After knocking off VCU 80-74, the 25-9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons take on the 25-12 Texas A&M Aggies in the NIT Quarterfinals tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Wake Forest defeated Towson before handling VCU and have covered the spread in four of its last five, while the Aggies beat Alcorn State and Oregon and are 8-2 against the spread (ATS) over their last 10 games.
The only time these teams have ever played was back in 1957, so you could say there's some unfamiliarity with the matchup. But both share a frustration in barely missing the NCAA Tournament, with Wake falling to Boston College to end its bid and Texas A&M losing to Tennessee in the SEC Tournament Final to fall just short.
Can the Aggies cover as small favorites or will the Demon Deacons stay hot and cover the spread for the third straight game?
Let's check out the odds over at WynnBET to find some value in this NIT Quarterfinal matchup:
Wake Forest vs Texas A&M Odds, Spread and Total
- Wake Forest +3 (-110)
- Texas A&M -3 (-110)
- Wake Forest: +130
- Texas A&M: -160
- 146.5 (Over -110/Under -110)
Wake Forest vs Texas A&M Prediction and Pick
I was furious when Texas A&M didn't make the NCAA Tournament after rattling off seven straight wins and covers to close the season -- I made angry TikTok videos, wrote unreturned letters to my congresspeople, even stood outside a street corner with a handmade sign expressing my displeasure.
Ok not really, but I was bummed I wouldn't be able to keep wagering on one of the best underdog bets in college basketball. The tables have turned in the NIT, as the Aggies aren't quite as formidable as a favorite, and they failed to cover in their opening round game.
Wake Forest is a difficult opponent thanks to one of the best offenses in the country. The Demon Deacons rank third nationally in two-point shooting percentage and will try to bully Texas A&M down low with ACC Player of the Year Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia.
The Aggies, in turn, will ramp up the pressure on the Demon Deacons' ball-handlers in hopes of causing turnovers before an entry pass down low can be made. Texas A&M has the eighth-best defensive turnover rate nationally while Wake Forest ranks 221st in offensive turnover percentage.
If the Demon Deacons can protect the ball and work it inside, they'll win. But I could honestly see either team winning, so I'll instead look to the total.
Texas A&M wants to play a slow pace and work the ball down low as well -- the Aggies take a majority of their shots from inside the arc, but that's where Wake Forest's defense is strongest. And if the Aggies can keep pressure on Wake's ball handlers we could see a lot of empty possessions for both squads.
The under is 5-1 in the Demon Deacons' last six as an underdog and has hit in three straight Aggies' games. I expect bettors to see how much Wake Forest has been scoring lately and jump on the over, but with the slow pace A&M will play and their ability to prevent free throws, I like the under here. I'm rooting for the Aggies but hoping there won't be too many baskets.
Pick: Under 146.5 (-110)
Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.
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