2024 NCAA Tournament First Round Betting Preview: Odds, Picks & Predictions for No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 8 Nebraska

2024 NCAA Tournament First Round Betting Preview: Odds, Picks & Predictions for No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 8 Nebraska article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Wade Taylor IV of the Texas A&M Aggies men’s basketball team.

2024 NCAA Tournament · First Round

College Basketball Odds

No. 9 Texas A&M vs No. 8 Nebraska

Friday, March 22
6:50 p.m. ET
Texas A&M Odds
-110 / -110
Nebraska Odds
-110 / -110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

After advancing to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, Nebraska enters the NCAA Tournament at 23-10. The Huskers are dancing for the first time since 2014 and for just the eighth time in school history.

They earned an 8-seed — their highest since 1994 — in the South Region and will take on the ninth-seeded Texas A&M Aggies.

Texas A&M might've played its way up to a nine seed with its performance in the SEC Tournament. It went 2-1 and probably should've advanced to the championship game after relinquishing an 18-point lead to Florida in the semifinals.

Still, the Aggies enter the field with a lot of momentum and will be a tough out.

Both teams are entering the tournament on a high note offensively.

Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M is 5-1 thus far in the month of March, and its offense has led the way. It's averaging 83 points per game this month, and it's scored 80 points or more in each of its past four games. Leading the way, all season and of late, are guards Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece Radford.

Taylor will enter the NCAA Tournament coming off consecutive 30-point games against Kentucky and Florida. For the season, he's averaging 18.9 points, four assists and 1.9 steals per game. He leads the team in all categories, as well as minutes played and 3-pointers.

Radford is more of the slasher of the two. He's averaging 16 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. In March, he's increased his scoring to 18.6 points per game.

The Aggies are 31st in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency entering the NCAA Tournament. They're not the most impressive team in terms of shooting, but they collect 42% of their misses.

The Aggies lead the country in offensive rebounding percentage. Forwards Andersson Garcia and Henry Coleman III combine for nearly seven offensive rebounds per game.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

While Texas A&M will look to attack Nebraska in the paint, expect a barrage of 3s from the Huskers. Nebraska ranks in the top 30 in Division I in both made 3s (9.5) and 3-point attempts (26.4) per game.

Nebraska has four rotation players shooting 36% or better from beyond the arc and four players that have made 40 or more 3s this season.

Of that group, senior Keisei Tominaga has the potential to become a tournament star should the Huskers advance. Tominaga leads the team at 14.9 points per game and 71 made 3s on the year. He will come into the tournament averaging 22.2 points and 12 made 3s over his past four games.

Nebraska gets 36.6% of its points from 3s, but it's effective inside the arc as well. The Huskers are converting nearly 53% of their 2-point attempts and rank 62nd in the country in effective field goal percentage.

While Nebraska is proficient shooting the ball, it only collects 27.8% of its misses. Those struggles on the glass also extend to the defensive end.

Nebraska ranks 218th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage and 223rd in defensive rebounding percentage. This has led to opponents attempting 3.3 more field goals per game. With that in mind, Texas A&M figures to control the glass in this matchup.

Texas A&M vs. Nebraska

Betting Pick & Prediction

The over has hit in each of Texas A&M's last five games. The last two games had totals of 153 and 160, well above this line.

Meanwhile, Nebraska's last three games have gone over, as well as four of its past five games. The last three games have all sailed over 150 points.

Both teams will enter this matchup with a six-day layoff and may deal with nerves early. However, the over has been a profitable bet for both teams this season. The over is 21-13 in Texas A&M games and 22-11 in Nebraska games, which means combined 64% of the two teams' games have gone over.

In addition to Nebraska's perimeter-oriented offense, it's also 45th in shortest average possession length offensively. That pace will add a few possessions in this game.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M will give itself multiple chances to score on several possessions with its offensive rebounding.

These contrasting styles should lead to at least 147 points on the scoreboard Friday evening.

Betting Pick: Over 146.5 · Play to 149.5

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC