Creighton vs. San Diego State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Turnovers to Decide NCAA Tournament First-Round Game
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Chad Baker-Mazara (San Diego State)
- Creighton vs. San Diego State is a true coin-flip matchup between 8- and 9-seeds.
- Find out how our college basketball analysts are betting this NCAA Tournament first-round clash.
- They detail their picks and predictions based on Creighton vs. SDSU odds below.
Creighton vs. San Diego State Odds
-110o / -110u
|San Diego State Odds|
-110o / -110u
By Doug Ziefel
Everybody get your slingshots ready, as this matchup has all the makings of a rock fight. The darlings of the Big East, the Creighton Bluejays, are set to face the Mountain West runner-up, San Diego State Aztecs.
Now eight- vs. nine-seed matchups are usually the truest coin flips you will see in the NCAA Tournament. However, multiple factors in this matchup have swayed oddsmakers in one direction.
The biggest one has to be just how much Creighton’s momentum matters here. The Bluejays went on an improbable run, but were ultimately defeated in the Big East Championship by Villanova.
They seemed to have figured some things out on both ends, but the loss of Ryan Nembhard may loom large against the second-best defense in the country.
Creighton came into the season with fairly low expectations. Most of the Bluejays’ production left after last season, leaving a rotation packed with freshmen and new or elevating faces.
The freshman class has delivered, and then some. Arthur Kaluma looks like a name that will be on the minds of NBA scouts some day. Trey Alexander has been solid in his first year on campus, and Rati Andronikashvili has proven a useful rotation player.
The Bluejays will enter the tournament, however, without Big East Freshman of the Year Nembhard. The Creighton point guard will be sidelined with a wrist injury, leaving an already young and turnover-prone team even worse off.
The Bluejays managed without Nembhard at the Big East Tournament, in part due to key plays from sophomore big man Ryan Kalkbrenner. He has emerged as a scorer in the post and a rim protector in the paint.
Little hint: no matter what happens to Creighton this week, be sure to have them on your list for 2023 Final Four futures.
San Diego State’s defense has been highly discussed as one of the best groups in the nation. The Aztecs rank second in the country in both defensive efficiency and scoring defense, allowing 58 points per game.
The Aztecs’ stifling defense allows opponents to hit just 30% from deep (33rd) and 43% on shot attempts inside the perimeter (sixth).
But the offense is solely reliant on senior guard Matt Bradley. The 6-foot-4 guard is the only player who averages in double-figures, putting up 17 points per game while hitting 42% from deep.
At times, the San Diego State offense becomes stagnant, with everyone standing around waiting for Bradley to make a play. The lack of offensive depth is what doomed the Aztecs in most of their losses this season, including the Mountain West Tournament title.
San Diego State finished 23-8 on the year, with the offense averaging just 52 points in those eight losses.
The defense is one of the best, but unless someone else steps up to assist Bradley in the tournament, the Aztecs’ run may be short-lived.
Creighton vs. San Diego State Betting Pick
By Doug Ziefel
This is a tall task for a Creighton team that played well above its norm in the Big East Tournament. Aside from shooting regression, the Bluejays are also one of the more turnover-prone teams in the nation.
You cannot give the ball away like that against the Aztecs, as providing Bradley extra opportunities is a bad idea for Creighton.
The Aztecs will be the better team on both ends, and they will cover the number while advancing to the next round.