NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Nebraska vs Texas A&M

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Nebraska vs Texas A&M

As of Monday morning, most books had Nebraska (23-10 straight up, 21-12 against the spread) as a 1.5-point favorite vs. Texas A&M in Friday’s NCAA Tournament first-round showdown at FedEx Forum in Memphis. The total was in the 145 (South Point) to 146.5 range.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. Eastern in the first game of the evening session. The winner will advance to face the winner of Houston vs. Longwood on Sunday.

Nebraska is still looking for its first NCAA Tournament win in program history. The Cornhuskers are the only program from a major conference that’s never won in the NCAA Tournament.

This is their eighth trip to the Big Dance and their first since 2014.

For now, I’m undecided on the side, but I’ve already bet on the total.

The ‘over’ is on a 17-5 run for Nebraska and is 22-8 in its last 30 games, and one of the ‘unders’ had 149 combined points that would’ve gone ‘over’ this total.

Nebraska has a balanced scoring attack with six players averaging at least 7.1 points per game. Four Cornhuskers are averaging double figures led by explosive guard Keisei Tominaga, who averaged 14.6 points per game during the regular season.

Tominaga hit 51.6 percent of his field-goal attempts and scored 20.5 PPG in a pair of Big Ten Tournament contests.

The ‘over’ is hot for Texas A&M, too, hitting in five straight games that have produced combined scores of 185, 184, 151, 146 and 144 points. The ‘over’ is 11-2 for the Aggies in their last 13 games.

Nebraska’s last three combined scores have netted 185, 159 and 155 points. KenPom has the Cornhuskers ranked 36th nationally in offensive efficiency, 45th in pace and 53rd in free-throw percentage.

KenPom has Texas A&M (20-14 SU, 16-18 ATS) ranked #31 in the country in offensive efficiency and #1 in offensive rebounding percentage. The Aggies have scored 90, 97, 80, 86 and 75 points in their last five contests.

Buzz Williams’s squad is led by Wade Taylor IV, who averaged a team-high 18.0 PPG during the regular season. He scored 32 points to propel Texas A&M to a 97-87 win over Kentucky in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals this past Friday.

Then on Saturday in the semifinals, Taylor had 30 points in a 95-90 l0ss to Florida.

When Nebraska has had totals of 146.5 points or fewer this season, the ‘over’ has gone 11-4 overall (11-2 in its last 13 games with 146.5 or less).

PREDICTION: Texas A&M-Nebraska ‘over’ 145 (South Point). (But I’d like it all the way up to 147 points.)