Boise State vs Northwestern
Boise State +105 over Northwestern

Posted at 12:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.

Pinnacle +105  BET365  +105 Sportsinteraction +105 888Sport +105

Golden 1 Center - Sacramento, CA - West Region - 1st Round

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Boise State +105 over Northwestern

Thursday - 7:35 PM EST. A couple of things to note here. First, Northwestern is a Big-10 team, thus right off the bat, the market is going to prefer a team that plays Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Penn St, Maryland and Illinois among others to a team that plays Wyoming, Fresno St, San Jose St, UNLV, Colorado St and Utah St for example. The proof is in the pudding too. The line initially opened with the Broncos as a slight favorite, but it quickly moved toward the Wildcats on Sunday night, and the line has held as of this writing, with Northwestern as a 1½-point favorite. The inefficient market has spoken.

Northwestern, a 7 seed, was a great story this campaign, finishing second in the Big Ten during the regular season and getting to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history. But it was a bit of a mundane Big Ten this year, with just one team in the KenPom top 20. This matchup is a metrics-versus-market clash.

Boise State ranks in front of Northwestern in Efficiency Ratings (30th vs. 38th), BartTorvik (30th vs. 35th) and KenPom (30th vs. 35th). As such, When situations like this arise in any sport -- where the metrics say one thing but line movement points the other way, we’re usually siding with the house. The Broncos non-conference Strength of Schedule (SOS) ranked 129th out of 363 teams while the Wildcats SOS ranked 291st. That’s a difference of 162 positions yet Boise State still had the better overall record.

Purely from their team-based statistical profile, Boise State checks some boxes -- the most notable of which is that the Broncos boast a top-shelf defense, ranking 14th by KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency. Defense has been the driving force for Boise State en route to a 23-9 season. Things could've been even better for them, as they lost two overtime games as well as a pair of other games by two points apiece. Make no mistake that the Broncos are underseeded while NW is overseeded. That’s a bet.


Our Pick

Boise State +105 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.10)