Washington and Western Kentucky Pack Value as Road Dogs in NIT

Charles Stark

Monday, March 19, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 19, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Monday night's NIT action includes Washington visiting St. Mary’s, and Western Kentucky playing at USC. The home teams are the favorites but not necessarily the best betting options.

Monday: National Invitation TournamentWashington vs. St. Mary’sFree NCAAB Pick: Washington +11Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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St. Mary’s was made a big 11-point favorite on the college basketball odds board, but with my NCAAB picks I will take Washington plus the points. Washington has played some pretty tough defense this season with its zone and is allowing opponents to shoot 44.4 percent overall (not great), but more importantly 32.8 percent from distance (solid). This will be a huge aspect for them tonight as St. Mary’s can light it up from all over the floor, ranking third in the country in shooting efficiency. On the other side of the ball Washington has been less than stellar but they still shoot a respectable 45.6 percent overall. In checking the common opponents, both teams lost to Gonzaga at home by double digits, but in other games Washington handled Washington State, a team that St. Mary’s lost to by five, and both teams beat California, with St. Mary’s winning by 11 on the road and Washington handling them by 17 on the road as well. I just really like the matchup here for Washington. Although I believe the Gaels should definitely win this game, I don’t think they do it by double digits.

Western Kentucky vs. USCFree NCAAB Pick: Western Kentucky +4Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Western Kentucky has had a really nice season but this will be a tough spot for them, and they are a +4 underdog on the college basketball odds board. I will take Western Kentucky plus the points with my NCAAB picks because this game has all the makings of going down to the wire. I thought USC should have been in the big tournament and I like Andy Enfield’s team, but Western Kentucky is no joke and they come in shooting a very solid 49.7 percent overall, which ranks ninth in the country. Along with being very efficient on the offensive end, the Hilltoppers have been good across the board and are allowing opponents to shoot just 42.7 percent overall. USC also has some solid offensive weapons, shooting 47 percent overall and 37.6 from distance. However, their defense is less than stellar. The Trojans are allowing opponents to shoot almost 44 percent overall and more than 35 percent from distance. Western Kentucky can score and can play defense, and I would not be shocked if they pulled off the minor 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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