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Betting Preview to Maui Invitational: Bracket, Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

Betting Preview to Maui Invitational: Bracket, Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions article feature image
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Photo by David Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Bradley (San Diego State)

One of the most historic and star-studded MTE’s of the year — the Maui Invitational — begins Monday.

This year’s eight-team field features six squads that made the NCAA tournament last year and five teams ranked inside the top 25.

Arizona makes its eighth appearance in Maui and is the only team in the field to have ever won the tournament, having done so in 2000 and 2014. The Wildcats are 14-8 all-time in the tournament.

Louisville will make its fourth appearance in the Maui Invitational, but this is its first trip since 2004.

Arkansas is participating for the fourth time, though this is its first appearance since 2013.

San Diego State is coming off back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament and this will be its fifth appearance in Maui (first since 2018).

Ohio State has appeared in the tournament three times before (first since 2003), and Cincinnati has just one prior appearance (2009).

Both Creighton and Texas Tech will be participating for the first time.


2022 Maui Invitational Bracket


2022 Maui Invitational Futures Odds

Team
Odds (Via FanDuel)
Arkansas +250
Arizona +300
San Diego State +430
Creighton +450
Texas Tech +550
Ohio State +950
Cincinnati +3500
Louisville +9500


Texas Tech vs. Creighton

Monday, Nov. 21
2:30 p.m. ET
ESPN2

Texas Tech Red Raiders

KenPom Ranking 25
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 1-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 0-3

The Red Raiders will be without Fardaws Aimaq, who is out with a foot injury. But even without him, this is still a very solid Texas Tech team.

Kevin Obanor and Daniel Batcho could be one of the best frontcourts in this tournament.

De’Vion Harmon is talented and experienced.

Additionally, Kerwin Walton is a threat from beyond the arc who can’t be overlooked.

Creighton Bluejays

KenPom Ranking 23
Straight Up Record ’22-23 4-0
ATS Record ’22-23 2-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 2-2

Creighton returned a solid core from a year ago and seems to have picked up right where it left off.

The Bluejays did make one major addition to the team, though. That addition is Baylor Scheierman, who was a dominant scorer a season ago at South Dakota State.

Texas Tech vs. Creighton Prediction

Both teams excel on defense and have limited teams to less than 60 points per game.

However, Creighton has been considerably better on the offensive end. The Bluejays are posting an effective FG% of 57.7% and have made a point to take as many shots as they can.

I think their continuity as a team — along with the Red Raiders being without Aimaq — will be enough to push the Bluejays past Texas Tech in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

Back the Bluejays as high as five-point favorites.


Louisville vs. Arkansas

Monday, Nov. 21
5 p.m. ET
ESPN2

Louisville Cardinals

KenPom Ranking 123
Straight Up Record ’22-23 0-3
ATS Record ’22-23 0-3
Over/Under Record ’22-23 1-2

Louisville heads to Maui hoping to turn its season around. The Cardinals are 0-3 to start the campaign and have more losses than the rest of the Maui Invitational field has combined.

The Cardinals haven’t been awful on offense — they’re posting an effective field goal percentage of 51.9% and have been good when it comes to a balanced attacked that doesn’t rely heavily on 3s.

But they’re one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to turnovers. The Cardinals are 339th in turnover percentage, giving the ball up on 24.5% of possessions.

Defensively, the Cardinals just aren’t doing enough to slow anyone down and are allowing teams to post an effective field goal percentage of 49.4%.

Arkansas Razorbacks

KenPom Ranking 14
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 1-1-1
Over/Under Record ’22-23 0-3

Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh have been great for the Razorbacks, a team still learning how to operate with so many new faces.

Davonte Davis is the only returning player from last year’s rotation, and he’s stepped up in a big way from a season ago.

One of the Razorbacks’ most highly-anticipated additions this season — Nick Smith Jr. — has yet to take the floor, though he’s listed as day-to-day.

Louisville vs. Arkansas Prediction

I don’t see Louisville turning its season around against Arkansas, or any of the other six teams in this tournament for that matter. The Cardinals have struggled with inferior competition, and I think it may get worse before it gets better.

