Indiana vs Kent State Odds, Predictions, Picks: How to Bet Friday’s Game
Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Kent State’s Sincere Carry.
Indiana vs Kent State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Kent State Odds|
-110o / -110u
We have an incredible Midwest Regional battle between the 13-seed Kent State Golden Flashes and the 4-seed Indiana Hoosiers.
The Golden Flashes have been scorching hot after a terrific run in the MAC Tournament and seem to be a trendy pick to pull off this upset.
The Hoosiers will be looking to bounce back after dropping a tough game to Penn State in the Big Ten semifinals.
Both of these teams bring some physicality to the table, so let’s waste no further time and break down this matchup.
I’ve been a big fan of this Hoosiers team all season, and I would be even higher on them if Xavier Johnson didn’t go down with a season-ending injury.
Unfortunately for Indiana, it didn’t get the best first-round matchup, so a lot of folks believe it’s extremely vulnerable in this spot.
Not so fast my friends.
First off, I think the Hoosiers will be able to have more offensive success than people presume, especially considering the height advantage they have over the Golden Flashes.
Kent’s defensive efficiency numbers are impressive (40th), but it hasn’t had to face a player like Trayce Jackson-Davis. I think the Hoosiers will be feasting all day inside, and I believe they’ll be able to earn second chances on offense, which is where the Kent defense tends to struggle.
I think the talent gap here will help uplift the Hoosiers in this matchup, but I do think they’ll need to knock down a couple of 3s against this tough perimeter defense.
Jalen Hood-Schifino, who has shown flashes of being an NBA star, definitely will need to carry the load if TJD has an off-night inside.
Before the bracket came out, I was intrigued by this Kent State team. I circled it ahead of time, saying I would be happy to take the points in whichever matchup it drew.
However, this is a very tough matchup against an Indiana team that is more than capable of making a deep run.
Guard Sincere Carry has all of the makings of a March darling, and he leads the terrific backcourt tandem alongside Malique Jacobs. Both of these guys are more than capable outshining the Hoosiers’ backcourt, and you would expect them to be firing up shots early and often.
My issue here with this particular matchup is the size disparity between both of these teams. Kent State is one of the smallest teams in the country (345th in height) and it’s not a deep team (245th in bench minutes).
The Golden Flashes also don’t shoot the greatest from behind the arc, so in a game where they will be outsized significantly, they will need to hit some 3s consistently throughout the game.
Despite these issues, I’m impressed with the makeup of this Kent State team, and I think the MAC is being overlooked because it’s a mid-major league. The Flashes should be able to hang in here, but I’m starting to wonder if it’ll be enough when fatigue kicks in.
Indiana vs Kent State Betting Pick
This is such a tough game to pick a side, so I am going to take the under in this spot. Both teams are extremely physical, and I think the Golden Flashes’ perimeter defense should contain the Hoosiers enough from the outside. This will then become more of a low-scoring affair.
Combine that with the factors of Kent State having a thin bench — as well as struggling to shoot from the outside — and I can’t think of a scenario where this becomes a shootout.
I definitely think TJD will be able to feast inside, which is scaring me away from taking the points with the Golden Flashes.
Give me the under in this spot, as I think both defenses can have some success in what could turn into a rock fight.
Pick: Under 140.5 (Play to 139)
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