The Oklahoma Sooners enter the 2014 NCAA tournament on a 6-1 against the spread (ATS) run, while the dangerous North Dakota State Bison have won nine games in a row straight up (SU) and four of their last six ATS.
So two teams on a roll meet when the Sooners and the Bison play in West Region action Thursday night in Spokane, Wash. with the Bison looking to cause trouble as the region’s No. 12 seed.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Sooners opened as 2.5-point favorites, while the total was hovering around 151. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report).
Odds Shark computer pick
78-73 North Dakota State
Why pick North Dakota State to cover the spread
The No. 12 Bison are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009 after winning both the Summit League regular-season title and the conference tournament.
North Dakota State lost three of its first five games this season but has won 23 of its last 26, including its last nine in a row. The Bison start three seniors and have almost everyone back from a team that won 24 games last year. They also led the nation in field-goal shooting this season at 51 percent and pose a stiff challenge for fifth-seeded OU.
Why pick Oklahoma to cover the spread
The No. 5 Sooners are in the NCAA tournament as an at-large entrant after going 12-6 to finish second in a Big 12 conference that sent seven teams to the Big Dance. In its third season under coach Lon Kruger, who has now taken five different teams to the tournament, Oklahoma started 11-1 and later picked up a total of eight victories over tournament qualifiers Texas, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
The fifth-seeded Sooners have used the same starting five all season to average 82 points per game, and they finished on a solid 6-1 ATS run.
Smart betting pick
The spread on this game seems a bit short for a No. 5 vs. No. 12 game, but this is the seeding matchup that's provided a lot of upsets in recent tournaments. In actuality, North Dakota State (35) owns some good internals, including an RPI better than Texas (36), Pittsburgh (39), Stanford (41) and many others, according to CBS Sports.
But Oklahoma, with 10 wins over teams that made the tournament this season, should take care of business. Take the Sooners, minus the points, and fade the computer which has predicted the upset here.
Power rankings (via Odds Shark power ranks)
North Dakota State Bison: No. 19
Oklahoma Sooners: No. 33
March Madness betting trends
- Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS in its past seven games overall.
- North Dakota State is 21-3 SU in its past 24 games.
- North Dakota State UNDER is 9-2 in its past 11 games.