Cincinnati Bearcats at Utah Valley Wolverines Betting Preview
A trip to Las Vegas is on the line when the Utah Valley Wolverines (27-8, 13-1 home) matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats (23-12, 5-6 away) in the National Invitational Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night. Winner of the game will face off against either UAB or Vanderbilt in the semifinals in Sin City.
The contest tips off at 9 p.m. EST inside the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. Cincinnati opened as a one-point favorite while the over/under total was set at 151 points.
What to Know – Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati has knocked off Virginia Tech and Hofstra to get to the quarterfinals in the school’s 11th appearance in the NIT. The last time the Bearcats moved on to the semifinals was way back in 1955. The Bearcats wrapped up the regular season with a fourth-place finish in the American Athletic Conference.
Offensively, Cincinnati was third in the AAC in scoring, averaging 77.4 points per game while connecting on 45.2% of its shots from the field and 35.4% from deep. On defense, the Bearcats were fourth in the conference, limiting opponents to 69.2 ppg, 42.6% shooting from the floor, and 31.3% from the 3-point line.
Landers Nolley II is the team’s leading scoring, pouring in 16.7 ppg, while David DeJulius (14.7 ppg) and Viktor Lakhin (11.7 ppg) also provide additional scoring outlets for Cincinnati.
The Bearcats come into the contest with a 23-11 record ATS and a 6-5 mark ATS on the road. Cincinnati has covered the spread in five of its last six matchups.
What to Know – Utah Valley Wolverines
Utah Valley is making their first appearance in the NIT in school history and making the most of it. The school was a junior college up until 2003 before transitioning to D1 that included a six-year transition period before becoming eligible for the NIT or NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines won the regular season Western Athletic Conference title.
The Wolverines offense ranked third in the conference, averaging 77.2 ppg behind 46.6% shooting from the floor and 33.6% from three. Utah Valley’s defense was fifth in the WAC, surrendering 68.1 ppg, 39.1% shooting from the field and 30.6% from the 3-point line.
Utah Valley showcases a balanced offensive attack with three guards that can light the scoreboard up on a given night. Trey Woodbury scored 32 points in the Wolverines’ first-round victory over New Mexico and Justin Harmon tallied 25 in last week’s win over New Mexico.
The Wolverines own a 23-9 record ATS while sporting an 8-3 advantage ATS at home. Utah Valley is 6-1 ATS over its previous seven games.
The Pick is In
Utah Valley has had a Cinderella-esque run through the NIT bracket in only its 13th season of post-tournament eligibility. The Bearcats have all intentions of ending the Wolverines run.
Cincinnati’s toughness prevails on Wednesday night, and the Bearcats get to stay out West by moving to the semifinals in Las Vegas next week.
The Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats ML