College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for South Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts (Thursday, February 24)

College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for South Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts (Thursday, February 24) article feature image

Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Abmas (Oral Roberts)

  • South Dakota State and Oral Roberts square off in what could be one of the most entertaining mid-major games of the season.
  • The Jackrabbits are currently unbeaten in the Summit League so far this season, but our college basketball betting analyst Tanner McGrath breaks down why the 'Rabbits could be handed their first loss of the season.

South Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts Odds

Thursday, Feb. 24
8 p.m. ET
South Dakota State Odds
-110o / -110u
Oral Roberts Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

There's nothing like Summit League hoops.

This is one of the highest-scoring conferences in the country, and there's no shortage of shot-makers in this particular game.

South Dakota State has skyrocketed to 13th nationally in offensive efficiency, while Max Abmas shoulders an Oral Roberts offense that's top-25 in eFG% and top-five in offensive turnover rate.

I'd expect fireworks in this game, which is why the total has opened above 165.

Behind their 16-0 Summit record, the Jackrabbits are laying 3.5 on the road. The 'Rabbits also took down Oral Bob earlier in the season, winning 82-76 back in Brookings.

However, is it worth looking at the Golden Eagles as home dogs in a revenge spot?

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

There's nothing this Jackrabbits offense can't do.

The 'Bunnies are first nationally in eFG% (60.2%) and half-court PPP (1.067), while ranking second in points per game (86.2). They've scored at least 90 points 12 times this season, and they're doing it with three players who average 15 points per game.

Douglas Wilson hangs around inside the paint, generally playing the small-ball center role at just 6-foot-7. He's not overly efficient inside, but he creates plenty of space because of just how many attempts he has at the rim.

Image credit: CBB Analytics

Douglas anchors the interior as the team's highest-usage player, and he opens up space for the perimeter guys to let it fly. The shooting has been obnoxiously good. The Jackrabbits' top six guys by 3PA per game are shooting 46% from 3 on an astounding 22.4 attempts per game.

As a result, South Dakota State is first nationally in 3-point shooting, top-10 in 3-pointers per game and has a shot-chart that looks like this:

Image credit: CBB Analytics

Are the Jackrabbits due for some negative shooting regression? Probably, but it's very negligible. Thanks to Wilson and secondary big man Luke Appel, the Jackrabbits are actually top-40 nationally in post-up frequency. So, the offense runs through the post first.

Does coach Eric Henderson's smaller-ball style impact the defense negatively? Yes, but not disproportionally. And in an offensive-minded conference like the Summit, the Jackrabbits are somehow still first in conference-only defensive efficiency.

There are no issues with this team. South Dakota State just has to win the conference tournament. But the pressure is on, and the Jackrabbits haven't accomplished that feat since 2018 when T.J. Otzelberger was at the helm.

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Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

The college hoops world is familiar with Oral Roberts by now.

Abmas plays 94% of the team's minutes, is involved on 30% of the team's possessions and takes 31% of the team's shots. He drops 22.6 points and dishes out 3.7 assists per game.

He also does it all from the perimeter. Abmas paces all D-I players in 3-point attempts per game (10) and he sinks almost 40% of them.

Thanks to Abmas, nobody has a higher off-the-dribble 3-point frequency than the Golden Eagles. But, also thanks to Abmas, no team is more efficient on those shots than the Golden Eagles.

It helps when you have limitless range:

Max Abmas stays pulling from the logo. (via @ORUMBB)

— SLAM University (@slam_university) November 30, 2021

He rarely shoots inside the arc, but he's not afraid to run the pick-and-roll. The Golden Eagles run the PnR at a top-25 rate nationally and are the most efficient team in the country in those sets (1.04 PPP). Abmas is the ball-handler in those sets over 61% of the time.

Outside of that, however, there's no ball movement. Oral Roberts is 355th nationally in assist rate.

The interior defense has been surprisingly good for Oral Bob. The Golden Eagles lead the Summit in block rate and are second in 2-point defense.

But with Abmas patrolling the perimeter for 38 minutes per game, the Golden Eagles aren't very active on opposing guards, ranking second-to-last nationally in defensive turnover rate.

South Dakota State vs. Oral Roberts Betting Pick

As mentioned, this game is going to be fireworks.

There are too many mismatches on both sides of the floor. Oral Roberts gets posted up at one of the highest rates in the nation, and is one of the least-efficient teams guarding those sets.

Meanwhile, South Dakota State sees tons of off-the-dribble 3s and has had no luck stopping them.

But with a total as high as 166.5, I can't possibly bet the over. These two teams are just 6-4 to the over in the last 10 meetings.

However, we know this game could be high-variance. Both are 3-point reliant teams that will launch from deep constantly.

In these high-variance scenarios, I find it wise to target the underdog.

BetMGM currently has Oral Roberts listed at +140 on the ML, and it's worth taking a shot on Abmas & Co. at that number.

South Dakota State has to lose eventually, and why not against Oral Roberts — a team that's second in the conference and known for toppling Goliaths.

Abmas and the Golden Eagles should go nuts off-the-dribble and in PnR situations. With enough shooting variance, ORU will hand the undefeated Jackrabbits their first loss.

Pick: Oral Roberts ML (+140)

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