It is not unusual for a No. 10 seed to beat a No. 7 seed. But if the Texas A&M vs. Penn State odds are any indication, bettors may not want to count on the Nittany Lions to be the No. 10 seed that beat a No. 7 seed in this year’s March Madness Tournament.
Both teams made it to their conference tournament finals and lost. However, the Nittany Lions were much more competitive than the Aggies and only lost by two (Texas A&M lost by 19). Could an upset be brewing, after all?
Texas A&M vs. Penn State Betting Odds: Spread, Moneyline, Total
Texas A&M opened as a 2.5-point favorite in the game. But since then, the line has shifted in favor of the Aggies. The Texas A&M vs. Penn State spread has moved to 3-3.5 points at most sportsbooks, but FanDuel has the Aggies at -2.5.
Both teams are coming off a loss in their respective conference tournament finals. But while Penn State put up a fight and lost by two, the Aggies were dominated from start to finish and lost by 19. So, why are the Aggies favored?
It could be because they are the better team on paper and had a better conference record in the regular season (15-3 compared to 10-10). Offensively, they have played similarly; the Aggies have averaged 73.2 points per game to 72.3 for the Nittany Lions. On the defensive end of the court, their season averages are just 2.2 points apart.
However, if Penn State heats up from behind the arc, Texas A&M could be in trouble. The Aggies have struggled against three-point shooters this season, and Penn State is one of the better three-point teams in the country
Texas A&M allowed 66.2 points per game this year, next to 68.4 for Penn State. The Texas A&M vs. Penn State Under is 135.5 points at BetRivers.
Texas A&M vs. Penn State Betting News
- Since 1985, No. 7 seeds have beaten No. 10 seeds roughly 60% of the time (90-58).
- Going back to 2010, the No. 7 seed is 26-18.
- The No. 7 seed was 3-1 in the first round last year; No. 10 Miami beat No. 7 USC, 68-66.
- Texas A&M got picked to finish seventh in the SEC to enter the season.
- Penn State got picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten to enter the season.
- Texas A&M key players: Wade Taylor IV, G — 16.5 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.8 spg; Tyrece Radford, G — 13.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
- Penn State key players: Jalen Pickett, G — 17.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.7 apg; Seth Lundy, F — 14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg; Andrew Funk, G — 12.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg
Texas A&M vs. Penn State Betting Trends
- Texas A&M was 23-11 against the spread (ATS) this season; Penn State was 20-13-2.
- Neutral Site: Penn State, 7-1 ATS; Texas A&M, 3-4 straight up (SU), 3-4 ATS.
- Texas A&M: 22-4 SU, 19-7 ATS when the favorite.
- Penn State: 7-9 SU, 11-5 ATS when the underdog.
- Ranked opponents: Texas A&M 4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS; Penn State 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS.
- Texas A&M was 5-0 ATS when favored by 3.5 points or less.
- Penn State was 6-2 ATS when the spread was +3.5 or less.
- Total (Over): Texas A&M — 16-18; Penn State — 20-14-1
- Total (Over) at a neutral site: Texas A&M –4-3; Penn State — 4-4
Texas A&M vs. Penn State Prediction: Under 135.5
This game has “defensive battle” written all over it. Both have a decent defense, but neither is overly impressive on the offensive end of the court. They aren’t bad, of course. They just aren’t going to light the scoreboard up.
Look for defense to decide this game and keep the score relatively low.
Texas A&M vs. Penn State Player Props
Jalen Pickett, Under 17.5 Points (-120, DraftKings)
Pickett has scored under 17.5 points in six of Penn State’s last seven games. Penn State will probably try to take advantage of Texas A&M’s lackluster three-point defense, which will mean fewer shots for Pickett (who is 5-of-15 from three-point range in his last seven games).
Wade Taylor IV, Over 18.5 Points (-104, FanDuel)
Taylor enters the tournament coming off a lackluster performance against Alabama in the SEC Tournament title game (3-of-11; 2-of-4 from three-point range for 13 points). But the A&M star scored at least 18 points in nine of his last 11 games. In seven of those games, he had 20+.
Andrew Funk, Over 2.5 Three-Pointers (+102, Caesars)
Texas A&M’s defense does not do a good job against three-point shooters, so expect Penn State to have its best behind-the-arc trying to make it rain throughout the game. Funk has the second-best three-point percentage on the team among players that average 30+ minutes a game.
He went 0-of-5 in the Big Ten title game but hit at least three in four of the previous five.
Seth Lundy, Under 0.5 Assists (+180, DraftKings)
As a team, Penn State averages 13.9 assists a game. Close to half of them come from Jalen Pickett. Lundy, however, only contributes a few (if any). He had one against Purdue but had zero in the previous two games. In five of his last 10 regular season games, he had zero. That also means he had at least one in five of the last 10.
So, he’s 50-50 to get at least one. There is risk here, but at +180, there is also value.
- Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
- Time: 9:55 PM ET
- Location: Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa
- Channel: TBS