NC Central-North Dakota State Betting Guide: Will Bison Offense Take Over?

NC Central-North Dakota State Betting Guide: Will Bison Offense Take Over? article feature image

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Vinnie Shahid

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds: NC Central-North Dakota State

  • Spread: North Dakota State +5
  • Over/Under: 133.5
  • Time: Wednesday, 6:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: truTV
  • Location: Dayton, Ohio

>> All odds as of Tuesday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

North Carolina Central (18-11-1 against the spread) won the MEAC Conference Tournament as a No. 3 seed, capturing the semifinal and championship game by a total of five points against the top two seeds. The Eagles have been playing exceptionally well since Feb. 9, losing just once in regulation with a 8-1-1 ATS record in their past 10 games.

North Dakota State (15-16 ATS) entered the Summit League Tournament losing three of four, but the Bison found life against a terrible Oral Roberts team in the opener, disposed of the worst seed in the tournament Western Illinois, and benefitted from Omaha’s subpar shooting in the finals. NDSU does not play much defense — it relied on precision shooting to get through the Summit.

It is worth noting NC Central will make their third consecutive appearance in Dayton. The Eagles lost in the First Four the past two seasons by a combined 22 points. NC Central has made four postseason appearances (three NCAA Tournament and one NIT) in the past five years and lost the opening round in all instances.

Mismatches When NC Central Has the Ball

This game will be a clash of the NC Central defense vs. the North Dakota State offense. The other side of the court is certainly the weakness of each team. NC Central does not handle the ball well, ranking 343rd in the country in turnovers, but North Dakota State may not be able to take it away with an opponent turnover ranking of 347th.

Where the Eagles thrive is on the glass. NC Central is an excellent offensive rebounding team, ranking 22nd nationally. North Dakota State will have issues protecting their offensive glass, with a ranking of 345th in the country.

There is also an experience factor playing on the side of the Eagles. NC Central players have the 18th in the country, per KenPom. Conversely, the Bison are one of the youngest rosters ranking 277th in the country in experience.

Mismatches when North Dakota State Has the Ball

The Bison have no interest in playing defense whatsoever. A defensive adjusted efficiency ranking of 278th is made up a bunch of categories that rank outside the top 300. Those inefficient metrics include opponent effective field goal percentage, turnovers, and steals.

The total deserves attention in this game, as both teams have an adjusted tempo ranking of 292nd and 312th. If North Dakota State is not shooting well, this is an under game.

The Bison are a decent offensive team, ranking 52nd in effective field goal percentage, and NC Central is terrible in opponent 2-point percentage, blocks and steals. North Dakota State should have plenty of open shots in this game.

The Pick

An experienced NC Central team will dominate on the glass, but have problems with shots going down for and against it. North Dakota State is not only an excellent field goal shooting team, they are one of the best in the country in free throws.

While I like NC Central to stay close because of their work on the boards, its the North Dakota State shooting that will get the victory. This is more of a “number” game for me, and I’ll be trying to get the best of it either way.

THE PICK: NC Central +5 or better, North Dakota State -4 or better

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