Auburn-New Mexico State Betting Odds: Opening Spread, Analysis for 2019 NCAA Tournament

Mar 18, 2019 09:35 PM EDT
Credit:

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bryce Brown

#5 Auburn vs. #12 New Mexico St. NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Auburn -7
  • Over/Under: 143
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Ut.
  • TV: TNT

Auburn’s Statistical Profile

Considering Auburn began the year ranked 11th in the country and ended the regular season at No. 22, it would be fair to say that the Tigers may have underperformed, but only slightly.

They began the year with a few reasonable tests, and took care of business in both, knocking off Washington and Xavier. Then came a battle with Duke in which the Tigers hung around to lose by only six as 11-point underdogs. Entering SEC play, they were ranked No. 11 at 11-2 overall.

Auburn ultimately finished fourth in a difficult SEC at 11-7 in conference play, and while it took the entire regular season to get there, the Tigers finally got their statement victory in their final matchup against No. 5 Tennessee.

After that, they continued the momentum in the SEC Tournement, ultimately beating Tennessee 84-64 as 5-point underdogs in the final.

This is Auburn’s 10th NCAA tournament appearance and second in a row. They’ll be looking to bounce back from last year’s embarrassing exit – an 84-53 loss to Clemson. — Danny Donahue

  • Record: 26-9
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 14
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 9
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 50
  • Tempo Rank: 142

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15


New Mexico State’s Statistical Profile

New Mexico State is the hottest team in college basketball and just finished the most historic season in school history. With their 89-57 blowout of Grand Canyon in the WAC Final, the Aggies won their 19th straight game and earned their third straight trip to the Big Dance.

They rank 56th in adjusted efficiency, including in the top 50 in offensive efficiency. NM State averages 77.8 PPG on offense, led by Terrell Brown (11.3 PPG) and Eli Chuha (10 PPG). But they hang their hat on their tough defense, only allowing 64.4 PPG (28th best in the country). They may hail from a small conference, but the Aggies are no pushover. — Josh Appelbaum

  • Record: 30-4
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 56
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 46
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 82
  • Tempo Rank: 278

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15


Houston-Georgia St. Instant Bracket, Betting Picks

Houston (31-3) looked like a lock to win the AAC Tournament after steamrolling Connecticut by 39 points in the opening round. But a huge Memphis second-half comeback that fell short seemed to illustrate the Cougars’ problems, which Cincinnati promptly took advantage of in the championship game.

The Cougars are still elite defensively, ranking second in the nation in 3-point defense and first overall in effective field goal percentage allowed. Very few teams will be able to defend the Cougars like the Bearcats did, holding Houston to 38% from the field and 24% from 3.

However, the last time Georgia State (24-9) was a 14-seed, head coach Ron Hunter (and his torn Achilles) celebrated a 57-56 win over Baylor. The Panthers rank 17th in the country from 3, a necessary ingredient in an opening round upset. They also earned two big wins over SEC opponents (Georgia and Alabama) in the non-conference schedule. Georgia State will have to hit its 3s, as they only rank 316th in offensive rebounding percentage.

The Cougars always bring maximum effort and will need to contain a 14-seed that historically is not intimidated.

Early ATS lean: Houston
Early bracket pick: Houston — Randle


Sean Koerner’s Auburn-New Mexico State Projections