Penn State, Mississippi State Solid Picks as NIT Road Dogs

Charles Stark

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 1:02 PM UTC

We don’t have to wait until the end of the week to find solid matchups in college basketball tournaments. Let's find some value in tonight's NIT action.

Tuesday College Basketball: NITPenn State vs. MarquetteFree NCAAB Pick: Penn State +2.5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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After Marquette throttled Oregon, I was a little surprised tonight's matchup was initially a "pick" on the college basketball odds board. On closer examination, though, that seemed about right and I was going to take Penn State to get the victory. Getting points just makes it that much easier for my NCAAB picks. As for common opponents, Penn State and Marquette have both faced Wisconsin and Purdue this year, with Penn State losing their three opportunities by single digits, and Marquette rolling Wisconsin and losing to Purdue by 15. What I really like about this matchup is the fact Penn State is by far the better defensive team, and although they are on the road I expect them to get enough stops to win straight up. In their last game versus Oregon, Marquette played out of their minds on the offensive end, scoring 101 point and shooting 57.6 percent overall and 46.2 percent from distance. I just don’t see that happening against a Penn State team that is allowing opponents to shoot 42.5 percent overall and 34 percent from distance. Marquette has been extremely poor defensively, allowing opponents to shoot 47.6 percent overall and almost 36 percent from distance. As the competition gets tougher I think there is better value on backing the better defensive team.

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Mississippi State vs. LouisvilleFree NCAAB Pick: Mississippi State +5.5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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I thought Louisville look tremendous versus middle Tennessee State, winning 84-68, and they are a solid -5.5 favorite in this spot on the college basketball odds board. However, with my NCAAB picks I will gladly take the points with Mississippi State as I think they can take this game to the wire. This is simply going to be a good game of two good defensive teams that match up well across the board. Louisville allows opponents to shoot 41.2 percent and the Bulldogs allow 41.9 percent. From distance there is not much difference either, with Louisville allowing 32.7 percent and Mississippi State 32.9. Even on the other side of the ball there isn’t much disparity, with Mississippi State shooting 46.5 percent overall and Louisville 45.7. The only real difference might be with Louisville shooting at a better clip from beyond the arc. Ultimately the Cardinals' statistics are better across the board in the home-and-away disparity, but I expect Mississippi State to come in and give them all they want and stay within the number.

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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