NIT Quarterfinals Betting: Providence Friars at Baylor Bears

2013 NIT Quarterfinals
Providence Friars vs Baylor Bears
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas
Opening Line: Baylor -9
Current Line: Baylor -8
Opening Total: 148 1/2
Current Total: 149
Opening Money Line: Baylor -450 / Providence +360
Current Money Line: Baylor -420 / Providence +350

Baylor is an 8 point favorite at home against Providence in the NIT quarterfinals.

Baylor is an 8 point favorite at home against Providence in the NIT quarterfinals.

The 20-14 Baylor Bears host the 19-14 Providence Friars in the NIT Quarterfinals Wednesday night. The winner will play either Southern Miss or BYU in the semifinals next week. Baylor beat Providence in a tournament in Anaheim in 2008 in the only previous meeting between the schools.

Providence went 9-9 in the Big East and were tied for 9th with Cincinnati. The Friars lost to Cincinnati in the second round of the Big East tournament. Providence didn’t make the NCAA tournament, but were seeded 4th in the NIT. The Friars won home games against Charlotte in the first round 75-66 and Robert Morris 77-68 in the second round Monday. Robert Morris upset #1 seed Kentucky in the first round.

Baylor went 9-9 in the Big 12 and were in 6th place. The Bears lost to Oklahoma St in the Big 12 quarterfinals. The Bears were also snubbed by the NCAA, and were given a 2 seed in the NIT. Baylor also had 2 home games to get here. The Bears crushed Long Beach St 112-66 in the first round, and Arizona St 89-86 in the second round Friday.

Providence is coached by Ed Cooley. The Friars have losses to UMass and Penn St in a tournament in Puerto Rico, at Boston College, at Brown, at Louisville, DePaul, Syracuse twice, at Georgetown, Pitt, at Marquette, UConn twice, and Cincinnati. Providence has wins over Mississippi St, Rhode Island, Seton Hall twice,  Villanova twice, Cincinnati, at South Florida,  Notre Dame, at Rutgers, and St. John’s. The Friars are 16-12-1 ATS and the total is 15-9 this season.

Providence is outscoring teams 68-65 this season. The Friars are shooting 41% from the field and 31.3% from 3 point range. Providence makes 70.1% of their free throws. The Friars average 38 rebounds per game and give up 31.8 per game. The Friars are #31 in rebounding. Providence opponents are shooting 41.5% from the field and 29.6% from three point range. The Friars are #16 in 3 point defense nationally. Providence averages 14 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Guard Bryce Cotton averages 19.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Forward Kadeem Batts averages 14.7 points, and 7.2 rebounds. Forward LaDontae Henton averages 13.4 points, and 8.3 rebounds. Guard Vincent Council averages 10 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Kris Dunn, Josh Fortune, Lee Goldsbrough, and Brice Kofane make up the rest of the rotation. Forward Sidiki Johnson is out indefinitely for personal reasons. Guard Ricky Ledo is ineligible this season, and hasn’t played a game.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. Baylor has losses to Colorado in a tournament in Charleston, home losses to College of Charleston, Northwestern, and Oklahoma twice and at Gonzaga, Kansas, Iowa St twice, Oklahoma St twice, and Kansas St twice, and Texas. Baylor has key wins over Boston College and St. Joseph’s in Charleston, at Kentucky, Texas Tech, and TCU, and home wins against BYU, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma St, Texas Tech, West Virginia twice and Kansas. Baylor is 14-15 ATS and the total is 16-12 this season.

Baylor is outscoring teams 76-67. They are #33 in scoring. The Bears are shooting 45.7% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Bears make 68.3% of their free throws. Baylor averages 37.8 rebounds per game and give up 31.1 per game. The Bears are #38 in rebounding. Baylor opponents are shooting 40.9% from the field and 32.1% from 3 point range. The Bears average 16 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 12 turnovers per game.

Baylor guard Pierre Jackson averages 19.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Center Isaiah Austin averages 13.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game.  Forward Cory Jefferson averages 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 9 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Guard A.J. Walton averages  7.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Rico Gathers, Gary Franklin, and Deuce Bello make up the rest of the rotation.

Providence is 3-8 ATS in road games after 3 or more 3 straight home games, 1-3-1 against teams with winning records, and 0-5 against Big 12 teams.

Baylor is 4-1 ATS in Wednesday games, and 10-21 after a straight up win.

Both of these teams have some good wins, but they also have some terrible losses. That is true of most if not all NIT teams. Providence wants to slow this game down, because they can’t score with Baylor. The Bears have been playing much better toward the end of the season, and I like them to beat Providence in Waco.

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