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basketball | Thursday, March 16, 2023 11:29 AM

San Diego State Aztecs vs Charleston Cougars Best Bet: 1.91 Best Bet For Thursday Night

San Diego State Aztecs vs Charleston Cougars Best Bet: 1.91 Best Bet For Thursday Night
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San Diego State Aztecs vs Charleston Cougars Best Bet: Thursday, March 16th

It’s time to get consumed by March Madness, as the NIT is already underway, and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is about to kick into gear. The first four games have already been played so the true field of 64-teams is set up so be prepared for a wild ride ahead.

Our resident college hoops expert Ej Garr is picking out the 5 vs 12 infamous matchups between the College of Charleston and San Diego State. Anyone who follows the madness over the years knows that there is always a 5 v 12 upset in the making, and Ej is thinking underdog again for Thursday’s action on the court.

In this article:

San Diego State Aztecs vs Charleston Cougars Preview

Thu, Mar 16th. 19:10 (UK time)

Everyone talks about it and you can find a lengthy history of 12 seeds upsetting a 5 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. I will almost guarantee that when San Diego State found out they were a 5 seed and then they saw that they would have to take on Charleston as a 12 seed, the concerns were there instantly.

First of all, Charleston is arguably the best mid-major hoops team in the land, and with only 3 losses the entire campaign there is good reason to expect an outright upset today. The Aztecs are favoured by -5.5 points, however, and I can cut to the chase to say that I am thrilled to have a handful of points in my pocket for this tilt at the Amway Center on Thursday.

The Cougars take a 10-game win streak into the tournament, and they have the luxury of having 8 days off since their conference tournament came to an end on March 7. The two dudes that the Aztecs will have to try and slow down wear #10 and #11, as Ante Brzovic (16.7 PPG) and Ryan Lawson (15.3 PPG) each can take over a game.

Brzovic scored 50 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in the three conference tournament games, and his free-throw shooting was almost perfect making 16 of his 19 attempts. Larson nailed four 3-pointers en route to a 23-point effort in the Colonial Conference Tourney finale against Wilmington, while also adding 9 points from the free-throw line.

Reyne Smith went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line in the three conference tourney games, and his 12.3 PPG gave Charleston three double-digit scorers. As is the case with any program, getting contributions from the entire team is the only way to win games, and during the regular-season Charleston had five players who averaged double-digit scoring.

Charleston had a total of 10 players play in 30 of the 31 regular season games, but Dalton Bolon has got to find his confidence again after not scoring a point in the conference title game win over Wilmington. Bolon led the team with a 12.7 PPG average throughout the regular season, but oddly he seems to always land on his average every night. As you peruse his season stats, he scored 12 points or less in all 6 of his last 6 games, and that points to the depth of this team.

Charleston had 6 players average 9.6 points or better with five double-digit scorers throughout the season, as they can all shoot from distance finding ways to add to the mix.

The Aztecs also won their conference tournament title, but I wouldn’t call it impressive. After barely scraping by Colorado State to open the Mountain West tourney Utah State almost upset the Aztecs in the title game, and why yes, there is confidence in winning the tourney but none of that will help them today.

Matt Bradley is the only Aztec who averages double-digits this year, as he took in 13 points per game over the regular season and 12 PPG in the conference tourney. Depth is my greatest concern for San Diego State’s chances to compete with any program, much less a 31 – 3 charleston bunch.

San Diego State Aztecs vs Charleston Cougars Best Bet

I would like to slide the line to +6 but the price offered by the line setters is too steep to invest in for me. At +5.5, I don’t even think we will need to buy that hook because Charleston can easily upset the Aztecs with an outright win. I took Charleston in my bracket to advance past San Diego State, so I do expect an upset to happen here. A classic 5 – 12 upset, baby, but give us those points when it comes to where the money can be made, just in case!

  • Selection: Charleston +5.5
  • Best odds: 1.91 (William Hill)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Odds as of 8:00 am March 16, 2023. Odds may now differ.

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