NC State vs Creighton Predictions, Odds & Spread (March 17)
- The #6 Creighton Bluejays are a 5-point favorite over the #11 NC State Wolfpack in their NCAA Tournament South Region first-round game on Friday, March 17
- These two schools have split two previous meetings
- NC State hasn’t won a March Madness game since 2015
It’s the Big East vs the ACC as the Creighton Bluejays (21-12, 16-17 ATS) tangle with the NC State Wolfpack (23-10, 16-15-2 ATS) in a South Region opening-round game of the NCAA Tournament. Creighton has won games at March Madness in each of the past two years. NC State last won an NCAA Tournament game in 2015.
This will be the third meeting between two schools, Each has one win, although the previous Creighton-NC State game took place in 2016.
The #6-seeded Bluejays are set as 5-point favorites over the #11 Wolfpack. Creighton is 12-4 straight up over the past 16 games.
NC State vs Creighton Odds
|NC State||+5 (-110)||+180||O 149 (-110)|
|Creighton||-5 (-110)||-220||U 149 (-110)|
Neither of these teams are being given much chance in the March Madness odds. Creighton is set at a betting line of +4000. NC State is showing odds of +30000 to win the NCAA Tournament.
Tip-off for this game is set for 4:00 pm ET on Friday, March 17 at Ball Arena. The game is being carried by TNT.
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Odds as of March 16 at Caesars. Get the Caesars Sportsbook promo code or see the full list of March Madness betting apps.
Wolfpack vs Bluejays Betting Trends
This is NC State’s first trip to March Madness in five years. The Wolfpack didn’t stick around long then, losing to Seton Hall of the Big East in the first round. The people are counting on another Big East squad also making short work of the Wolfpack.
In the March Madness public betting splits, Creighton is garnering 58% of handle and bets in the spread split. In the moneyline splits, the Bluejays are drawing 65% of handle and 78% of bets.
The public is going with the over on the total of 149 points. It’s grabbing 72% of handle and 60% of bets. Four of Creighton’s last five games have gone over. The over is 3-2 in NC State’s past five games.
Is 11 a Lucky Number?
Last season, two #11 seeds went all the way to the Sweet 16 in March Madness competition. In 2021, a pair of #11 seeds were also first-round winners.
In 1983, though, when NC State beat Houston to win the NCAA Tournament, the Wolfpack were the #6 seed in the West Region. They beat #11 Pepperdine in the first round that year.
Wolfpack Can Beat You in a Lot of Ways
The #2 offense in the ACC this season, scoring 78.9 points per game, NC State is led by a dynamite backcourt. Wolfpack guards Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner know how to score the basketball.
Terquavion Smith is just the 2nd player over the last 25 seasons with 30 points on 80% FG in the ACC Tournament.
He's the first since Maryland's John Gilchrist in 2004 (which came against NC State). pic.twitter.com/rYpxqGKkXt
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 9, 2023
Smith (17.5 points per game) and Joiner (17.1 ppg) are 1-2 in team scoring. The Wolfpack is 9-1 SU when Smith scores 20 or more points. When Joiner scores 20+ points, NC State is 10-2 SU.
In the middle, 6-foot-9 DJ Burns is more of a modern big man. He can dish the basketball and shoot the three. Burns is scoring 12.8 ppg and pulling down 4.8 rebounds per night. Guard Casey Morsell (11.9 ppg) is also a double digit scorer and the top 3-point shooter (40.7%) for the Wolfpack.
Balance The Key For Bluejays
At the outset of the season, Creighton was being viewed as a potential Final Four team. KenPom puts the Bluejays in the top 30 nationally in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency.
Ryan Kalkbrenner went for 39 points on 16-for-19 in the conference tournament.
With the NC State defense ranking outside the top-125 at the rim and from three, that's an area the Bluejays can exploit via their seven-footer.
Against Xavier, the 2-time Big East DPOY gave a gentle… https://t.co/pqyKQDk5Ef pic.twitter.com/iQo1BfFwZ9
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) March 15, 2023
At center, 7-foot-1 Ryan Kalkbrenner is a finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. He’s also Creighton’s leading scorer with 15.4 ppg. When Kalkbrenner was lost to mononucleosis, the Bluejays lost their way. At one point, Creighton lost five in a row without their towering presence in the middle. But the Bluejays are 15-6 SU since he returned to the lineup.
All five of Creighton’s starters are scoring 11.9 ppg or better. It’s that level of balance which has many bracketologists viewing the Bluejays as a true dark horse for March Madness.
NC State vs Creighton Prediction
NC State has lost three of the last four games. The Wolfpack haven’t beaten a team among the KenPom top 50 since a January victory over Duke. NC State hasn’t beaten an elite team away from home all season long.
Both of these teams like to play an up-tempo game. Creighton is just too much for the Wolfpack, though. The balance of the Bluejays starting five will simply wear down NC State.
Pick: Creighton Bluejays -5 (-110)
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