Charlotte vs UAB Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the high-scoring Blazers blast the 49ers to open C-USA play?
After winning 27 games and Conference USA’s auto bid last season, UAB is off to a good start this season, led by the nation’s leading scorer. Tonight, the Blazers will look to open conference play with a win over visiting Charlotte in a matchup of two 9-2 teams.
The matchup between the Blazers and 49ers is set to tip off at 7:30 pm ET (6:30 pm local time), and all of the action from Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama can be seen on ESPN+.
UAB, whose losses came against Toledo and West Virginia, ranks fifth in the country in scoring (87.9 PPG). Leading the way is Walker, who is averaging 24.6 PPG this season after averaging 20.3 PPG last season.
Charlotte operates with a much different style, but it has been effective thus far, as Ron Sanchez’s 49ers enter their C-USA slate with five straight wins.
Who will get the win tonight in Birmingham? Keep reading for our Charlotte vs UAB prediction, as well as our betting picks and analysis for this very intriguing matchup.
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Charlotte 49ers vs UAB Blazers Odds
Game odds are via FanDuel as of Thursday, December 22, 2022, at 2:20 pm ET. Odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites may also appear in this article.
- Charlotte +10.5 (+100)
- UAB -10.5 (-122)
- Over 138.5 (-110)
- Under 138.5 (-110)
- Charlotte +480
- UAB -690
Can Charlotte Keep Up with the Prolific Blazers?
The 49ers have hit the 80-point mark in back-to-back games, an 82-80 overtime win over Detroit Mercy and an 80-46 win over Monmouth.
But their success this season has been built on strong defense, as they have allowed under 70 points in all but two games.
Both of those games were against Detroit Mercy, who have the second-leading scorer in the country in Antoine Davis (24.2 PPG).
In the first game against Charlotte, Davis scored 26 points (9-21 FG, 6-14 3PT, 2-3 FT) in a 70-49. In the second, he was 12 of 27 overall from the field–10 of 17 from three–and 2-2 from the FT line in a 36-point performance.
So, the 49ers have some experience dealing with a scorer like the one they will be facing tonight. Walker has three 30-point games this season, including a season-high 38 points in the season opener against Alabama State.
As with Davis, the 49ers will see Walker fire away early and often from the perimeter. Walker is first in the country in three-point attempts per game (10.8) and second in made threes per game (4.5), which comes out to a percentage of 41.7. He has made at least four threes in all but one game, and he has made at least five in five games.
Walker is the main man for the Blazers, but they have two other double-digit scorers in KJ Buffen (11.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG) and LSU transfer Eric Gaines (10.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.7 APG) and three other players averaging at least 7.1 PPG.
Charlotte vs UAB Prediction and Picks
Charlotte vs UAB Prediction: UAB to win
Charlotte vs UAB Picks: UAB team total over (Best Value: over 74.5 @ -122 at BetRivers) & UAB to cover (Best Value: UAB -10.5 @ -110 at BetMGM)
These two teams couldn’t be any different stylistically. The Blazers are third in adjusted tempo and fifth in quickest average possession length (14.7 seconds) at KenPom, while the 49ers are dead last in Division I in tempo, 357th in average offensive possession length and 360th in average defensive possession length.
The 49ers, who average 68.8 PPG, have only one double-digit scorer in Virginia transfer Igor Milicic Jr. (10.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG), who is shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three.
But Charlotte is certainly not awful offensively. They shoot 47.7 percent from the field overall, and they make 37.4 percent of their three-point shots. Both of those are very respectable numbers and indicate that they can keep up with the Blazers for a while.
That said, I don’t foresee their best efforts being enough to upset Walker and the Blazers, who will open Conference USA play with a solid home win.