NCAA Tournament First 4 Betting Guide: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. Southeast Missouri State & Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh


Mar 14, 2023

The NCAA Tournament is here, and we kick it off with a fantastic appetizer of matchups in the First Four. The action gets underway on Tuesday from Dayton with two auto-bids and two at-larges facing off for a spot in the Round of 64. To prepare you for Tuesday’s action, we look at each game and how you can find value in the matchups.#16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. #16 Southeast Missouri State Game Information

  • Location: University of Dayton Arena – Dayton, OH
  • Time: 6:40 p.m. ET | TV: tru TV
First Four Game Odds on FanDuel
  • Spread: Texas A&M-CC -3.5 (-115) | SE Missouri St. +3.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Texas A&M-CC -182 | SE Missouri St. +150
  • Total: OVER 156.5 (-105) | UNDER 156.5 (-115)

In just two seasons, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Steve Lutz is already building his empire with the Islanders. He’s brought the program to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and is looking for vengeance after last season’s defeat in the First Four. This season’s team is much improved from 2022, but they will miss a key player in guard, Terrion Murdix.

The 6’1” senior is a star on both ends of the court, leading the Southland Conference in both assists and steals per game. He suffered a lower leg injury in the semifinals of their conference tournament and has been confirmed to be out for the remainder of the season. They’ll have to lean on Jalen Jackson and Myles Smith to make up for the loss of Murdix.

Southeast Missouri State enters the Big Dance after a dream run through the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Redhawks won four games in four days as the fifth seed to snatch the automatic bid after entering postseason play on a serious skid (dropping five of seven games).

Outside of their dream run in Evansville, SEMO was less than impressive most of the season. It’s also head coach Brad Korn’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, and he felt outcoached in plenty of different spots in the lowly OVC this season.

Back Lutz and the Islanders to get it done as the better team.

#11 Mississippi State vs. #11 Pittsburgh Game Information
  • Location: University of Dayton Arena – Dayton, OH
  • Time: 9:10 p.m. ET | TV: tru TV
First Four Game Odds on FanDuel
  • Spread: Mississippi State -2.5 (-110) | Pittsburgh +2.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Mississippi State -140 | Pittsburgh +116
  • Total: OVER 133.5 (-115) | UNDER 133.5 (-105)

It’s a battle of styles in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, which should make for some good viewing. Mississippi State is home to one of the stoutest defenses in the country, ranked sixth in efficiency per KenPom.

They have held opponents to just 61.0 points per game, the tenth-lowest in the nation. On offense, they value pounding it down low. The Bulldogs rank dead-last in the country in three-point shooting at 26.6 percent, forcing them to score most of their points in the paint.

As for Pittsburgh, they thrive with the ball. The Panthers are home to the second-best offense in the ACC per KenPom while having a defense that ranks outside the top 140 in the nation. They’ve been a part of some track meets recently, with the OVER cashing in six of their previous seven games.

It’ll be interesting to see how their offense stacks up against Mississippi State’s pack-line defense that will let you shoot over the top but clogs the lanes for slashing guards and forces big men to kick out their post-ups. Thankfully for Pitt, they find their scoring from beyond the arc.

The Panthers score 36.3 percent of their points from three, good for 37th in the country. Predicting whether they hit those threes will be challenging, but this OVER trend from the Panthers is too strong to ignore. Take the OVER for this lower total in this matchup.

With March upon us, stay updated with all your college hoops news and odds analysis on, with previews for every upcoming NCAA Tournament matchup

Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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