- No. 2 seed Auburn is a 15.5-point favorite over jacksonville State in an NCAA Midwest Region game Friday
- Jacksonville State has won at least 20 games in four of the last six seasons
- Read below for Jacksonville State vs Auburn odds, analysis and a betting prediction
No. 2 seed Auburn (27-5, 19-12-1 ATS) is a 15.5-point favorite over Jacksonville State in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region game at 12:40 pm ET Friday at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games.
Jacksonville State (21-10, 17-12 ATS) qualified for its second NCAA Tournament appearance because Atlantic Sun Tournament champion Bellarmine was ineligible while transitioning from Division II. The Gamecocks won the A-Sun regular season title at 13-3.
Editor’s note: On the morning of gameday, the point spread had been bet down to Auburn -14.5 and the total had moved from 139.5 to 138.5 at BetMGM.
Jacksonville State vs Auburn
|Jacksonville State Gamecocks||+1000||-15.5 (-110)||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Auburn Tigers||-2000||-15.5 (-110)||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds from BetMGM on March 16. Check out the BetMGM bonuses before wagering.
Auburn is a 15.5-point favorite in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region game against Jacksonville State, with the total set at 139.5, the third-lowest Auburn has seen this season. Auburn is -2000 on the moneyline, meaning it has 95.2% implied win probability. The Gamecocks are +1000 on the moneyline, which translates into a 9.1% win probability.
Auburn opens with NCAA Tournament champion odds at +1700, the seventh favorite, between Duke (+1400) and Purdue (+1800).
Auburn Struggles Down the Stretch
After winning 19 straight games and reaching No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history, the Tigers have struggled the last five weeks, going 5-4 straight up and 2-6-1 ATS beginning with their streak-breaking 80-86 loss at Arkansas on Feb. 8. (You know, the game Razorbacks’ coach Bill Musselman shed his shirt and celebrated bare-chested on the court.)
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) March 15, 2022
The Tigers did not beat a team with a winning league record since trouncing rival Alabama on Feb. 1. Late-season losses to Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M cost them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, with the 67-62 overtime loss A&M in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals serving as the final straw.
Smith’s use of tense in this tweet Tuesday made it sound as if he is done after one.
Auburn’s Identity Crisis
Freshman forward 6’10 Jabari Smith Jr. leads the Tigers in scoring at 17.1 points per game and is second in rebounding at 7.0, and he is projected to be a top five pick in the 2022 NBA draft.
So why doesn’t Auburn get him the ball in crunch time?
Smith had 28 points in the 63-62 loss at Florida but he did not touch on the final possession, when guard Wendell Green Jr. dribbled into a turnover in the final seconds. Green also missed a long 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation at Arkansas after the Tigers gained possession with 20 seconds left. Smith hit two threes in overtime, but. …
The Tigers’ other inside option, 7’1 Walker Kessler, is second in Division I with 4.5 blocked shots per game.
Gamecocks Go Deep
Jacksonville State may have gotten into the NCAA Tournament through the back door, but that does not mean the Gamecocks do not belong.
ASUN ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM:
Darius McGhee, Liberty
Darian Adams, Jacksonville State
Tavian Dunn-Martin, FGCU
Kevion Nolan, Jacksonville
Ahsan Asadullah, Lipscomb https://t.co/jsH0hY6Hy3
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 1, 2022
The Gamecocks have four 20-win seasons since their only other NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017, and they are among the best distance-shooting teams in the nation, making 38.8 percent of their three-point attempts, fifth in Division I.
FIrst-team A-Sun guard Darian Adams (15.6 points per game) and guards Jalen Gibbs (10.7) and sixth man Demaree King (10.7) have made at least 69 3-pointers apiece, and King set a school record with 84 while shooting 46.2 percent from distance.
Jacksonville State vs Auburn H2H Results
Auburn has won all games between the two, although the only one in the last 15 seasons came when the Tigers covered a 10-point spread in a 78-54 home victory on Nov. 19, 2013.
Jacksonville State was 5-0 straight up and ATS before falling to Jacksonville 54-51 as a six-point favorite in semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament.
Walker Kessler named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Finalist pic.twitter.com/MEKKBIDUca
— Justin Hokanson (@_JHokanson) March 15, 2022
The game offers a contrast in tempos. Auburn averages 70.1 possessions per game, 40th in Division I according to KenPom. Jacksonville State averages 65.1, which is 276th.
Auburn was 18-14 over the total and the Gamecocks were 14-15. Jacksonville State has been under the total in six of its last nine.
Check out the NCAAB public betting trends on Friday morning to see who the public is backing and whether the line has moved.
Jacksonville State vs Auburn Prediction
The Atlantic Sun has made some noise in previous NCAA tournaments, Florida Gulf Coast’s run to the 2013 Sweet Sixteen as a No. 15 seed the prime example. The Gamecocks played Alabama within six in mid-December, and their ability to strike from distance should mitigate Kessler’s shot-blocking presence.
When it comes to the best March Madness betting strategy for this game, Auburn is not playing well enough to lay this big a number.
The pick: Jacksonville State +15.5 (-110)
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