SMU vs. Wichita State Odds, Picks & Predictions: AAC Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Feb. 5)

SMU vs. Wichita State Odds, Picks & Predictions: AAC Basketball Betting Preview (Saturday, Feb. 5) article feature image

Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Emmanuel Bandoumel.

  • Wichita State (11-8) hosts SMU (16-4) in a long-awaited AAC basketball matchup that tips off at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday evening.
  • The Shockers (-1.5) are slim favorites and winners of two straight. However, the Mustangs are highly motivated to secure additional quality wins for NCAA Tournament selection and seeding purposes.
  • Check out our college basketball betting preview for SMU vs. Wichita State, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Saturday evening's AAC matchup.

SMU vs. Wichita State Odds

Saturday, Feb. 5
6 p.m. ET
SMU Odds
-110o / -110u
Wichita State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

If you are reading this, please confirm this game has not been canceled yet. After six straight cancellations, it appears we will finally get to see the SMU Mustangs play the Wichita State Shockers Saturday night for the first time since March 1, 2020.

That's correct. These two conference opponents have not played since before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled sports. Just two players from each team are still on the roster from then. In that game, the Shockers rallied back from 13 down to beat the Mustangs, 66-62.

Wichita State leads the all-time series, 4-1, but SMU's only win did come at Wichita, where Saturday's game will be held.

In more recent events, SMU has lost just one game since Thanksgiving. The Mustangs are 16-4 on the season and 7-1 in conference, sitting second in the AAC. Their one loss came on the road to Cincinnati, and the Mustangs are currently listed in Joe Lunardi's Bracketology as one of the "next four out."

Wichita State, meanwhile, has had as much of an up-and-down season as any team in college basketball. Earlier this year, the Shockers took Arizona to OT but did end up losing by four. They also beat Oklahoma State by 11 on the road as a 6.5-point dog.

But conference play has been a different story for the Shockers, as they're 2-5 in league play and eighth in the ACC — the Shockers only have wins over UCF and Tulsa.

SMU seems to be firing on all cylinders, while Wichita State is just fighting to stay relevant in the ACC. Is it as simple as that? The Mustangs have waited nearly two years to play the Shockers, but will they make the most of it after the long wait?

Southern Methodist Mustangs

SMU is having an amazing season, there's no doubt about that. But it may not be good enough. The Mustangs are 1-2 in Quad 1 games, and their best nonconference wins came against Vanderbilt (89th in KenPom) and Dayton (56th).

Currently, on the outside looking in, SMU has two more Quad 1 opportunities on the schedule, both against Houston. The Mustangs need to stay hot through the end of the season and put up a decent effort in the conference tournament if they want to hear their name called on the second Sunday in March.

On offense, SMU is the third-highest scoring team in the AAC, averaging 76.1 points per game. It's had success specifically from outside the arc and has struggled with steals and blocks. The Mustangs are hitting 36.6% of 3-point shots but will likely face some pushback from the Shockers, who sit 37th in Division I by limiting teams to just 30.1% from deep.

When it comes to blocks, SMU can expect another fight with a decent size disadvantage against Wichita State. The Shockers are 22nd in the country, blocking a shot on 14.1% of opportunities. They are also recording a steal on 10.8% of possessions, and the Mustangs give it up 10% of the time.

Defensively, SMU should have success against a lacking Shockers offense. The Mustangs limit teams to just 66.9 points per game and rank inside the top 50 on defense in effective field goal percentage, along with 2- and 3-point shooting percentage.

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Wichita State Shockers

Conference play has been tough for the Shockers, but they've won their last two home conference games. Can they make it three in a row?

Wichita's struggles come almost completely on the offensive end of the floor. The Shockers average just 67.9 points per contest, rank 304th in eFG%, 282nd in 3P%, and 303rd in 2P%.

But they've been not awful from the line! They hit at a 73.7% clip from the charity stripe.

The defense isn't just the foundation of the Shockers' game, it's the patio, the garage, the backyard. It's everything. If Wichita State can't get stops on the defensive end, the game is basically over.

The Shockers limit teams to just 64.3 points per game, and as I previously mentioned, they should have success in forcing turnovers against SMU. But will it be enough?

SMU vs. Wichita State Betting Pick

It's been a long time coming for these two teams to square off, and while both are looking to head into the last leg of the regular season with some momentum, I think SMU has the talent to do it.

The Mustangs are a good team at both ends of the floor. If they do run into trouble against the Shockers defense, they have the ability to make up for it at the other end. I can't say the same about Wichita State.

For that reason, I'm backing the Mustangs to come away from this long-awaited game with the win.

Pick: SMU ML +105

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