Thursday NIT Championship Sharp Report

March 30, 2023 03:22 AM

Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 7 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. For a full breakdown of Thursday's betting action be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast at 3 p.m. ET. 

You can also track the VSiN Betting Splits for every game. 

In the meantime, let's examine where smart money is leaning for Thursday's NIT Championship game...


9:40 p.m. ET: UAB (-2, 128) vs North Texas

This NIT Championship game will be played at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. UAB (29-9) just outlasted Utah Valley 88-86 in overtime in the NIT semifinals but failed to cover as 4.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, North Texas (30-7) just came from behind to edge to Wisconsin 56-54, covering as 1.5-point favorites. This line opened with UAB listed as a 2-point neutral site favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with UAB. However, despite receiving 68% of bets we've seen UAB remain frozen at -2. Typically, when a team is receiving such lopsided support we would see them rise to -2.5 or more. The fact the line hasn't budged signals a sharp line freeze on North Texas, with books showing liability on the dog plus the points.

North Texas has value as a contrarian play in a heavily bet primetime game. Ken Pom actually has North Texas winning the game by one point (69-68). He also has North Texas ranked higher (33rd vs 45th). North Texas ranks 18th in the country in adjusted defense, allowing just 56 PPG. These teams both hail from Conference USA and have played each other three times this season. North Texas is 2-1 head-to-head, winning 63-52 in January and 82-79 in February but then losing 76-69 in the conference tournament semifinals. North Texas also possesses value as a conference dog, with the built in familiarity leveling the playing field and benefiting the team getting points. 

The total opened at a low 128 and hasn't budged either. This is notable because 77% of bets are taking the over yet the line hasn't moved, signaling some under liability. North Texas is the slowest team in the country in terms of tempo, averaging just 59.2 possessions per game. The under has contrarian value along with a neutral court under edge, as the unfamiliar backboards and sightlines are oftentimes a detriment to the offense. Unders are 19-9 (68%) in the NIT this postseason.

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