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Northern Colorado vs. Montana State Odds & Picks: Previewing the Big Sky Championship Game

Northern Colorado vs. Montana State Odds & Picks: Previewing the Big Sky Championship Game article feature image
Credit:

Tommy Martino/University of Montana via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Xavier Bishop (1) and RaeQuan Battle (21) of the Montana State Bobcats.

  • Northern Colorado and Montana State square off in the Big Sky Tournament title game.
  • Has Montana State really improved over the last two weeks?
  • Here's the bet you need to make for this game.

Northern Colorado vs. Montana State Odds

Saturday, March 12
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Northern Colorado Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+4.5
-110
144.5
-110o / -110u
+162
Montana State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-4.5
-110
144.5
-110o / -110u
-196
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

There is no shortage of confidence permeating from either Montana State or Northern Colorado. Both teams mounted seismic comebacks on Friday night to advance to the Big Sky Championship game in  dramatic fashion.

For Northern Colorado, Daylen Kountz wore the cape. Kountz racked up a career-high 36 points on a hyper-efficient 11-for-17 shooting to propel Northern Colorado past Portland State.

For Montana State, it was “The RaeQuan Battle Show.” Battle helped weather a tenuous scoring drought with 11 clutch free throws in the second half.

Fittingly, it was Battle’s late-game heroics that propelled Montana State to victory over Northern Colorado in the regular season finale. His buzzer-beater secured Montana State’s first regular season conference championship in 20 years. Still, there’s work to be done.

Unfinished Business for Montana State

As Montana State head coach Danny Sprinkle alluded to in his postgame comments last night, the Bobcats still have a sour taste left in their mouth from last year’s Big Sky Championship game defeat. The Bobcats simply couldn’t keep pace with Eastern Washington’s prolific offense.

The “been there; done that” angle is relevant for this handicap, but the bigger edge in the Bobcats’ corner is depth.

One such microcosm is the recent emergence of Great Osobor.


The Emergence of Great Osobor

First-Team All-Big Sky workhorse Jubrile Belo is currently laboring through a knee injury, thereby paving the way for Osobor’s breakout.

Osobor has posted three straight games in double-figures and has enabled head coach Danny Sprinkle to tightly manage Belo’s workload.

However, Osobor will not be flying under the radar tonight. He torched the Bears with 19 points in 27 minutes during the regular-season finale — an admirable performance in Belo’s stead.

Tonight, the Bobcats will bring both interior beasts to bear.

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Dubious Point Spread: Where’s the Adjustment?

Montana State’s sheer strength and physicality will take its toll over the course of the game. However, the current full-game price of Montana State -4 simply doesn’t make sense.

When these two teams squared off in the last week of February, the line closed at Montana State -4.5. Battle’s buzzer-beater may have secured the Bobcats’ outright victory, but Northern Colorado still covered +4.5.

Thus, it is curious that oddsmakers are effectively setting the same price in this rubber match.

In theory, the number should be roughly 2 to 4 points lower, depending upon how highly you weight home-court advantage. At minimum, the line can’t be the same on a neutral floor as it was on Montana State’s home floor.


Northern Colorado vs. Montana State Betting Pick

Has Montana State categorically improved in the last two weeks?

The evidence suggests no. Sure, the Bobcats have taken care of business in the opening rounds of the Big Sky Tournament, but both victories were far from perfect.

Neither Montana State nor Northern Colorado has a notable injury, either. If anything, Montana State is the more banged-up team, despite boasting the superior bench.

Simply put, the handicapping train of logic is screaming, “Northern Colorado.”

Due to the Bears’ depth concerns, I’m targeting a first-half wager specifically. This removes game fatigue as a factor in the equation — which would surely swing in Montana State’s favor.

Pick: Northern Colorado 1H +2

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