Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Horizon League Quarterfinals

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Cleveland State-Youngstown State. 

Cleveland State's Tristan Enaruna (13) reacts to his three-pointer against Bradley.
Cleveland State's Tristan Enaruna (13) reacts to his three-pointer against Bradley. / MATT DAYHOFF/JOURNAL STAR / USA TODAY

Cleveland State had little issue cruising past IUPUI in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament on Tuesday, 85-66. Now it’s time for a step up in class for the Vikings, who are big underdogs Thursday night in the quarterfinals in their visit to Beeghly Center to face Youngstown State. 

Youngstown State is three wins away from making the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the Division I level. The Penguins were the Horizon League’s regular-season champion last season but came up short in the conference tournament. Youngstown State finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak. Can they keep that momentum on Thursday? Here’s the betting breakdown of the matchup with a best bet. 

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Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State Odds, Spread and Total

Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State Betting Trends

  • Cleveland State is 14-15-2 ATS this season
  • Youngstown State is 15-12 ATS this season
  • Cleveland State is 8-5 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Youngstown State is 11-9 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 15-15-1 in Cleveland State games this season
  • The OVER is 15-12 in Youngstown State games this season 

Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 7
  • Game time: 7 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Beeghly Center
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Cleveland State record: 19-13
  • Youngstown State record: 22-9

Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State  Key Players to Watch

Cleveland State

Tristan Enaruna: The senior forward is third in the Horizon League in scoring this season at 20 points per game to go with 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Enaruna scored 20-plus points in 11 straight games to finish the regular season before being held to 15 in limited minutes against IUPUI in the Horizon League Tournament opener, going 7-of-9 from the field. 

Youngstown State 

DJ Burns: A double-double machine this season, Burns, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, is averaging 12.9 points and a Horizon League-best 10.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.6% from the field. Burns has posted a double-double in 13 consecutive contests and is coming off a season-high 19 rebounds against Detroit Mercy. 

Cleveland State vs. Youngstown State Prediction and Pick 

It was a drastic turnaround for Cleveland State in its two matchups against Youngstown State this season. After being blown out on the road, 94-69, on Nov. 29, the Vikings turned it around with an 81-73 win over the Penguins at home on Feb. 17. 

Which team shows up on Thursday? Cleveland State’s offense is No. 158 in efficiency, according to KenPom, and is the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the Horizon League while taking great care of the ball. Can they take advantage of the second-chance opportunities they create? Cleveland State is No. 206 in the country in 2-point shooting and Youngstown State’s defense is No. 1 in the Horizon League in defending shots from inside the arc. 

On the other side, Youngstown State plays at one of the fastest paces in the Horizon League and has scored 80-plus points in six of its last seven home games. Cleveland State has performed well in this spot, though, going 6-4 ATS as a road underdog this season and its defense is top-50 in the nation in turnover percentage and steal percentage. The Vikings can keep the score tight with its top-tier perimeter defense (No. 38 against 3-pointers). 

Youngstown State could have a setback from rest. The Penguins haven’t played in eight days and Cleveland State can hang within the big number. Take the points. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.