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NCAA Tournament Betting: Oakland vs. NC State Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
NCAA Tournament Betting: Oakland vs. NC State Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Oakland vs. NC State Betting Odds

Date and Time: Saturday, March 23rd at 5:10 p.m. ET

Spread: NC State -5.5 (-120)

Total: 146.5

Moneyline:

  • Morehead State: +198
  • Illinois: -245

Oakland vs. NC State Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Oakland

  • numberFire Ranking: 134th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 137th
  • KenPom Ranking: 136th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 165th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 135th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 232nd

NC State

  • numberFire Ranking: 60th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 63rd
  • KenPom Ranking: 58th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 89th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 47th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 137th

Oakland vs. NC State Best Bet

NC State -5.5 (-120)

It's not every year that the NCAA Tournament treats us with a matchup between two double-digit seeds. We get just that on Saturday thanks to 14 seed Oakland and 11 seed NC State each pulling of upsets in the first-round. Still, there's only room for one Cinderella at this Sweet 16 ball, and I'm giving NC State the edge to win and cover as 5.5-point favorites.

Though both teams are undoubtedly playing good ball right now, NC State is just on another level. They handled Texas Tech with ease in the first-round, winning by 13 and dominating the paint, 42-20. The Wolfpack's offense continues to be their selling point after they clobbered Texas Tech's top-60 defense for 80 points on 51% shooting.

That should allow them to cook against Oakland's 157th-ranked defense. Though they "held" Kentucky's explosive offense to 76 points, the Wildcats shot just 32% from three and turned the ball over four more times than Oakland. Even with that, the Golden Grizzlies needed Jack Gohlke to shoot 10-of-20 from three to win by four. NC State's defense is much better than Kentucky's (77th compared to 115th in adjusted defense), and they're more careful with the ball (10th in TO rate compared to 25th).

The Wolfpack are rolling right now, and I don't see Oakland stopping them anytime soon. With the personnel to handle Oakland's zone, NC State should roll here, covering as 5.5-point favorites in the process.

Oakland vs. NC State Prop Bet

Mohamed Diarra Over 10.5 Rebounds (+106)

NC State big man Mohamed Diarra only averaged 7.5 rebounds per game this season, but his rebounding prop on FanDuel Sportsbook has skyrocketed after some monster performances. The 6'10" forward has seen his playing time spike since February 10th, notching 30 minutes in 11 of the last 14 games. Diarra has averaged 10.3 rebounds per game over that span, grabbing 11 six times -- including in five straight.

I'm not often one to overreact to such small-sample trends, but we need to adapt quickly to keep up with college basketball's postseason. Each of NC State's last five games have been elimination games, and they've relied on Mohamed Diarra to play a huge role with their season on the line. After bouncing in and out of the Wolfpack rotation earlier in the year, he's cemented himself as one of their most important players.

I don't see his role changing on Saturday -- not with a trip to the Sweet 16 up for grabs. Diarra should get all the run he can handle against Oakland, a team that finished 145th nationally in total rebound rate (51.1%). Even in the Golden Grizzlies' upset win, Kentucky still pulled down 39 boards. That was highlighted by big man Tre Mitchell corralling 13 rebounds.

Kentucky put up those kinds of rebounding numbers despite Oakland shooting 48% from beyond the arc. Some three-point regression would only further benefit Diarra's chances of snagging 11 rebounds. With Oakland's tallest rotation player standing at just 6'9", Mohamed Diarra should have the size advantage to stay hot on the glass and cruise past this 10.5-rebound prop.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.