Denver @ North Dakota State (NDSU -14.5, total 138)
This Saturday night game (8:30 p.m. EST tipoff) will be the back half of a Summit League Conference weekend two-game series between Denver and North Dakota State (NDSU). Friday night's weekend opener wasn’t a great game by NDSU by any means, as the host Bison won the game 70-58 but failed to cover the spread. I was worried about the spread of -14.5 for the home team prior to tipoff because you would've needed some serious margin to get the cover here. I simply wasn’t sure if NDSU "wanted" to get that margin either. For the game, NDSU had a bad FG% night overall. They shot 40.4% from the field, but their conference average had been 45.9% coming in. This wasn't a huge difference, sure, but one that definitely hurt you if you backed NDSU against the lofty spread. Denver shot pretty well from three point range on Friday night as well, as the visiting Pioneers hit 36.8% of their shots from beyond the arc, which is above their season average of 32.8% and above their Summit League conference average of 34.5%.
I am not sure if I want to back the Bison here on Saturday night, just because we will have to lay so many points yet again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bison didn't cover again, but I also wouldn't be surprised either if they did. NDSU, however, does offer an interesting team total. The Bison have scored 68, 78, 71, 80, 62, and 78 (OT game, 67 at end of regulation). With each game so far they've seen an increase in their total team points scored and I expect something similar tonight, especially if Denver can keep it somewhat close like they did last night. If you see a line at 70 or 71, then we will be looking to the over here for NDSU.
Lastly, NDSU tends to be an over team for its games in general. Since 2019, the Bison are 10-4-1 to the over at home while Denver is 11-6 to the over on the road. The combination of these trends, in addition to NDSU generally improving on the second night of a back-to-back supports a possible play on the team total and maybe the over for the game as well. I believe NDSU wins this game 75-60 to earn the sweep.