2023 NIT Odds, Picks | Full Betting Preview, Including Futures Targets, First-Round Leans
Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images. Pictured: N’Faly Dante (Oregon)
During a week where casual college basketball fans will be compiling their brackets and choosing NCAA tournament champions based upon the coolest mascots, only the die-hards will be tracking the results of the best of the rest: the National Invitational Tournament (see the bracket here).
If you’re reading this article, know this is a safe space. We are all college hoops sickos, and clearly you are as well.
Truth be told, betting the NIT is likely a much more profitable venture than wagering on the NCAA tournament. Like the NFL, the traditional NCAA tournament is a very saturated betting market.
By the time casual bettors are rushing to place their last-minute wagers on Thursday and Friday morning in between staff meetings, sharps will have already sucked any potential value out of the opening lines.
For example, Louisiana has already moved four points to +9.5 from the line most sportsbooks opened at (+13.5).
Still, many bettors will take Louisiana without regard of the closing number, simply because they want to latch onto the narrative of Rick Barnes’ failures in March.
The NIT has an incredible amount of variables that could affect the odds of each game. Here are just a few that come to mind:
- How much does each team really want to be there? Would winning even mean anything to the team/coach?
- Is the coach going to be looking to play different lineups/rotations? Will less talented players potentially get a chance to play, giving coaches a chance to evaluate whether they would like each guy to stick around for next year?
- Will a coach be more incentivized to win because their seat is getting warm?
- Will any players choose to sit out to avoid potential injury, eyeing an offseason move via the transfer portal?
All of the above variables must be considered before placing any NIT wagers.
For those willing to do a little digging and spend time on message boards, social media or elsewhere, a true edge can often be found.
2023 NIT Odds
2023 NIT Favorites
North Carolina and Dayton publicly declined the invitation to play in this year’s NIT.
The Tar Heels cited a need to shift focus to next season, while the Flyers cited injuries as their reason.
Texas A&M and Xavier faced off in the 2022 NIT Championship game. Xavier won 72-71 in a great finish to its season, but it will not be back to defend its title in 2023.
In fact, both of last season’s title-game contestants will be competing in the NCAA tournament in 2023, having earned at-large bids in resurgent seasons.
This year’s NIT champion will hope finishing their season on a high note can spur similar success in ‘23-24 to the accomplishments of both Xavier and Texas A&M this season.
The most notable at-large snub of last year’s NCAA tournament was Texas A&M. In the opinion of most bracketologists, this year’s biggest at-large snub is again going to take part in the NIT.
According to Bracket Matrix, 181 of 190 individuals who take part in “bracketology” included the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their predicted field.
Instead, Rutgers was left out of the NCAA field. Most assume the snub was largely a result of the team losing Mawot Mag for the season to a knee injury that occurred about a month ago.
Since, the team has struggled mightily to score, leaving it with a bleak outlook for the NIT.
Another perceived snub was the committee leaving Oklahoma State out of the NCAA field. While the Cowboys’ 18-15 record isn’t necessarily impressive, it is important to keep in mind they were apart of the most difficult conference college basketball has seen in the last 25 years.
Oklahoma State had six Quadrant 1 wins despite battling injuries throughout the season. The Cowboys are still likely to be without Avery Anderson III for the NIT, but will have a great rim protector in Moussa Cisse back on the floor.
Coach Mike Boynton has also struggled to find solid footing in the difficult Big 12, so winning an NIT title could be a small consolation to show the Cowboys’ athletic department that his team is not far away from having success in future years.
The Cowboys would be my favorite to win the NIT.
Oregon’s path to the NIT title also seems fairly favorable, especially considering the postseason track record of its coach Dana Altman. The Ducks will have an advantage in the frontcourt in any game throughout the tournament, so long as N’Faly Dante is playing.
The Ducks also seem worth a wager to me.
Under the Radar 2023 NIT Teams
Two teams that could emerge victorious despite being somewhat under the radar are New Mexico and UAB.
UAB is led by one of the premier scorers in the country in Jordan “Jelly” Walker, while New Mexico will be glad to have Jaelen House leading its backcourt considering his injury struggles.
New Mexico’s Richard Pitino and UAB’s Andy Kennedy are both experienced coaches capable of making key in-game adjustments to give their teams a crucial edge.
The Lobos and Blazers would be my two “sleepers” who are worth a small wager to win the title.
Individual Game Betting Angles
From an individual game perspective, among opening-round contests, I have my eye on No. 7 Seton Hall to upset No. 2 Colorado State and No. 6 Yale to surprise by beating a somber and disappointed No. 3 seed in Vanderbilt.
Washington State and North Texas should absolutely roll as favorites, so I would be inclined to lay the points with either of those squads once the lines are released.
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