If Smith becomes available for the Razorbacks, this team greatly improves and would become an even bigger favorite to return from Hawaii with some hardware.

I think Arkansas handles this Louisville team with ease. I’d feel comfortable backing the Razorbacks as high as a 16-point favorite.

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Ohio State vs. San Diego State

Monday, Nov. 21
9 p.m. ET
ESPN2

Ohio State Buckeyes

KenPom Ranking 28
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 1-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 1-2

Ohio State had a lot of big-name players to replace in the offseason with the departures of E.J. Liddell, Malaki Branham and others.

But the incoming transfer trio of Tanner Holden, Sean McNeil and Isaac Likekele has done a great job filling out the Buckeyes’ rotation.

Zed Key continues to get better each year. Through three games this season, he’s averaging 13.3 points per game while hitting 76% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc.

San Diego State Aztecs

KenPom Ranking 16
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 1-1-1
Over/Under Record ’22-23 2-1

Defense, defense, defense. The San Diego State Aztecs may be one of the most lockdown defensive units I’ve ever watched in college basketball, and that defense gives them a chance against any team in the country.

The Aztecs also benefit considerably from returning four of five starters from a season ago.

While the team continuity is great and gives the Aztecs a massive advantage against opponents like Ohio State that don’t have as much experience on the roster, the transfer portal addition of Darrion Trammell is just as important.

Trammell was one of the best players in the country and a breakout star at Seattle last season. His electric offense is the perfect compliment to a San Diego State defense that is already performing among the top ranks.

Ohio State vs. San Diego State Prediction

Ohio State’s youth and lack of experience will get the better of the Buckeyes against the Aztecs, but I think this game will help them improve down the road and make them a better team later in the season.

But for now, I just don’t see Ohio State hanging with this Aztecs team.

Back SDSU as high as a five-point favorite in this matchup. Also, look to grab the under at any number 135 or higher.


Cincinnati vs. Arizona

Monday, Nov. 21
11 p.m. ET
ESPN2

Cincinnati Bearcats

KenPom Ranking 62
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-1
ATS Record ’22-23 1-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 1-2

The Bearcats are a team I’m very unsure of so far this season. They boast a veteran backcourt highlighted by David DeJulius and Rob Phinisee, both of which are fifth-year players.

However, the Bearcats have struggled early in the season against inferior opponents, and even lost outright to Northern Kentucky.

Landers Nolley II, the promising transfer from Memphis, is playing up to expectations. Through four games, he’s averaged 14 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting better than 80% from the field.

If Cincinnati is going to make a splash in Maui, expect Nolley to be leading the charge.

Arizona Wildcats

KenPom Ranking 12
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 1-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 3-0

The Wildcats are posting some of the best numbers of any team in the country, as they rank fifth in offensive efficiency, first in effective field goal percentage and top-five in both 3-point and 2-point shooting.

The only problem is they’ve put these numbers up against three teams ranked outside the KenPom top 225.

Arizona also has serious problems when it comes to turnovers. The Wildcats rank 340th in the country in that area and are giving the ball up on 24.5% of possessions.

Cincinnati isn’t particularly known for creating turnovers, but it’s something that could seriously even the playing field against the Wildcats.

Cincinnati vs. Arizona Prediction

Cincinnati isn’t known as a team that pushes the pace, but I don’t see it being able to slow down an Arizona team that leads the nation in Adjusted Tempo.

Expect a high-scoring affair, regardless of whether the Bearcats manage to keep up.

I would take the over at any number 158 or lower, as every Wildcats game this season has resulted in 160 or more points.

I would also feel comfortable backing the Wildcats as high as a 10-point favorite in this matchup.


2022 Maui Invitational Futures Picks

When it comes to Maui Invitational futures, I think San Diego State is worth a small wager given the unique challenge the Aztecs’ defense presents.

For other future plays on the Maui Invitational and other Feast Week tournaments, check out my piece with Michael Calabrese, as we discussed a favorite and longshot we each like in three different tournaments.

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