Last Updated Mar 17, 2023, 7:59 PM

Penn State vs. Texas A&M Picks, Predictions, Odds

2023 NCAA Tournament Picks
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Both the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Texas A&M Aggies almost moved themselves up a seed or two in March Madness. Penn State and Texas A&M both overcame the odds to make their conference championship games, and the Nittany Lions and Aggies had a chance to knock off two No. 1 seeds. The Nittany Lions lost to the Purdue Boilermakers by just two points, but the Aggies were hammered by the Alabama Crimson Tide. That might give Penn State a mental edge coming into this first round game.

The second-to-last game of the first day of the NCAA Tournament will pit the Penn State Nittany Lions against the Texas A&M Aggies. This game will be played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa with tip off scheduled for 9:55 p.m. ET on TBS.

The Aggies are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games. (Getty)

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Prediction

Micah Shrewsberry is one of the hottest names in college basketball coaching right now. The long-time Boston Celtics assistant took over as Penn State's head coach two years ago, and he already has the Nittany Lions in the NCAA Tournament. Shrewsberry is now looking to guide Penn State to its first NCAA Tournament win since 2001, and that would only make his star shine brighter. However, the Nittany Lions are underdogs by the college basketball betting odds against the Texas A&M Aggies. Buzz Williams' team went 15-3 in SEC play during the regular season, but the Aggies' non-conference struggles has me looking to grab the points here.

Best Bet: Penn State +3 (-110)
Score Prediction: Penn State 71, Texas A&M 69

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Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Odds

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Resources

Date: Thursday, Mar. 16, 2023
TV-Time: TBS, 9:55 p.m. ET
Venue: Wells Fargo Arena
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Expert Picks

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Stats

Penn State Nittany Lions
SU: 22-13
ATS: 21-14
O/U: 20-14-1
PPG: 72.3
OPPG: 68.4

Texas A&M Aggies
SU: 25-9
ATS: 23-11
O/U: 16-18
PPG: 73.2
OPPG: 66.2

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

Penn State Nittany Lions Betting Analysis

The Penn State Nittany Lions rank 17th in offensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. Penn State shoots the ball extremely well, especially from beyond the arc. This team is making 38.5% of its triples, as three starters are shooting better than 40% from beyond the arc. Seth Lundy is averaging 14.4 PPG while making 40.6% of his threes on over 200 attempts, and Andrew Funk is averaging 12.1 PPG while making 40.5% of his threes on over 250 attempts.

Camren Wynter is hitting 41.2% of his treys, and standout guard Jalen Pickett is dangerous from any range as he is sinking 51.6% of his field goals and averaging 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 6.7 APG. Pickett is one of the most dangerous players in the country, and the Aggies will have to find a way to contain him if they are going to advance to the second round.

Penn State ranks in the bottom three in offensive rebounding percentage and free throw attempts per field goal attempts though. If the Nittany Lions aren't shooting the ball well, they can lose to any team, as they play a lot of four- and five-guard lineups and don't have a lot of size. However, Texas A&M is relatively undersized too, so Penn State could perform better than usual on the glass.

This defense ranks 99th in defensive efficiency per Pomeroy. Penn State does not force turnovers, and the Nittany Lions don't register a lot of blocks either due to their lack of size. They hustle on this end though, and they do a better job than you would think of collapsing on players in the paint.

The Nittany Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last six games. (Getty)

Texas A&M Aggies Betting Analysis

Texas A&M is the exact opposite of Penn State on offense. The Aggies rank in the bottom third in the nation in effective field goal percentage, two-point shooting, and three-point shooting. However, they get a lot of second chances because they crash the boards, and they get to the free throw line a ton. Texas A&M ranks sixth in offensive rebounding percentage and third in its ability to get to the free throw line.

Wade Taylor IV is the leader of the offense for the Aggies. Taylor paces TAMU with 16.5 PPG ad 4.0 APG, and he is constantly the player the team turns to when they need a bucket. He is making 36.8% of his threes, and he is the best free throw shooter on the roster at 87.5% from the line.

Tyrece Radford, Henry Coleman III, and Julius Marble have all been to the free throw line at least 110 times this season, and only Marble struggles from the charity stripe. He is a solid interior scorer though, making 55% of his two-point field goals.

The Aggies defend the three-point line well and force a decent amount of turnovers. Taylor leads the team with 1.8 SPG, and his play and the perimeter defense will go a long way to determining what happens with Texas A&M on Thursday night.

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