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St. Bonaventure vs. Oklahoma NIT Odds & Picks: Why to Back the Bonnies in This Second-Round Clash

St. Bonaventure vs. Oklahoma NIT Odds & Picks: Why to Back the Bonnies in This Second-Round Clash article feature image
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Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Adaway (St. Bonaventure)

  • St. Bonaventure squares off vs. Oklahoma in the second round of the NIT.
  • The Bonnies were the favorite in the Atlantic 10 before the season while the Sooners just missed out on the NCAA Tournament.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

St. Bonaventure vs. Oklahoma Odds

Sunday, March 20
8 p.m. ET
ESPNU
St. Bonaventure Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+6.5
-110
136.5
-114o / -106u
+240
Oklahoma Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-6.5
-110
136.5
-114o / u106u
-300
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After both programs were left on the outside of the NCAA bubble, St. Bonaventure will meet Oklahoma in the second round of the NIT.

KenPom has Oklahoma slated as the 24th-best team in the country from an efficiency standpoint. The Sooners are the highest-ranked team to be left out of the NCAA Tournament. That snub didn’t affect the program much in its first-round NIT matchup, beating Missouri State, 89-72.

The Sooners now match up against the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic 10 in St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies caught fire down the stretch of the regular season, winning eight of their last nine games. But a loss to Saint Louis in the first round of the A-10 Tournament doomed their NCAA Tournament hopes.

This matchup should be a tight one down the stretch, as these two programs want to end their seasons on a high note for different reasons.

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St. Bonaventure Bonnies

It’s well documented how reliant the Bonnies are on their starting lineup. Mark Schmidt’s team ranks dead last in bench minutes, according to KenPom.

With that, his starting lineup all averages in double figures. Jalen Adaway is the leading scorer, averaging 16 points per game while shooting 40% from deep.

But the most important player on the roster is 6-foot-11 big man Osun Osunniyi. Osunniyi is the rim protector who has blocked nearly three shots per game while snatching eight rebounds.

The Bonnies’ defense stepped up in their win over Colorado in the first round. They held the Buffaloes to just 43% shooting from the field and 28% on their 25 3-point attempts.

Offensively, all five starters scored between a dozen and 17 points in that matchup. With five legitimate scoring threats on the floor, the Bonnies are a dangerous program in tournament settings.

The offense does most of its damage inside the perimeter, scoring 59% of its points from 2-point territory.

This matchup sets up nice for the Bonnies, as Oklahoma has struggled at defending inside the perimeter, ranking outside the top 200 in 2-point defense.

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Oklahoma Sooners

Though Oklahoma has a 19-15 record, the metrics community really loves this program. The Sooners own a top-50 offensive and defensive efficiency ranking, according to KenPom.

But the group went on a horrid 2-11 stretch in January and February that ultimately doomed it.

The Sooners ended the season on a four-game win streak, highlighted by beating Baylor in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.

The offense has been one of the streakiest shooting teams in the country. Umoja Gibson and big man Tanner Groves shot 38% from deep this season. However, the rest of the roster combined to hit just 31% from deep.

Gibson started out the NIT hot, hitting 5-of-10 from 3 in Oklahoma’s first-round matchup. The offense will be reliant on him to keep up that production in this matchup.

Oklahoma struggles at all aspects on the interior. It rarely snags offensive rebounds or gets to the free-throw line. Defensively, it doesn’t block many shots and ranks 245th in the nation in defending 2-point field goals. Groves will be tasked with slowing down Osunniyi down low.


St. Bonaventure vs. Oklahoma Betting Pick

St. Bonaventure has the eighth-most experienced roster in the country. The starting lineup that has played together the past few years rarely ever comes off the court. The Bonnies will want to send their seniors off with a tournament championship, even though it’s not the tournament it may have hoped for.

Oklahoma wants to win the NIT for some positive momentum heading into next season. But it will need to put an extra emphasis on each possession. The Sooners turn the ball over at the 345th-rate in the country and rarely find extended possessions on the offensive glass.

St. Bonaventure plays with much cohesion and rarely turns the ball over. Osunniyi will be able to have his way down low in the paint against an Oklahoma defense that has struggled at defending on the interior.

I will be playing it safe by taking the points with the Bonnies, though they are a live dog in this matchup that will likely come down to the wire.

Pick: St. Bonaventure +7 (Play to +5)

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