NCAA Basketball Picks for NIT: Vanderbilt +3.5 vs. Stanford

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 2:47 PM GMT

It is the SEC vs. the Pac-12 in second quarterfinal of the NIT on Tuesday and these two strong academic institutions are attracting heavy traffic against the NCAA Basketball odds.

Tuesday's NCAA Basketball odds have installed Stanford as 3.5-point home favorite with total of 148, but Vanderbilt is 4-1 and 5-0 ATS in their past five road assignments and will not be intimidated being away from Nashville.

 

Vanderbilt’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The Commodores (21-13, 18-13 ATS) look to stay hot after winning eight of their last 10 games. This streak has the attention of college basketball handicappers and those placing sports picks because they have a matching 8-2 ARS mark in the same span of time.

On the season, Vanderbilt is averaging 70.1 points a game on 47.4 percent shooting and they are an accurate three-point shooting team at 38.8 percent.

Leading the ‘Dores is Damian Jones, who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds while Riley LaChance is averaging 12.4 points and 2.8 assists. Wade Baldwin IV is dishing 4.5 assists and James Siakam is grabbing 5.9 rebounds.

In this tournament, Vanderbilt has already played in California, defeating St. Mary’s 75-64 as three-point underdogs before playing their final home game of the season in smashing South Dakota State 92-77 as eight-point favorites.

Vandy does play strong defense, holding opposing teams to 40.3 percent accuracy and 63.9 PPG. In looking for weaknesses, coach Kevin Stallings club despite playing sound defense, they do not create many miscues, with just only five steals a game and they are presumed to be at a disadvantage on the boards, with Stanford the stronger rebounding team who can also pound the offensive glass.

Vanderbilt is 4-6 and 6-4 ATS as a road underdog versus the betting odds this season.

 

Stanford’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The Cardinal has not played nearly as well as their opponent, with a 5-4 and 4-5 ATS mark in their last nine.  Two of Stanford’s (21-13, 15-18 ATS) recent triumphs have come in the NIT, defeating Big West regular season champion Cal-Davis 77-64 and Rhode Island 74-65, covering both as home faves.

On the season, Stanford is averaging 72.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting, with their leader Chasson Randle averaging 19.4 points and 3.1 assists. Anthony Brown is averaging 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds and center Stefan Nastic is the third double-digit scorer at 13.5 PPG and picking off 6.4 boards.

Like their foe, the Cardinal can drain the three-ball at a considerable rate and knocks down 38.1 percent.

Stanford is not as strong defensively, as opponents convert 42.9 percent and tally 67.4 PPG. Coach Johnny Dawkins team does not defend behind the arc well, as the opposing teams hit at a 37.7 percent clip, which becomes a problem facing a team like Vanderbilt.

At Maples Pavilion, Stanford has enjoyed a decided home court edge at 15-2 and 10-6-1 ATS as home favorites, winning by 13.6 PPG.  

 

What to Watch for and Winner
This 9:00 Eastern encounter on ESPN sets up to be a close contest. Vanderbilt off their imposing victory over South Dakota State is 10-1 ATS in road games after shooting 57 percent or higher and allowing 43 percent or lower on defense.

Stanford also brings positives, with an 11-2 ATS mark at home having won three of four and off a couple lower scoring than expected contests, the Cardinal is 6-0 ATS after two or more Under’s.

Betting against Stanford at home would appear the wrong choice but having the half point hook using the more efficient offensive and better defensive team is the better way to go with NCAA Basketball picks. I sense a two-point game either way!

NCAA Basketball Pick – Vanderbilt +3.5 from Bovada