BANKER (North Dakota St. vs. South Dakota St.)
South Dakota State has been one of my favorite teams to bet on over the past few years. They are typically one of the best mid major teams in the country and it is largely due to their highly proficient offense. They are currently ranked NUMBER 1 in the country in offensive effective field goal percentage, Number 1 3-point percentage, 8th in 2-point percentage, 11th in adjusted offensive efficiency, and 29th in lowest offensive turnover percentage. They ran the table in the summit league and come into this game with a 20-0 record in conference play and even more impressively, only 5 of those games were within single digits. They are a juggernaut in the Summit league, and I think they’ll have another distinct advantage tonight. North Dakota St is a solid team with height and athleticism at every position, but NDSU struggles to force turnovers on defense.
They are currently 2nd to last (357th) in the country in defensive turnover percentage which I think will be a problem for them tonight. If you can’t force South Dakota State into making turnovers, then it will be very difficult for NDSU to stay in this game. Overall, NDSU is 144th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency so they are a middle of the pack team, but South Dakota St was still able to score 90 and 80 points in their first 2 meetings against the Bison this season. North Dakota St has probably played South Dakota St tougher than any summit league team this season and they come into this game off an impressive double digit win over Oral Roberts, but I just don’t think North Dakota St has the firepower to keep up. They are ranked 173rd in adjusted offensive efficiency, 125th in 2-point percentage, and 103rd in effective field goal percentage. NDSU is solid, but I really like this number for South Dakota State and think they will get off to a fast start here tonight. Score Prediction: 42-34 South Dakota State 1H
Cal Baptist is a team out of the Western Athletic Conference who is an intriguing team. At times they look unstoppable on offense and at other times they can barely crack 25 points in a half so at times, they are very inconsistent. In this matchup, they face UTRGV who is dreadful defensively. UT-RGV is currently ranked 330th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 246th in defensive effective field goal percentage, 346th in defensive rebounding percentage, and 314th in defensive 2-point percentage so defense is not their forte. UTRGV has really struggled in conference play as their only wins since early December have come against Lamar (0 Division 1 wins) and Chicago St (Proverbial bottom feeder). Cal Baptist has a ton of talent with Taren Armstrong running the point, who at one time this season was leading the country in assists. I anticipate this being a high scoring game and think Cal Baptist is a great parlay piece tonight. Score Prediction: 84-74 Cal Baptist
Gonzaga has been one of the best teams in the country this season and tonight they get a chance for revenge. In one of their worst performances of the season, they lost the last time they faced St Mary’s as nearly 11-point favorites in a game where Gonzaga never had a lead in the entire game. This is also the WCC championship game so I have to think there will be even more added motivation from the Zags here. St Mary’s is a team who plays at a snail’s pace but runs efficient offense and can knock down 3’s in bunches. I think Gonzaga will play much better defensively this time around and think they will get off to a much better start here tonight, so I think Gonzaga 1H ML is another solid parlay piece. Score Prediction: 38-30 1H Gonzaga