Penn State vs. Utah Pick
Who will claim the NIT Tournament title tonight when Utah faces off with Penn State at 7PM ET in the championship game?
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: ESPN2, 7PM ET
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Penn State is the favorite in this game, as the Nittany Lions are getting odds of -4 points against Utah. The over/under total is currently listed at 135.5 points.
The spread opened up with Penn State as a 3-point favorite and the line quickly moved up to four points. It briefly was at 4.5 as well. The over/under total opened at 135 points and fell to 134 before climbing up to 135.5.
PUBLIC BETTING INFORMATION
The public is backing Penn State tonight. As of Thursday afternoon, the Nittany Lions are getting 75 percent of the wagers on this game as the favorite against Utah.
Utah has forward Jayce Johnson on the injury report for tonight’s game. Johnson is listed at questionable with an ankle injury. He averages 5.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for the Utes. Penn State has lost forward Mike Watkins for the rest of the postseason with a knee injury. He was averaging 12.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
Penn State has been impressive in its run through this tournament. The Nittany Lions won 73-63 over Notre Dame, 85-80 over Marquette and 75-60 over Mississippi State in the semifinal. The Nittany Lions have covered the spread in all three games and six of their last seven overall. PSU is 20-13-1 ATS on the season and 12-6-1 ATS on the road. Penn State is putting up 74.6 points per game on offense while allowing 66.7 per game on defense.
Utah has beaten LSU 95-71, St. Mary’s 67-58 in OT and Western Kentucky 69-64 in the semifinals. The Utes have covered the spread in all three games thus far. Utah is now 18-11-3 against the spread on the season and 8-7-1 ATS away from home. It is averaging 73.7 points per game on offense while allowing 68.1 per game on defense.
Penn State has been the team I have liked in this tournament from the start. The Nittany Lions were overlooked for the NCAA Tournament despite having a strong second half of the season and picking up wins over Ohio State and Purdue. Their march to the final has been much more challenging than Utah, as they went on the road for each game and had to beat a talented Notre Dame squad that was actually healthy. I think Penn State is motivated to finish this run and I expect them to do it.
NIT TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: PENN STATE -4