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Penn State vs Texas A&M Odds, Spread & Predictions – Nittany Lions Underdogs in NCAA Tournament Opener

Chris Wassel

by Chris Wassel in College Basketball

Updated Mar 15, 2023 · 8:19 PM PDT

Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett holds off a defender
Mar 12, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) drives to the basket against Purdue Boilermakers guard Ethan Morton (25) during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Texas A&M are 3-point favorites over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 16
  • The seventh-seeded Aggies face the tenth-seeded Nittany Lions to see who advances to the Second Round
  • Below, see the Penn St. vs Texas A&M odds and picks for Thursday night

Now, this NCAA Tournament first-round game between the seventh-seeded Texas A&M Aggies (30-2, 18-14 ATS) and tenth-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions (24-8, 16-15-1 ATS) appears to be even. This game comes from the Midwest Region. A potential date with Texas would likely be next for the winner.

Oddsmakers are on the Aggies when it comes to this game as numbers have been right around three to four points, depending on the site.

Penn St. vs Texas A&M Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Penn State +3 (-110) +126 O 134.5 (-110)
Texas A&M -3 (-110) -150 U 134.5 (-110)

Texas A&M felt a little miffed at their seed when they looked at the March Madness bracket. Both the Aggies and Nittany Lions are down a ways in the March Madness odds.

Tip-off for this contest is set for 9:55 pm ET on Thursday March 16 at the Wells Fargo Arena from Des Moines, Iowa. The game is will be on TBS. Texas A&M currently is a -150 favorite to defeat Penn State.


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Odds as of March 15 at Caesars. Unlock a Caesars Sportsbook promo.

Penn State vs Texas A&M Betting Trends

Texas A&M feels like it has something to prove. Now, this was an Aggies team that won 15 games in the SEC Conference, but lost to the 1-seed in their conference tournament. Can they turn that anger into a win on Thursday night? That will not be so easy. Both teams come in hot. The Aggies won ten of their last 12 games on the moneyline. Penn St. countered by winning eight of ten.

As far as the total of 134.5 points, the over/under is set pretty well. Also, both teams are capable of scoring 72 points per game while allowing under 70 points a contest. Buzz Williams and his Aggies are a hair better while yielding 66.2 points per contest. The big thing with Texas A&M is pace. They slow things down and only allow the 13th fewest field-goal attempts in the nation. Yes, watching the number on the Over/Under is important.

Penn State Will Make Things Interesting

It is the concept that the Penn State Nittany Lions excel at the mistakes Texas A&M often causes. For example, Penn State does not turn the ball over a ton. Texas A&M loves creating opportunities from turnovers. It allows them to dictate a slower pace to the game. Being in the top five in fewest turnovers could help against the Aggies.

Penn State attempts quite a few three-point shots. Often, they live and die by the shot.  Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk both attempt more than six per contest while making just 40% of their shots from beyond the arc. Jalen Pickett penetrates, sets up, and scores for the Nittany Lions. Ultimately, Pickett may cause the most matchup problems for Texas A&M on Thursday. The senior guard knows he needs to get to the hoop.

Texas A&M and the Charity Stripe

Texas A&M has no one threatening to win in the Wooden Award odds, but this Aggies team excels at getting to the foul line. For the most part, they make their shots too. Texas A&M shoots 76.2% from the line and attempts more foul shots than any other team in the nation. Penn State is in deep trouble if they cannot stay out of foul trouble.

Honestly, Texas A&M believes they can get all the way to the Sweet 16. While that may be true, the Aggies can easily lose this first-round matchup. Texas A&M must get Penn State in foul trouble and find a way to slow down Jalen Pickett. Pickett is a second team AP All-American for a reason. He makes the Nittany Lions very dangerous. The Aggies cannot completely shut him down even with Dexter Dennis (a shut-down Senior guard). Pickett is that good.

Penn State vs Texas A&M Prediction

Penn State and Texas A&M split this matchup almost down the middle if they played 100 times. Micah Shrewsberry feels no pressure compared to Buzz Williams. Williams and his Aggies want to shut up the critics. The only way to do that is win. This Nittany Lions team has won five of their last six ATS. Do not be surprised if they find a way to cover and even win outright.

Pick: Penn State Moneyline (+126)


Other first round March Madness predictions:

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