The UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, will be the host of the Men’s Basketball Championship – South Region – First Four game, and here you can take a look at best Bryant Bulldogs vs. Wright State Raiders betting pick and odds.
Bryant represents the Northeast Conference, while Wright State is trying to get the Horizon Conference one place in the NCAA Tournament. These inter-conference rivals have never met before. According to MyBookie Sportsbook, the Raiders are 3.5-point favorites, while the total is set at 155 points. The winner of this game will face the No. 2 overall seed Arizona Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the loser will be eliminated.
Bryant to enter the NCAA tournament for the first time
The Bryant Bulldogs play at the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in the program’s history after winning the Northeast Conference tournament. They defeated Central Connecticut, Mount St. Mary’s, and Wagner to clinch the conference title and end the season with a 22-9 record (16-2 in conference play).
The Bulldogs have the 273rd defense in basketball that allows 72.7 ppg, while their offense averages 77.9 ppg (33rd). Bryant is 218th in the country in defensive efficiency with 105.2 points per 100 possessions, while the Bulldogs are 154th in offensive efficiency with 104.2 points per 100 possessions.
Senior guard Peter Kiss is not only the Bulldogs’ top scorer, he is the best scorer in the entire country this year with 25.1 ppg, along with 5.8 rpg and 3.3 apg. Charles Pride (18.0 ppg and 8.6 rpg) and Adham Eleeda (10.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg) are also key players for Bryant this season. Bryant is No. 200 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 183 in the KenPom rankings.
Wright State came from behind to beat Northern Kentucky and win the Horizon tourney
The Wright State Raiders ended the regular season with the fourth-best record (21-13, 15-7 in conference play) in the Horizon Conference, but managed to win the tournament and title for the third time. They beat Oakland, Cleveland State, and Northern Kentucky to earn their 4th NCAA Tournament appearance. Wright State overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat the Norse 72-71 in the Horizon tournament final.
The Raiders have the 234th defense in basketball that allows 71.1 ppg, while its offense averages 75.5 ppg (61st). Wright State is 262nd in the country in defensive efficiency with 107.2 points per 100 possessions, while the Raiders are 108th in offensive efficiency with 106.4 points per 100 possessions.
Junior guard Tanner Holden leads the team in scoring with 19.8 ppg, while he also has 7.1 rpg. Grant Basile (18.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg) and Trey Calvin (14.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 3.3 apg) are the main contributors as well. Wright State is No. 191 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 182 in the KenPom rankings.
- 12-4 ATS in the last 16 games overall
- 4-0-1 ATS in the last five games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- 1-5 ATS in the last six neutral site games
- 1-4 ATS in the last five neutral site games as a favorite
Bryant Bulldogs vs. Wright State Raiders Pick
The Bulldogs are quite inexperienced when it comes to playing at the NCAA Tournament, only one of two teams this year (with Longwood) who never appeared in the Big Dance. Still, they have the best scorer in the country, Peter Kiss, who leads one of the fastest offenses in the NCAA.
Whichever team wins this First Four clash and enters the tournament will likely go down against one of the biggest favorites this year – the Arizona Wildcats. It’s going to be a close encounter that could go either way, and I am backing the Bulldogs to cover.
Pick: Take the Bryant Bulldogs +3.5 at -110
Bryant’s defense has been impressive in the NEC tournament and didn’t allow more than 69 points in three games. Actually, each of the Bulldogs’ previous four games went Under. It’s going to be a nervy game for each team here, and I expect to see a lot of missed shots.
Wright State’s games usually went Over recently, but the total of 155 points seems a bit high, in my opinion, and unless overtime occurs, the Under should be the winning bet here.
Pick: Go Under 155 points at -110