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After dominating the first two games of the Elite Eight, I’m back to finish the job Sunday. The 6-seed Creighton Bluejays meet the 5-seed San Diego State Aztecs in the South Regional of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Tip-off for Creighton-SDSU at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky is 2:20 p.m. ET. The Bluejays handled business vs. 15-seed Princeton in the Sweet 16 with a 86-75, barely covering as -10 favorites, which I cashed on.
San Diego State upset the No. 1 team in the tournament, Alabama, 71-64 Friday as +6.5 underdogs and did so with defense. The Aztecs held Alabama star freshman Brandon Miller to 9 points on 3-for-19 shooting (1-for-10 from 3).
Creighton vs. San Diego State Odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The same rationale for liking the Bluejays Sunday applies to Creighton’s edge over Princeton in the Sweet 16. SDSU’S’s outside shooting isn’t good enough to bring Bluejays’ 7-foot big Ryan Kalkbrenner out of the paint.
The Aztecs are 212th in effective field goal shooting (out of 363 programs), per KenPom.com. San Diego State’s point distribution is above average from inside the arc and at the charity stripe.
Kalkbrenner is the reigning 2-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year. His paint presence is why Creighton is 11th nationally in defensive rebounding rate and 2nd in defensive free-throw-attempt rate (FTr).
Plus Kalkbrenner’s size will help the Bluejays get better looks from deep. San Diego State will put more bodies in the paint to handle Kalkbrenner.
The Aztecs are 3rd nationally in defensive 3-point percentage but 287th in 3-point-attempt rate allowed. They tend to let opponents chuck 3s and it’ll be harder for SDSU to close out on 3-point shooters with Kalkbrenner down low.
BartTorvik.com says the Bluejays have a much better shot profile than the Aztecs. Also, Creighton is 31st in assist-to-field-goal made rate and SDSU is 144th, according to Ken Pom.
The market appears to favor the Bluejays here as well. Creighton’s spread is more expensive at Pinnacle Sportsbook. This is significant because Pinnacle is the sharpest shop in town and is known for booking the largest bets.
BET: Bluejays (-145) moneyline at DraftKings, up to -150 before laying up to -3
- Betting strategy: This isn’t anyone’s 1st rodeo and we all know the “backdoor cover is wide open” in these NCAA Tournament games. Next week, I’ll happily lay -160 or higher with a strong MLB favorite. I say this to cushion the blow of giving out Creighton’s moneyline at a huge number.
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2 CommentsLeave a Reply
Ha…Ha….Ha!…You won’t be collecting your winning bet today (SDSU Alumni!)