The Sweet 16 is still a few days away, but luckily college hoops bettors have four NIT games to choose from today. We also have 5 NBA games and 11 NHL games on the Thursday betting docket. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining The Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:45 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for a trio of NIT matchups tonight.
6 p.m. ET: Mississippi State vs Richmond
This early evening matchup features 4-seed Mississippi State (16-14) against 2-seed Richmond (14-8). Mississippi State is coming off a 74-68 first round upset win over 1-seed Saint Louis, winning outright as 4.5-point dogs. Now they face a Richmond squad who just upset 3-seed Toledo 76-66, winning outright as 5-point dogs. This line opened with Mississippi State listed as a short 2-point favorite. Spread bets are virtually split down the middle and the public doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. However, we've seen Mississippi State move from -2 to -2.5, signaling some respected money laying the points with the Bulldogs. This matchup qualifies as a "Ken Pom Sound the Alarm" play because Ken Pom has Richmond winning the game by one point. So if you respected Ken Pom, grabbing Richmond + 2.5 would be a smart move. Ken Pom also has Richmond ranked higher (63 vs 76). One big injury to monitor here is Richmond leading scorer Blake Francis, who is listed as a game-time decision with a back injury. We've also seen some respected money hit this under, dropping the total from 138.5 to 137. Mississippi State plays at a very slow pace (65.8), which could be a reason why pros seem to like the under.
7 p.m. ET: NC State vs Colorado State
This primetime showdown pits 3-seed NC State (14-10) against 1-seed Colorado State (19-6). NC State crushed 2-seed Davidson 75-61 in the first round, winning outright as 2-point dogs. Meanwhile, Colorado State edged 4-seed Buffalo 75-73, pushing at 2-point favorites. This line opened at a true pick'em. Since this game will be played on a neutral court, oddsmakers are basically saying that these teams are dead even. The public is all over Colorado State as the 1-seed with a better record, yet we've seen this line move from a pick'em to NC State -1.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Wolfpack, with pros riding NC State. Ken Pom disagrees a bit. He has Colorado State winning by one point. But he also has these teams ranked as virtual equals (NC State 68 and Colorado State 66). NC State's advantage may come from the fact that they play in the ACC while Colorado State hails from the lesser Mountain West. Respected money has also hit this under, dropping the total from 147 to 146.
9 p.m. ET: Boise State vs Memphis
The top two seeds are facing off in this one as 2-seed Boise State (19-8) faces 1-seed Memphis (17-8). Boise State upset 3-seed SMU 85-84 in the first round, winning outright as 1-point dogs. Meanwhile, Memphis took down 4-seed Dayton 71-60, easily covering as 5.5-point favorites. This line opened with Memphis listed as a 4.5-point favorite. The public is all over Memphis as the top seed laying a short spread. However, despite this lopsided support, we've actually seen the line fall from 4.5 to 4. This sharp reverse line movement signals pros jumping on Boise State plus the hook, dropping the line from 4.5 to 4. Ken Pom has Memphis winning by three points, which means respected money is on the side of the Ken Pom edge. The total is 143. Memphis has been a huge under team this season (19-5-1) while Boise State has been better to the over (15-11).