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NIT Finals Betting Preview: Whose Perimeter Attack Can You Trust in Lipscomb-Texas?


USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michael Buckland and Kerwin Roach

#2 Texas vs. #5 Lipscomb NIT Betting Odds

  • Spread: Texas -1.5
  • Over/Under: 143
  • Location: Madison Square Garden
  • Date: Thursday, April 4
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of 8 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Bisons (19-15 against the spread) have covered in each of their four NIT wins. That includes their 71-64 victory over Wichita State in the semifinals on Monday despite facing an 11-point deficit with 8:14 left. On the flip side, the Longhorns (17-19 ATS) have covered in just two of their past four wins.

Which team presents more value in the title game? Let’s break it down.

Bisons’ Perimeter Arsenal

Lipscomb has the 18th-highest assist rate in the country, and its camaraderie was on display during its comeback over Wichita State, generating assists on each of its final six made field goals. Wing Garrison Matthews (21.1 points per game) capped off the Bisons’ comeback with his fifth 3-pointer of the evening, snagging a 67-64 lead with 1:12 left.

The Bisons also boast the 36th-highest 3-point clip in the nation, and it’s led them to the 43rd-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. This offense plays as a team, and can shoot, which is a deadly combination.

Shaka Smart’s unit has let up a below-average 3-point clip despite holding their past two opponents (TCU, Colorado) to a combined 21.3% from behind the arc. The Horned Frogs and Buffaloes are inconsistent from the perimeter, too.

Lipscomb’s 17th-ranked defensive rebounding (24.0%) will make an impact without Longhorns freshman big Jaxson Hayes (knee) in the lineup, allowing it to control the pace. Look for Matthews and Co. to find create open 3-point looks in transition as a result.

Texas’ Offensive Struggles Continue

Shaka Smart’s crew has escalated its defensive prowess, but it’s produced 96.5 points per possession over its past two games after averaging 1.13 PPP in its first two NIT contests.

A chunk of Texas’ issues vs. TCU stemmed from the perimeter, shooting just 5-of-15 from distance. Smart’s offense relies on its 3-point touch, notching the 61st-highest 3-point scoring rate in the country. Longhorns guard Kerwin Roach (15.0 ppg) is a mainstay in that department (35.6%).

Nevertheless, Lipscomb is surrendering the 47th-lowest 3-point clip (31.9%), led by Kenny Cooper and his teammates’ sound on-ball defense. They’re allowing a below-average scoring rate (30.4%) from that vicinity as well.

Look for them to continue to stymie the opposition en route to a tight game down the stretch.

The Pick: Lipscomb +1.5, and I’d bet it up to Lipscomb PK

Sean Koerner’s Texas-Lipscomb Projections

These ratings were built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Texas -3.5
  • Over/Under: 142.5
  • Score: Texas 73 | Lipscomb 69.5
  • Win Probability: Texas 63.3% | Lipscomb 36.7%

Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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