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Last Updated Mar 17, 2022, 18:37 PM

South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Providence Friars Picks, Predictions, Odds

Early action in Thursday’s Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament features a matchup between the Summit League’s South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the Big East’s Providence Friars at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Game time on truTV is 12:40 p.m. (ET).

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Score Prediction

Providence 67, South Dakota State 64

Best Bet

Providence -2 (-110)

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MARCH MADNESS BETTING RESOURCES

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS vs. PROVIDENCE FRIARS PREDICTIONS

The Jackrabbits may be No. 14 in the Midwest Region but the oddsmakers have them positioned as live dogs with the narrow two-point spread. They have not lost a game straight-up since Dec. 15. This includes a perfect 18-0 SU run through their regular season schedule. They followed this up with a trio of postseason wins to claim the Summit League Tournament title as well.

Providence was the No. 1 seed in the recent Big East Tournament but it made an early exit with a stunning 27-point loss to Creighton as a three-point favorite. Losses like that do not sit well for a team with such high expectations. They also set the stage for an early exit from this tournament as well.

The Friars are still the better all-around team in this matchup but it is hard to go against an underdog as hot as South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits’ level of competition during this amazing run does not compare with the teams Providence faced in its SU 14-3 run to the Big East’s regular season title. With the Friars only laying two points in a game they should win is just too hard to pass up.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS vs. PROVIDENCE FRIARS BETTING ODDS

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SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS vs. PROVIDENCE FRIARS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Thursday, March 17, 2022
  • Matchup: No. 13 vs. No. 4
  • Region: Midwest
  • Venue: KeyBank Center
  • Location: Buffalo, New York
  • TV-Time: truTV - 12:40 p.m. ET

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 30-4
  • ATS: 17-14-1
  • O/U: 17-15

South Dakota State beat every team it had to with the perfect record in conference play. However, it was not always easy as the final point spreads suggest with a 10-8 record against the number. The Jackrabbits went 1-1-1 ATS in three postseason games. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last nine games.

Overall, this team was 30-4 SU with a 17-14-1 record ATS. South Dakota State closed as an underdog in just three matchups with a 2-1 mark ATS. It was 2-2-1 ATS in five previous neutral-site games. While the Jackrabbits are more than capable of playing on this big of a stage given the talent on this team, they have yet to face an opponent the caliber of the Big East Champs.

If South Dakota State does advance to the next round, there is a good chance that forward Douglas Wilson and guard Baylor Scheierman each posted a big game. Wilson leads the team in scoring with 16.5 points per game. Scheierman is a close second in points (16.2) while topping the list in both rebounds (7.8) and assists (4.6).

The Jackrabbits are scoring 86.7 points a game. They are shooting 52.5% from the field and 44.9% from three-point range. One major concern for Thursday afternoon is a defense that has allowed an average of 73.4 PPG this season.

PROVIDENCE FRIARS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 25-5
  • ATS: 17-13
  • O/U: 16-14

It is hard to completely discount the lopsided 85-58 loss to Creighton last Friday. Prior to that game, the Friars had won 12 of their previous 14 outings SU. The two losses came against Villanova as a Top 10 team on the posted NCAAB futures odds to win this tournament.

Providence is 3-5 ATS over its last eight games to add concern from a betting standpoint. The total has gone OVER in six of the team’s last eight games to add some betting value to this play against one of the highest scoring teams in the nation. Providence was 17-13 ATS overall with a 9-11 record against the closing number as a favorite. The Friars went 1-3 ATS in four neutral-site games this season.

With almost a week to reflect on that last loss, look for a much stronger effort from center Nate Watson (13.8 points) and guard Al Durham (13.4 points) on Thursday afternoon. Guard AJ Reeves (10 points) remains questionable with a leg injury.

The Friars have been able to average 71.8 PPG while shooting 43.7% from the field and 34.3% from three-point range. They are pulling down 37.5 rebounds a game and giving up an average of 67 points on defense.

Providence has entered overtime in three of its last six games vs. non-AP-ranked schools. (AP)

INSIDE THE STATS - SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS

  • Record: 30-4
  • PS/G: 86.7 (2nd)
  • PA/G: 73.4 (287th)

INSIDE THE STATS - PROVIDENCE FRIARS

  • Record: 25-5
  • PS/G: 71.8 (155th)
  • PA/G: 67 (111th)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • SDST: Baylor Scheierman - G (16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
  • SDST: Douglas Wilson - F (16.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
  • PROV: Nate Watson - C (13.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg)
  • PROV: Aljami Durham - G (13.4 ppg)

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS vs. PROVIDENCE FRIARS BETTING CONCLUSION

My heart is actually pulling for South Dakota State as a great story coming into the Big Dance. However, Providence does deserve to be a No. 4 seed in the Midwest given its entire body of work this season.

MARCH MADNESS PICK RESOURCES

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE JACKRABBITS vs. PROVIDENCE FRIARS BETTING TRENDS

  • South Dakota State has lost five straight NCAA Tournament games. 
  • South Dakota State has won 21 straight games.
  • South Dakota State has gone UNDER the point total in six go its last nine games.
  • Providence has lost eight of its last nine NCAA Tournament games.
  • Providence has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games.
  • Providence has gone OVER the point total in six of its last eight games.
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