Northern Kentucky, St. Bonaventure have Value as Underdogs

Charles Stark

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

The big tournament, and the smaller ones, leave us with a lot of college basketball left to play. Upsets are inevitable, so can Northern Kentucky and St. Bonaventure hang within the number tonight or possibly extend their seasons?

NIT: Northern Kentucky vs. LouisvilleFree NCAAB Pick: Northern Kentucky +8Best Line Offered: Intertops

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This NIT game could be a little bit of a letdown for Louisville, but they are a solid -8 favorite on the college basketball odds board. I really like this Northern Kentucky team, and with my NCAAB picks I will take them plus the points. These teams had one common opponent this season; Northern Kentucky lost at Memphis by two, and Louisville beat Memphis on a neutral floor by nine. Northern Kentucky has been efficient, shooting 47.6 percent overall and 56 percent from the interior extended. Although Louisville has some nice defensive statistics, they do allow opponents to get up quite a few attempts at 61.5 per game, which ranks them outside the top 300 teams. Of course, this has a lot to do with the fact they play in arguably the best conference in the country and face elite competition all the time. Still, Northern Kentucky should be able to score and they are also not bad on the defensive side, ranking 23rd in the country in opponent shooting efficiency. Sure, they are from the smaller conference, but this game will be uncomfortably close for the Cardinals.

NCAA: UCLA vs. St. BonaventureFree NCAAB Pick: St. Bonaventure +3.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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In one of the First Four matchups of the Big Dance, UCLA is a -3.5 favorite on the college basketball odds board. The big question, of course, is whether Bonnies third-leading scorer Courtney Stockard will play. Whether he suits up are not, I think St. Bonaventure has a good shot to win this game straight up with how they match up with the Bruins, and that they come in winning 13 of their past 14 games. UCLA has also played well recently, and although they’ve lost four of their last eight games they have been competitive in each. I believe St. Bonaventure is the better defensive team overall. While both teams can shoot at a high rate, St. Bonaventure has been excellent in defending from beyond the arc, allowing opponents to shoot just 32.1 percent from distance. They have also been excellent at shooting almost a 40-percent clip from range, while UCLA has allowed opponents to shoot 35 percent. I believe that gives a bit of an edge to St. Bonaventure. With your NCAAB picks, expect the Bonnies to take this game down to the wire or possibly pull the upset.

Check out SBR’s college basketball odds page for updated lines. Also, head over to the March Madness Betting Headquarters for vital handicapping information, picks, and a list of the best sports books and live betting options for the tournament season.

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