Cover Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images


Wednesday night's First Four play-in game between the No. 16-seed North Carolina Central Eagles and No. 16-seed North Dakota State Bison tips off at 6:40 p.m. EST in Dayton. The winner of tonight's game gets a shot at the No. 1-overall-seed Duke Blue Devils at 7:10 p.m. Friday in Columbia, South Carolina.


North Dakota State is a 5-point favorite over the Eagles, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. If you're looking to place a bet on this showdown, you might want to see what some experts around the industry are predicting first.


North Dakota State vs North Carolina Central Predictions 


Picks and Parlays

Picks and Parlays has North Dakota State handling NC Central and covering the spread, 79-70. They believe the Bison are simply the better team here and probably should have received a better draw than a play-in No. 16 seed. 

Scores & Stats

Scores & Stats also likes North Dakota State to win, but not to cover a 5-point spread in a 65-61 final. The Eagles are an experienced NCAA Tournament team, having made the Big Dance three straight years, while NDSU hasn't made it since 2015. They believe this experience will help keep it close, but not close enough to come out with a win.


Sports Chat Place

Sports Chat Place fully believes in the more experienced NC Central squad here, taking the Eagles to win and cover. North Dakota State is outscoring opponents by an average of just one point on the season, so it should be closer than a 5-point final margin. 

ESPN Basketball Power Index Matchup Predictor

ESPN's BPI is backing North Dakota State, giving the Bison a 66.7 percent chance of winning.


Overall, three of four expert predictions are backing the Bison to win straight up, but two of three spread picks going with NC Central to cover. 


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.