Oklahoma State vs. Liberty Betting Odds: Spread, Prediction for 2021 NCAA Tournament

Oklahoma State vs. Liberty Betting Odds: Spread, Prediction for 2021 NCAA Tournament article feature image
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Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

  • Oklahoma State and star Cade Cunningham are a big favorite over Liberty in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
  • Liberty is a trendy underdog so far, getting more than 65% of the bets, according to our public betting data.
  • Can the Flames pull off an upset with their slow pace on offense? Get our early analysis below.

#4 Oklahoma State vs. #13 Liberty Odds

Liberty Odds +7.5
OK State Odds -7.5
Moneyline +380 / -500
Over/Under 142.5
Time Friday, 6:25 p.m. ET
TV TBS
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

Oklahoma State vs. Liberty Instant Analysis

The Cowboys will be one of most popular non-No. 1 seeds picked to make the Final Four, largely due to the incredible play of superb freshman Cade Cunningham (20.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 41.3% 3P).

But the Cowboys should be very careful against the dangerous Liberty Flames, the Atlantic Sun representative in the tournament. The Flames are coached by Tony Bennett-disciple Ritchie McKay, and they rank 10th in the country in 3-point shooting (38.8%). Liberty earned the automatic bid in 2018, and the 13-seeded Flames promptly knocked off No. 4 Mississippi State.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Boynton is guiding one of the hottest teams in the country, and he’ll have the best player on the floor in any matchup. But with junior Darius McGhee (15.6 PPG, 41.3% 3P) leading the deliberate and slow-paced Flames, this is one of the most compelling matchups of the opening round. Mike Randle

How Oklahoma St. & Liberty Match Up

Oklahoma St.
vs.
Liberty
43
Tempo
348
77
eFG%
4
298
TO%
19
58
OR%
298
61
FTR
314
49
DeFG%
79
141
DTO%
267
260
DR%
14
154
DFTR
130
All stats via KenPom.

What To Know About Oklahoma St.

Oklahoma State is led by potential No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, who is averaging almost 20 points per game this season while shooting 45% from the field. The Cowboys, though, are more than just their freshman sensation. They went into Morgantown earlier this month and took down then-No. 6 West Virginia without him and Isaac Likeleke and they beat the Mountaineers again in the Big 12 Tournament with them both back. Oklahoma State ranks 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and plays at the 47th-fastest pace in the country.

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Star power plus good defense and an up-tempo game? Sounds ideal for anyone looking for a potential deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The half-court offense can get stagant at times, but the development of Avery Anderson has helped alleviate some of those pains. Turnovers on offense seem to be the primary point of paint, but there’s no denying the excellence of the defense, which head coach Mike Boynton switches up frequently with many different looks (some zone, press, etc.) Oh, and the Cowboys entered their Big 12 final against Texas at 17-9-1 against the spread this season. — Matt Trebby

What To Know About Liberty

Liberty is known for its packed-in defense, so the Flames are very vulnerable against teams that can shred from deep in addition to dominant big men inside as they are very undersized.

They play at a snail’s pace offensively but run great offense (overall 100th-percentile in terms of points per possession, per Synergy). They fire up a high-rate of 3-pointers, which they can also hit at a high rate. If they miss, they are generally one-and-done, as they don’t crash the offensive glass and get back into their compact defense. — Stuckey

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