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Sam Houston State and Santa Clara will duel it out on the court tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET. Should you trust the Broncos? Krabs answers.
ANALYSIS

NIT Bets Today: Best Bets for Santa Clara vs Sam Houston State in the First Round

When Santa Clara lost Jalen Williams to the NBA, nobody expected them to be relevant in 2023. Illinois transfer Brandin Podziemski has filled in nicely for Williams, averaging 20 ppg and leading the Broncos to a third-place WCC finish. Will Podziemski and Santa Clara keep their miracle season alive and defeat Sam Houston State tonight?

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Santa Clara vs Sam Houston State Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: March 15, 2023
  • Start Time: 9:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Click here for Santa Clara vs. Sam Houston State odds

NIT Bets for Thursday

How the NIT works is they hold the first two rounds at the higher-seeded team’s home court before moving to a neutral site for the final games. This game tonight should be played at SHSU, but due to an arena conflict, the Bearkats were unable to host this game on their home floor. Instead, this game will now be played at Santa Clara, obviously a huge advantage for an unseeded NIT team going against a 2 seed. The Broncos were 14-4 at home this season. The rims seemed a little softer for the Broncos when they played at home.

I mentioned Brandin Podziemski and how important his addition has been to this Santa Clara team. This kid has been playing out of his mind recently. Podziemski has dropped 20+ points in eight of his previous ten games, including a 30-piece against LMU and a 38-piece against Pacific. Both of these games were at home for Santa Clara. It’s clear that Podziemski does the best work on his home floor, and even facing the second-rated defense in the nation, he should have no problem getting buckets tonight. Sam Houston State had one of the easiest strengths of schedules in the country this year. Their second-rated defense is a little bit of an overreaction.

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When this line dropped, I thought it was a mistake. At first, I expected Sam Houston State to be the favorites considering their better record, better seeding, and highly praised defense. The line opened up with Santa Clara as the 3.5-point favorite. We are now seeing mainly 4.5 and 5 lines lying around, a great sign for Santa Clara, who’s bringing in less than 45% of bets and 40% of the handle on the spread on DraftKings. Sharps are sneakily laying the points with the Broncos on their home floor against an overvalued defense, hence why the line is moving in the opposite direction of the bets.

It took a legacy 2OT performance by San Francisco to eliminate Santa Clara from the WCC tourney. I was starting to think the Broncos may run the table and even give Gonzaga a run for their money, but their winning streak was snapped at seven, ending the regular season. Let’s see how much fight Santa Clara has left in them; the Broncos now playing at home tonight could be the difference.

NIT Bet - Santa Clara vs Sam Houston State

Article Author

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Krabs is a contrarian bettor who isn’t afraid to fade the public or go against the grain. His betting style not only produces winners but has changed the way many think about the sports betting process. You’ll find Krabs betting on anything from the NFL (at a 60% clip in 2022) to the KBO (8-1-1 in 2022). You won’t find many handicappers with more college basketball knowledge or insight than Krabs. A native of the “DMV,” you can find his work @Krabs_Bets on Twitter, or on Behind the Lines, his daily sports betting show on twitch.

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