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Saturday night’s NC State vs Oakland matchup in the South Region features two of the biggest stories of the first few days of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The 11-seed Wolfpack and the 14-seed Golden Grizzlies meet at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday in Pittsburgh in a must-see clash between an NC State team coming off a stunning ACC Tournament championship and Horizon League champ Oakland, which shocked 3-seed Kentucky on Thursday.

Here, we will break down the NC State vs Oakland odds and predictions.


Coach Kevin Keatts and the Wolfpack (23-14, 9-11 ACC) have won six games in a row since the ACC Tournament tipped off on March 12 in Washington, DC. The Pack has been the underdog in its last five games, but it’s favored on Saturday night against Oakland (24-11, 15-5 Horizon), which pulled the first massive upset of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The Golden Grizzlies were 13.5-point underdogs against John Calipari’s Wildcats but outscored one of the most prolific offenses in the country thanks to 10 made 3-pointers by Jack Gohlke, whose 32-point performance made him an instant March Madness legend. The Wolfpack advanced past Texas Tech with an 80-67 win in the 11-vs-6 matchup in the South thanks to a dominant effort in the paint from Ben Middlebrooks (21 points, 4 rebounds), DJ Burns (16 points), and Mo Diarra (17 points, 12 rebounds).

Let’s get into the matchup and give our best NC State vs Oakland betting pick.

Read More: March Madness Underdogs: Five Cinderella Candidates Best College Basketball Betting Sites | March Madness Odds

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NC State Wolfpack Betting Preview

The story of this team’s ACC Tournament Championship run was how well its complementary pieces played, as the Pack managed to win even on the nights when its two stars (guard DJ Horne and big man DJ Burns) struggled. That continued on Thursday in NC State’s first NCAA Tournament game, as Middlebrooks exploded for 21 points in 23 minutes off the bench. The Clemson transfer’s previous season-high in points was just 14, and he came into the Texas Tech game averaging 5 points per game.

State also got massive contributions from Diarra and Horne to end up with a comfortable win despite Burns’ early foul trouble. This team’s depth, defense, and outstanding rebounding throughout its hot streak makes it a tough out going forward. Oakland’s lights-out 3-point shooting makes Saturday’s game another difficult test, but facing the 14-seed instead of the 3-seed in the bracket gives State’s hopes of reaching the Sweet 16 a massive boost.

Oddsmakers have doubted NC State throughout this run, but the Pack will be favored for just the second time in the last seven games against Oakland.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies Betting Preview

The Grizzlies had a reputation as a dangerous shooting team going into the Kentucky game, but no one could have predicted 10 made 3-pointers from one player. Jack Gohlke, a 6-foot-3 senior guard who shoots nearly 38% from 3 on 10 attempts per night, is not the only dangerous shooter on this roster, though. Fellow senior guard Blake Lampman, who is also listed at 6-foot-3, has hit 36.5% of his 3-pointers on 8.5 attempts per game.

Kentucky limited Lampman to just 3 points on 1-for-6 shooting (partly because Oakland was riding Gohlke’s hot hand), but his stats this year show he’s capable of a huge performance of his own if NC State devotes all its attention to Gohlke. While Gohlke and Lampman lead the team in 3-point shooting, Oakland’s top scorer is actually 6-foot-6 junior forward Trey Townsend, who does his damage inside. Townsend won Horizon League Player of the Year this season, while Gohlke was named Sixth Man of the Year.

The Grizzlies could struggle with NC State’s frontcourt given that Townsend, 6-foot-10 junior Chris Conway, and 6-foot-8 Isaiah Jones are the only players in the rotation who are at least 6-foot-6. But as long as Oakland can hold its own in the paint — which shouldn’t be ruled out after a win over a Kentucky team featuring three 7-footers — it has a real chance to reach the Sweet 16.

NC State vs Oakland Betting Trends

NC State Wolfpack

  • NCSU is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of NCSU’s last 10 games.

Additional notes on NC State:

  • The Pack is undefeated ATS in its last five, beating the spread by 10 or more in all five games (including by at least 16 in four of them).
  • The total has gone OVER in each of State’s last three games.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies

  • Oakland is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Oakland’s last 10 games.

NC State vs Oakland Predictions & Betting Pick

Let’s start by admitting that it feels risky to bet against either of these teams given their momentum. Oakland’s experience and shooting are a proven recipe for success in this tournament, but NCSU has pronounced advantages in size and depth. It’s also no coincidence that each of the Pack’s last four opponents (Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, and Texas Tech) have shot 43% or worse from the field. State has also limited its last four opponents to just under 27% shooting from 3 on 27 attempts per game.

The Pack’s momentum — and more importantly, the way it’s defending and rebounding right now — give it a chance to win even on a bad shooting night, especially against a team with few bigs to contend with Burns, Diarra, and Middlebrooks.

Both teams have been good against the spread recently, but the play is to take the Wolfpack to keep its run alive.

NC State vs Oakland Betting Pick: NC State (-5.5 at time of publishing)

NC State vs Oakland Injury Report

How to Watch NC State vs Oakland

  • Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • Tip-Off: 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Location: PPG Paints Arena — Pittsburgh
  • Where to Watch: TBS/truTV


About the Author
Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett has been a sports writer since joining the student newspaper at his alma mater, NC State, back in 2008. He's covered sports and sports business for a number of newspapers and websites, including the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Observer, High Press Soccer, and Sports Business Journal, where he currently works full-time.

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