Youngstown State opens the night as +6.5 home underdogs against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, while Cincinnati is a -5 point favorite when they welcome the Virginia Tech Hokies.
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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Youngstown State Penguins 7:00 pm
Youngstown State is a +6.5 home underdog with a 148.5 point total when the two teams meet Wednesday night at Beeghly Center.
We have contrasting styles of play, but the result will be a low-scoring affair and Under 148.5 points.
The Penguins finished 1st in the regular season Horizon League standings but lost in the conference tourney to eventual champion Northern Kentucky and finished the season with a 24-9 mark.
Penguin Set to Host Oklahoma State in First NIT Game Wednesday https://t.co/Wz4Zq0zBfd
— YSU Men's Basketball (@YSUMensHoops) March 13, 2023
The Cowboys finished towards the bottom of the Big 12 Conference table but ended the season at 18-15 and narrowly missed a shot at the Big Dance.
Oklahoma State lost six of their final eight, but each of those losses came against teams ranked lower than No. 27 in a tough Big 12 conference. By contrast, Youngstown State hasn’t played a team inside the top 100, according to Kenneth Pomeroy.
— OSU Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) March 10, 2023
The Cowboys didn’t lose conference games because they couldn’t defend–they lost games because they don’t score the basketball. The Penguins’ defense allowed 72.6 points per game playing in a weak conference but Oklahoma State was 5-7 SU and 6-6 ATS on the road.
Youngstown State puts points on the board, but the real question is can they score enough to cover the +6.5 at home that might be a tall order Wednesday night. The Penguins were 8-6 ATS at home, but the Under was 7-7.
Phil’s Best Bet: Take Youngstown State Under 148.5 -110. The Cowboys’ defense is legit, and they will keep the Penguins from running up the tally as they do against teams in their conference.
Oklahoma State was fighting nightly against the best teams in the nation and held their own on the defensive end–Youngstown State doesn’t play defense at all, but Oklahoma State is a terrible shooting team and wins games on the defensive end. Play the Under 148.5 -110 at DraftKings.
Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Virginia Tech is a +5 away underdog with a 151.5-point total when the two teams meet Wednesday night at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Bearcats were 4th in a solid American Athletic Conference and is a team that wins and covers at home. Cincinnati is 13-4 ATS at home and has a 15-2 record overall but, more importantly, has a +8 point differential.
Cincinnati scores buckets–the Bearcats average a 52nd-best 77.2 points and rank 26th in assists. Cincy has one of the lowest turnover rates in the college game, with above-average shooters from inside and outside the arc.
This is what it's all about.
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) March 5, 2023
The Bearcats play defense and ranked 3rd in AAC in defensive efficiency and 3rd in opponents’ offensive rebounds. Cincinnati is 3rd in defending inside and outside and allows a 152nd-best 69.2 points per game.
Virginia Tech finished 11th in the ACC standings, but they didn’t win games on the road–the Hokies were 2-9 SU and 2-9 ATS with a +4.4 point differential in a tough ACC conference. The Hokies averaged 74 points per game but flexed its muscles on the defensive end of the court, allowing 69.9 points per game.
Phil’s Best Bet: Cincinnati -5 -110. The Bearcats are the better team on both ends of the floor, and playing at home where they are 13-4 ATS gives them a slight advantage. The crowd will be buzzing, and the Bearcats will deliver at home like they have all season.
The Bearcats have a solid assist-to-turnover ratio with exceptional shooters, and the Hokies don’t have the defense to stop them nor the offense to score with Cincinnati on the road. Take Cincinnati -5 -110 at DraftKings.