Two teams with something to prove will meet in the first game of the NIT semifinals in New York City on Tuesday, as the SMU Mustangs bring their season-long 19-12 against-the-spread mark to Madison Square Garden to face the Clemson Tigers.
The Mustangs have also covered 10 of their last 14 against winning teams.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Mustangs opened as two-point favorites; the total was 120. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick: 67.6-64.1, Mustangs
Why pick Clemson to cover the spread
Clemson, a No. 3 seed, must be dangerous, as it’s the only non-No. 1 seed in the NIT's Final Four after emerging from the St. John’s quadrant unscathed.
When you get to this point of the college basketball season, the straight-up numbers can outweigh the betting trends. So even though the Tigers have split their last four against the point spread, they’ve found a groove in winning three straight on the hardwood.
Why pick SMU to cover the spread
Legendary coach Larry Brown's Mustangs were left out of the Big Dance this year, so they ended up with a No. 1 seed in the junior prom, also known as the NIT. Now he brings SMU to Madison Square Garden poised to prove the selection committee was wrong, and there is no doubt you can count on his troops to be prepared for this game.
Smart betting pick
SMU is hard to bet against right now, as it’s proving there were no sour grapes in being left out of the dance and it’s out to show the program is on the rise with Brown at the helm.
The Mustangs arrive in the Big Apple on point spread win streaks of 4-1 against nonconference foes, 11-4 after a straight-up win and 15-7 overall. Take SMU.
Power rankings (per Odds Shark power ranks)
Clemson Tigers: No. 144
Southern Methodist Mustangs: No. 165
NIT betting trends
- Clemson is 4-1 SU in its last five games
- Southern Methodist is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games