be the best in the Patriot shooting 3’s at a 39.1% clip. Have to believe the sharp shooting and fast pace Bison will be able to find plenty of ways to continually score points against the Lehigh defense which ranks 307th in the nation. Payback could also be a motivating factor for the visitors tonight as they were drilled 84-65 on this court the last time these teams met. That 19 point loss was the the most lopsided one in the last 11 contests in this series. Line indicates a hotly contested game here tonight but figure the solid shooting of Bucknell in all aspects will be a large enough advantage to get the cover.