The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles meet the Kansas State Wildcats for an early first round matchup. Where are we placing our NCAA Basketball picks on this one, as we look for which team will cover the 6.5 point spread.
The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles enter NCAA Tournament with
a 0-7 ATS slide at the betting windows, allowing 70.7 PPG in that span. Larry Eustachy’s squad heads north to
Pittsburgh for Thursday’s early tip in the East bracket against the Kansas
State Wildcats, who ended up with a No. 8 seed after an early exit in the Big
12 Conference Tournament.
Sportsbooks opened Kansas State as a seven-point favorite, with
early NCAA Basketball betting on Southern Mississippi bringing down the number to six. The foes have not met since 2008, when Kansas
State logged a 74-55 win as a 6.5 point betting odds favorite.
Lets examine at this matchup and decide which NCAA Basketball picks have the best chance of cashing for us.
Wildcats lit up by
Kansas State has been idle since March 8, picking up an 82-74 loss
as a two-point dog against the Baylor Bears. The Wildcats allowed Baylor to connect at 56.9 percent from the field,
while being edged out in rebounds by the Bears, 31-24.
Wildcats forward Jordan Henriquez notched 22 points and 14 boards,
recording his second double-double in four games. The junior added a sizable four blocks, while
mates Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez united for 26 points and five
The contest’s combined 156 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 135,
bringing the ‘over’ to 4-1 in the Wildcats’ last five games. Kansas State’s Martavious Irving led his
squad’s bench scoring with nine points, knocking down 4-of-6 field buckets.
Eagles grounded in
Southern Mississippi was ousted from the Conference USA
Championship Tournament with Friday’s 73-62 defeat as a 2 ½-point favorite
against the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Golden Eagles connected at a meager 34.2 percent from the floor,
while giving up 9-of-17 buckets beyond the arc from Marshall.
Eagles guard Angelo Johnson logged a team-high 24 points, while
adding two of his squad’s five assists. Johnson’s four other starting mates were collectively held to 12 points,
while Darnell Dodson piled in 13 points and six boards off the bench.
The battle’s combined 135 points ducked below the closing ‘total’
of 135 ½ by a ‘hook,’ ending a 3-0 ‘over’ streak from the Golden Eagles’ prior
three games. Southern Miss hit 8-of-14
free throws, while guard Neil Watson notched four of his squad’s 10 steals.
Back K-State to get the
Thursday’s tip is slated for 12:40 p.m. (ET), with TruTV providing
the national television coverage.
I am backing Kansas State in this spot as part of my sports picks
for Thursday’s card, laying a fairly low premium. The Wildcats have a 5-3 spread record in
their last eight contests away from home, including a 3-0 ATS mark when favored
as ‘chalk’ in that span.
Kansas State entered the postseason leading a loaded Big 12
Conference in boards with 37.3 RPG. Henriquez ranked second in blocks (2.4 BPG), just behind Kansas’ Jeff
Withey (3.3 BPG).
Southern Mississippi’s skid at the betting windows looks unlikely
to turn around here, with the Golden Eagles going 1-4 ATS in its last five
neutral-site games. Johnson and Co. have
connected at a subpar 40.1 percent clip from the field away from home.
State has a 5-2 spread record in its last seven non-conference games, with
another cashed ticket looming here. Look
for the Wildcats to erase thoughts of their ousting from Baylor with a sizable
win in this spot, moving onto Saturday’s potential clash with the East’s No. 1
My Picks: Kansas State