If you’re like most of the college basketball community and have been lost without college basketball on TV the past few days, you’re in luck because the NIT gets started on Wednesday, March 17th. The entire tournament is taking place in the Dallas area, and it will start with the Richmond Spiders taking on the Toledo Rockets at 7 p.m. ET followed by the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Saint Mary’s Gaels at 9 p.m. ET. Both will air on ESPN2.
If you’re looking to be on this game, which you probably are since you clicked on this article, here’s a look at where the public betting action has gone so far as we get closer to game time. All odds and info are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Richmond vs. Toledo
Toledo will enter this game as three-point favorites, and that is where a ton of the bets re going. Of all point spread wagers on this game, 86% of the bets are on the rockets with 78% of the handle.
Is the public right? Yes, Toledo should cover this spread as slight favorites. The Rockets are skilled on the offensive end of the floor, and Richmond’s top two scorers - Blake Francis and Grant Golden - could be out with injuries.
The over/under is set at 152.5 and while 55% of bets are going with the under, 78% of the handle is in on the over.
Is the public right? The majority of bets are right, but the money is going in the wrong direction because this game is going under. Even though both teams typically have more possessions than average, 152.5 is too high of a number.
Toledo is getting -150 odds to win this game outright with Richmond at +123. The Rockets are getting 52% of the bets, and that’s where 64% of the money is going.
Is the public right? Yes, Toledo will win this game. Even just the possibility of Richmond’s two leading scorers being out, it’s worth the price to take the Rockets.
Western Kentucky vs. Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s will enter the second game of the night as two-point favorites, but the public money is riding the underdog. The bets are split 50/50 on each side, but 86% of the money is on Western Kentucky.
Is the public right? Yes, Western Kentucky is going to cover this number based on how much Saint Mary’s can struggle to score.
Oddsmakers set the total at 125.5, and those betting on this game are going after the over hard. Eighty-nine percent of bets are on the over, and that’s where nearly 100% of the money has gone.
Is the public right? No, this game is going under despite the low number. Saint Mary’s unders have been a consistent money maker this season, and there’s no reason it should stop now.
Saint Mary’s is getting -136 odds to win this game as the favorite, while Western Kentucky is at +112 to win outright as the underdog, and that’s where bettors are going. The Hilltoppers have gotten 72% of moneyline bets with 75% of the handle.
Is the public right? Yes, Western Kentucky is going to win this game outright despite checking in as the underdog. The Hilltoppers are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country, and that will be crucial down the stretch as the pull off the win.
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