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Montana State vs Grambling State Odds, Picks, Predictions & Player Props (March 20)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Mar 19, 2024 · 6:26 PM PDT

Montana State Bobcats guard Robert Ford III celebrates a three
Mar 13, 2024; Boise, ID, USA; Montana State Bobcats guard Robert Ford III (20) reacts during the first half against the Montana Grizzlies at Idaho Central Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports
  • Montana State vs Grambling State takes place in the First Four in Dayton on Wednesday, March 20
  • Montana State is a 3.5-point favorite to advance to the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament
  • Below, see the Montana State vs Grambling predictions, odds, and props

The class of the SWAC all season, the Grambling State Tigers (20-14, 3-2 neutral, 17-14 ATS) parlayed their regular-season conference title into a SWAC Tournament championship last week, earning their first ticket to the NCAA Tournament in program history. But the Tigers will need to win one more game to advance to the first round proper, facing fellow #16 seed Montana State (17-17, 3-0 neutral, 16-15 ATS) in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday night.

Tip-off from University of Dayton Arena is scheduled for 6:45 pm ET and the Bobcats are listed as 3.5-point neutral-court favorites in the Montana State vs Grambling State odds.

Montana State vs Grambling State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Montana State Bobcats -3.5 (-115) -183 Over 135.5 (-110)
Grambling State Tigers +3.5 (-105) +150 Under 135.5 (-110)

The moneyline odds set the Bobcats as -183 chalk to advance with the Tigers coming back as +150 underdogs. The winner will advance to meet Midwest #1 seed Purdue in the first round of the March Madness bracket.


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Odds as of March 20 at BetMGM. Get the sign up offer for BetMGM before wagering on March Madness. 

Last year, Fairleigh Dickinson became the first #16 seed to go from the First Four to the second round – beating the same Purdue program the winner of Montana State/Grambling State will face – but oddsmakers don’t give much credence to the notion of a deep run by either of these teams, listing both Montana State and Grambling at +25000 in the Final Four odds.

Montana State Making Third Straight NCAA Tournament Appearance

Despite the departure of head coach Danny Sprinkle to Utah State – and the loss of the team’s five leading scorers from last season – the Bobcats have qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

Their streak looked as though it would come to an end after Montana State sputtered to a 14-17 regular-season record (9-9 in Big Sky play) but the Bobcats got hot at just the right time. Montana State took down Weber State (91-82), Sacramento State (74-71), and rival Montana (85-70) in the Big Sky Tournament to make it back to March Madness.

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Leading scorer Robert Ford III (15.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG) was huge in the conference tournament, averaging 22.7 points in the trio of victories.

First-year coach Matt Logie saw his team rise from 284th in the KenPom efficiency ratings at the start of the season all the way to 213th after the Big Sky Tournament. The Bobcats are 43rd in DI in three-point percentage (36.4%) and 45th in effective field-goal percentage (53.9%), yet rate just 234th in offensive efficiency, largely due to a weak schedule and a brutal 20.7 offensive-rebounder percentage (356th).

Montana State only played one team rated in KenPom’s top 100 during the regular season, losing 85-61 at Washington. Their best win came at California (63-60) on Nov. 16.

Grambling Schedules Aggressively in Non-Con

Tigers head coach Donte Jackson scheduled very aggressively in the non-conference portion of Grambling’s schedule. The Tigers faced six top-60 teams (all of whom made the NCAA Tournament) on the road this season, losing all six by at least 12 points: 95-63 at Colorado (#26), 92-37 at Iowa State (#5), 76-46 at Dayton (#32), 68-56 at Drake (#51), and 96-57 at Florida (#29).

They headed into SWAC play just 3-10 with all three of  wins coming over non-DI teams. But Grambling sprinted to a 14-4 record in SWAC play, finishing a game ahead of Alcorn State. The top-seed in the SWAC Tournament, Grambling beat Alabama State (56-50), Bethune Cookman (65-53), and Texas Southern (75-66) on a neutral court in Birmingham.

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Grambling also covered all three games against the spread, including the final two as small underdogs.

The Tigers currently sit 268th at KenPom. They started the year 266th but fell to 332nd in early December before surging back basically to where they started after winning the SWAC Tournament.

JUCO transfer Kintavious Dozier leads Grambling in scoring at 13.1 PPG in his first season with the team, while Tra’Michael Moton (11.8 PPG) and Antwan Burnett (10.1 PPG) are also in double-figures.

Montana State vs Grambling State Player Props

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
Antwan Burnett  (GRA) 9.5 (Ov -135 | Un -105) 5.5 (Ov -145 | Un +105) OFF 0.5 (Ov -215 | Un +160)
Eddie Turner III (MON) 10.5 (Ov -130 | Un -110) 2.5 (Ov -155 | Un +115) 4.5 (Ov +120 | Un -160) 0.5 (Ov -2140 | Un +175)
Jourdan Smith (GRA) 11.5 (Ov -120 | Un -120) 5.5 (Ov -105 | Un -135) OFF 0.5 (Ov -100 | Un -140)
Kintavious Dozier (GRA) 11.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 3.5 (Ov -110 | Un -130) OFF 1.5 (Ov +180 | Un -245)
Robert Ford III (MON) 15.5 (Ov -125 | Un -115) 6.5 (Ov -120 | Un -120) 3.5 (Ov +105 | Un -145) 2.5  (Ov +130 | Un -170)
Tra’Michael Moton (GRA) 13.5 (Ov -135 | Un -105) 3.5 (Ov -135 | Un -105) 3.5 (Ov +115 | Un -155) 1.5  (Ov -110 | Un -130)
Tyler Patterson (MON) 8.5 (Ov -140 | Un -100) 2.5 (Ov +145 | Un -190) OFF 1.5  (Ov -145 | Un +105)

College basketball player props from DraftKings on March 20, 2024. 

Ford, who’s been on fire of late, has the highest point total at 15.5 O/U and the highest rebound total at 6.5. Moton is the highest Tigers player on the board at 13.5.

Montana State vs Grambling State Prediction

Montana State hasn’t played the level of competition that Grambling has, but the Tigers were obliterated in almost all of their games against Tournament-quality teams.

There isn’t a ton of production from last year’s Montana State team back this year, but Ford, Tyler Patterson (8.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG), and Sam Lecholat (5.4 PG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 APG) were all part of the #14 seed that lost 77-65 to #3 Kansas State last year as 7.5-point underdogs.

Montana State vs Grambling State picks:

  • Montana State -3.5 (-110)
  • Robert Ford III over 15.5 points (-125)


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