Welcome ladies, gentlemen and fellow NCAA men's college basketball degenerates, to my weekly Summit League review and recap! I take a lot of pride in both breaking down and handicapping these CBB plays, simply because you can find some real edges in the market (along with other small conferences), and that's why you hear me constantly covering them in the podcast and on Twitter as well. This will be the intro in every article, and I will also be recapping/reviewing the Horizon League as well. Both of these conferences play on back-to-back nights vs. the same opponent to cut down on travel for COVID purposes.
Don’t be confused about the schedule when you go to bet these games, as each of these conferences mainly play Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Both articles will be out by Wednesday night (Thursday at the latest) every week through March Madness. Personally, I handicap every conference game and keep a lot of my work private. I do this because it forces me to look at every conference game and it helps me find real holes, since we are somewhat limited on our weekly choices. If you have any questions, thoughts or insights for now and/or going forward, feel free to contact me on Twitter any time @DanRivera228.
Author's Note: I went 1-3 on Friday and 4-2 on Sunday. I believe that I've got a lot of these teams down, but I will still be constantly tweaking my analysis of each squad as more conference games are played throughout the year. Also note that Denver was off this weekend from conference play as there are nine total Summit League Conference teams and each team will be missing a weekend during the season.
RECAP - Omaha (OMA) @ North Dakota State University (NDSU)
- Game 1: NDSU 71-69 (Omaha +7.5, over 137)
- Game 2: NDSU 80-66 (NDSU -7.5, over 135)
- Last year: NDSU 2-0 SU/ATS, 2-0 O/U
In the first game, North Dakota State was up 10 at the half and was covering the entire game until an unreal series of events in just 25 seconds of game time. NDSU got a technical for taunting, then Omaha hit their foul shots, plus a three-pointer, on that possession. NDSU then missed the front end of a 1-and-1, followed by an Omaha layup. NDSU proceeded to turn it over in the back court, and OMA scored. OMA put up 10 points (!) in that time span. The good news is that this series of events helped my over bet. The bad news was that OMA also covered the +7.5 spread in the process. Statistics wise, NDSU was below its season average of 33% from three-point range, as it went 23.5%. Nothing else stood out in the box score.
In the second game, NDSU covered for us and was much closer to the NDSU team I was expecting in game one. A lot of you were surprised that I went back to the well for NDSU in the second game here, but I like to back teams off bad shooting nights and fade teams off good shooting nights. I define a good/bad shooting night as being above/below season average by five percent - or according to conference averages when we get enough games. In the second game, NDSU shot 40% from three and was all business this game after its 25-second debacle in game one. Both of these games also totaled 5,700 fans in attendance.
RECAP - Western Illinois University (WIU) @ South Dakota State (SDST)
- Game 1: SDST 83-77 (WIU +18, over 153.5)
- Game 2: SDST 92-63 (SDST -16.5, over 154)
- Last year: SDST 2-0 SU/ATS, 0-2 O/U
In the first game, with South Dakota State, you might be wondering how it played so close with such a crappy team like Western Illinois University. SDST was up 41-28 in the first half, and was outscored 49-42 in the second half. This SDST team had a similar situation last year. at home to another crappy team in Denver. In that game, SDST was down at half and then blew Denver out in the second half. This is a tricky team at home, because you will pay a huge premium to back them and then they will lay an egg in one of the halves vs. one of the "crappy" teams in the Summit League conference. SDST was out-rebounded by WIU by nine and only shot 33.3% from three-point range, down from its season average of 39.4%.
In the second game, SDST really turned it on and won by nearly 30. SDST was only up by five in the first half, and in the second half outscored WIU 52-28. Again, you see one of these huge halves from them and another half of wondering what happened. SDST shot 52.4% from three, out-rebounded WIU 41-28, and out-assisted WIU 13-8. This result is somewhat misleading though, as WIU shot 7.7% from three and 38.2% from the field overall. Both of these shooting percentages were well below WIU's season averages.
RECAP - South Dakota (SD) @ University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC)
- Game 1: South Dakota 66-64 (SD -1.5, under 130.5)
- Game 2: South Dakota 68-62 (SD -1, push)
- Last year: UMKC 1-0 SU/ATS, 1-0 O/U
Last week, I stated that I didn’t have anything for South Dakota because it played Denver at home and blew Denver out by 40+ points and 20+ points. UMKC, meanwhile, went on the road to North Dakota and split the series with having one of its best shooting nights of the year in the teams' second game. UMKC left the Summit League back in 2013 to join the WAC and rejoined again this year (has to do with travel costs - same reason why IPFW also left the conference and went on to join the Horizon League). South Dakota only had one returning starter, and therefore I was hesitant to give out an opinion on this team because there were so many new starters in 2020. This group has looked like its normal shooting selves from last year, though, when South Dakota's players could shoot very well, particularly from three. UMKC, on the other hand, only has one win over a D1 team from last week's victory over North Dakota. I don’t think this UMKC team is very good, but luckily, it's still probably the sixth best team in the Summit League.
In the first game, South Dakota shot 50% from three and that was simply the difference. South Dakota shot 7-of-14 from three overall while UMKC shot 8-of-24. All other stats in these games were virtually identical. South Dakota was up 40-26 in the first half, yet was outscored 38-26 in the second half. In the second game, it was the same thing stat wise with South Dakota shooting 55% from three and UMKC shooting 30% from three. This game was actually tied with about two minutes left, and South Dakota was able to hit some key shots in key moments at the end while UMKC missed those same type of shots.
RECAP - North Dakota (UND) @ Oral Roberts University (ORU)
- Game 1: UND 72-71 (UND +9.5, under 147.5)
- Game 2: ORU 74-57 (ORU -8.5, under 147)
- Last year: ORU 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U
North Dakota, before UMKC rejoined, was once the newest member of the Summit League, starting conference play in the 2018-2019 season. This was a "whoever was home court wins" type series up until this weekend. I stated on the Betting Predators CBB free play pod with Sleepy that this Oral Roberts team can put up points similar to those Golden State Warriors championship teams. In game one, ORU had a bad shooting night as it shot 38.5% from the field and 24.1% from three. ORU's season average is 44% from the field and 37.6% from three. All things screamed to back this team on the next night because UND simply doesn’t have a good defense. UND had a good shooting night, going 45.5% from the field and 36.4% from three. The season averages for UND are 40.7% from the field and 28.9% from three. ORU also out-rebounded UND 45-35 and out-blocked them 8-3. If you take the season averages for ORU, then final score would have been ORU 88-72. I had the game 88-71, so this one really stung for me specifically.
Game two was a much different story that came down to one factor: three-point shooting. ORU shot 51.7% from three and 43.3% from the field in the rematch here. UND dropped down to 30.4% from three and 37.3% from the field. These are much closer to average, as UND trailed 44-27 at halftime.