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March Madness Best Bets: Back UAB and Cincinnati in the NIT Quarters (March 22)

NIT and CBI action continues on Wednesday with a four-game slate of non-NCAA Tournament March Madness action. This article will examine the best NIT bets for Wednesday and offer professional opinions and evaluations to assist you in making wise and well-informed betting choices, with the aid of OddsShopper’s college basketball odds and best bets resources.

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March Madness Best Bets & Predictions | CBI & NIT

Cincinnati vs. Utah Valley

An intriguing matchup in the quarterfinals of the NIT, Cincinnati takes on Utah Valley in a pick’em contest with a total sitting at 148.5. Utah Valley finished as the number two seed in the Western Athletic Conference, only to be upset by Southern Utah in the semi-final. The team overcame New Mexico and Colorado to punch their ticket here. Interestingly ShotQuality graded the Colorado game as an analytical loss by a score of 73-60 for Utah Valley. Meanwhile, Cincinnati lost to Houston in the AAC Tournament as the four seed. They subsequently overcame Virginia Tech and Hofstra in the NIT. Like Utah Valley, the Hofstra game was graded as a loss for Cincinnati.

As for this matchup, Utah Valley grades out as KenPom‘s 64th ranked team, while Cincinnati checks in 48th. Cincinnati’s 49th ranked offense will clash with Utah Valley’s 27th ranked defense. However, Utah Valley has a defensive imbalance towards the interior, where they rank fourth in the country. Utah Valley still ranks 33rd at defending the three, but Cincinnati ranks 101st in three point percentage and 39th in three point attempts. Meanwhile, Utah Valley struggles to score with the 135th ranked offense, clashing against Cincinnati’s 75th ranked defense.

Outside of that, Utah Valley ranks 311th in turnovers committed and 198th in fouls committed on offense. With the effective field goal percentage for both of these teams with 13 places, the edges falls with Cincinnati’s superior talent. Players like Landers Nolley II and David Dejulius come from elite programs. Not to mention Viktor Lakhin has returned to upper 20’s in minutes per game since suffering a mid-season injury. With Cincinnati as healthy as they’re going to get, the Bearcats make sense here as an NIT bet.

Best March Madness Bet: Cincinnati +1.5 (-120) at BetMGM

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UAB vs. Vanderbilt

Narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament, UAB lost to FAU in the conference title game. So far, they’ve defeated Morehead State and Southern Miss to get here. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt finished sixth in the SEC regular season, but made a mini run the SEC Tournament only to lose to Texas A&M in the semi final. To this point, they’ve defeated Michigan and Yale to get here. The Yale game was actually considered a loss, while the Michigan came down to razor thin margins.

Vanderbilt lost their best player Liam Robbins at the end of the season. In addition, Myles Stute abandoned the team before the NIT. While the team has gotten decent minutes from their replacements, they have a couple of major weaknesses against UAB. First of all, UAB remains the more balaced team. The Blazer rank 34th in offensive efficiency and 47th in defensive efficiency. Conversely, Vanderbilt ranks 95th on offense and 250 on defense. UAB also holds a massive rebounding advantage. They rank 19th in the country, while Vanderbilt checks in 208th. With edges across the board and a healthy Jared Walker, UAB remains underrated ahead of this clash.

Best March Madness Bet: UAB +1.5 (-120) at BetMGM

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