North Carolina State vs. Creighton Picks, Predictions, Odds

It's already been a crazy NCAA Tournament with top teams like Virginia and Arizona falling on the first day of action, and Creighton will look to avoid that same fate on Friday afternoon in the Mile High City. The Creighton Bluejays will take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack in a 6-11 matchup in the South Region with the winner facing either Baylor or UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. Creighton is a moderate favorite by the college basketball betting odds, but NC State has some playmakers that can make things interesting.

The Creighton Bluejays are looking to make it out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. They will face the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 4 p.m. ET on TNT from Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.

The Wolfpack are 12-6 SU in their last 18 games. (Getty)

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Prediction

A victory over the Creighton Bluejays would be the biggest win so far this season for the North Carolina State Wolfpack. NC State lost to Kansas in non-conference play, and Creighton is the second-best team the Wolfpack have faced if you look at Ken Pomeroy's current rankings. The Wolfpack have a chance to pull off the upset in this game if a couple of their shooters get hot, but that doesn't seem likely given NC State ranks outside the top 100 in two-point percentage and three-point percentage.

Best Bet: Creighton -5 (-110)
Score Prediction: Creighton 77, NC State 67

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North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Odds

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Resources

Date: Friday, Mar. 17, 2023
TV-Time: TNT, 4:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Ball Arena
Location: Denver, Colorado
Expert Picks

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Creighton Bluejays Betting Stats

North Carolina State Wolfpack
SU: 23-10
ATS: 17-16
O/U: 16-16-1
PPG: 78.2
OPPG: 70.8

Creighton Bluejays
SU: 21-12
ATS: 16-17
O/U: 15-17-1
PPG: 76.6
OPPG: 68.5

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

Updated on 06/22/2024
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North Carolina State Wolfpack Betting Analysis

The best thing the Wolfpack do on offense is they don't turn the ball over. NC State ranks in the top five nationally in turnover percentage, giving the ball up on just 13.4% of possessions. They get a decent amount of second looks on the offensive glass too as DJ Burns and Jack Clark both do a good job close to the basket. On the other hand, the Wolfpack really struggle when it comes to going to the free throw line, as they rank in the bottom 25 nationally in free throw percentage.

Terquavion Smith is the leading scorer on the Wolfpack. Smith is averaging 17.5 PPG, but he isn't that effective of a shooter. The slim sophomore is making just 37.7% of his field goals and 33.8% of his threes. To make matters worse, Smith is only making 69.6% of his free throws, and he goes to the charity stripe more than anyone else on the team.

The good news for the Wolfpack is that Jarkel Joiner and Casey Morsell are effective shooters. Joiner leads the team by making 85.6% of his free throws, and Morsell is knocking down 40.7% of his threes. Meanwhile, Burns could be a real difference maker because of his size and strength at 6'9 and 275 pounds. He is averaging 12.8 PPG, and he has scored 10 or more points in six of his last seven games.

The Bluejays are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games played in March. (Getty)

Creighton Bluejays Betting Analysis

If you're a believer in Ken Pomeroy and his metrics, there is a lot more to like about Creighton. The Bluejays rank in the top 30 nationally in both offense and defense. They have one of the most efficient starting fives in the country too with Ryan Kalkbrenner leading the offense at center. Kalkbrenner is averaging 15.4 PPG and 6.1 RPG, and he is making an incredible 71.2% of his field goals.

Trey Alexander is the second leading scorer on Creighton with 13.6 PPG, and he is making a team-high 44% of his three-pointers. Guard Baylor Scheierman is averaging 12.8 PPG and hauling in 8.4 RPG to lead the team and get things started on the fast break, and fellow guard Ryan Nembhard is an elite set-up man that is averaging 11.9 PPG and 4.9 APG. Arthur Kaluma rounds out the starting five and averages 11.9 PPG as every starter is scoring almost 12 PPG.

Creighton is an elite defensive team too. The Bluejays don't force a lot of turnovers, but they rank in the top 20 in interior defense and have the second lowest rate of sending opponents to the free throw line in the country. They do an excellent job in preventing second chances too as these guards box out and clean up messes better than almost any other team.