The best college basketball team in the nation that’s not in Power 5 conference? It’s likely Wichita State, which is in its first season as an American Athletic Conference member. The Shockers will be sizable NCAAB betting favorites Tuesday against visiting Arkansas State.
Arkansas State vs. Wichita State NCAAB Betting Pick & Prediction
— AStateMB (@AStateMB) December 17, 2017
When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET
Where: Charles Koch Arena, Wichita
TV: None national
Radio: KFIN 107.9 FM (Arkansas State) / 103.7 FM (Wichita State)
Opening NCAAB Betting Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Arkansas State?
The Red Wolves (4-7) are a Sun Belt team and not a particularly good one. They have played one major conference opponent this season, losing 87-70 at Indiana. A-State comes off a 64-63 win at Florida Atlantic on Saturday. Rashad Lindsey sank a running floater as time expired.
Down 63-62 with under 30 seconds to go, Tristin Walley deflected a FAU pass to give A-State possession. Without a timeout, the Red Wolves pushed it up court and Ty Cockfield drove to the rim, but a layup rimmed out. Cockfield got his own rebound and the ball eventually ended up in the hands of Lindsey at the top of the key. Lindsey drove to the right elbow and dropped in the floater.
Deven Simms led A-State with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Cockfield also had double figures with 16 points. Lindsey finished with four points, all coming in the final two minutes. A-State earned its first road win of the season by shooting 45 percent (27-60) but only 3-of-17 (18 percent) from 3-point range and 7-for-17 from the free-throw line.
How Have the Lineups Been So Far?
A-State has used five different starting lineups in the first 11 games. Lindsey is the only player to start every game. A-State ranks 47th in 3-point field goal percentage defense. Head coach Mike Balado is in his first season with the Red Wolves. He is one of 27 first time NCAA Division I head coaches this season.
Simms leads the team in scoring at 16.8 ppg. Last year, he ranked second on the team, averaging 13.4 points per game last year. That total ranked third nationally among players who did not start a game last year. Reginald Johnson of Alcorn State (15.6) and Justin James of Wyoming (15.5) joined Simms in the top three. The leading scorer for A-State in seven games, Simms ranks ninth among all players in the Sun Belt with his scoring average. He is one of two players (JaKeenan Gant – Louisiana) to rank Top 10 in the league in scoring (9th) and field goal percentage (3rd).
- Average Score For: 73.27
- Field Goals: 46.11%
- Three Points: 34.38%
- Free Throws: 70.62%
- Rebounds: 34.18
- Average Score Against: 76.55
- Field Goals: 47.84%
- Three Points: 29.35%
- Free Throws: 78.19%
- Rebounds: 32.91
Why Bet on Wichita State?
The Shockers are ranked third in the current AP poll but likely will drop a bit in the new one Monday as they are off a 91-83 home loss to Oklahoma on Saturday. The Shockers entered Saturday allowing 68.2 points a game. The Sooners were 20 of 40 from the field and 10 of 23 from the 3-point line in the first half on the way to a 54-39 halftime lead.
Wichita State trailed 80-63 with 7:15 remaining but held Oklahoma scoreless for nearly 6 minutes. The Shockers closed within 84-78 but got no closer. Darral Willis came off the bench to lead the Shockers (8-2) with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Landry Shamet had 17 points, Conner Frankamp scored 14 and Shaquille Morris added 10 for Wichita.
WSU lost at home for the first time in almost a year, snapping a 14-game streak in Wichita. The Shockers have won 23 in a row at Charles Koch Arena, but have now dropped back-to-back at downtown INTRUST Bank Arena. It was just the seventh non-conference setback for the Shockers in Wichita under Gregg Marshall, sinking their mark to 74-7. The teams finished even on the boards at 43-43. WSU had outrebounded each of its last 14 opponents going back to last season and entered the day as the national leader in rebounding margin.
What Else Has Shamet Done?
Shamet was a member of the 50/40/90 club (50 percent overall shooting, 40 from long range and 90 from the charity stripe) before the loss to OU. The sophomore averages a team-high 16.4 points and is hitting at a .535 clip. He was shooting .535 from 3-point range, which was among the national leaders, but was 1-for-6 vs. Oklahoma and is down to 49 percent from long range. He was 4-for-6 from the free-throw line, which dropped him just under 90 percent from the charity stripe.
Just five players in Shocker history have finished north of 90 percent from the foul line over a full season (min. 40 FTM). A couple of games ago, Shamet had 30 points in a win at Oklahoma State, making him the first Shocker underclassman in nearly two decades to score 30-or-more. Maurice Evans (5x, 1998-99) was the last.
Wichita returns all five starters from last year’s team that went 31-5 and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles. WSU is 96-6 overall in Wichita since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.
- Average Score For: 86.50
- Field Goals: 49.27%
- Three Points: 38.40%
- Free Throws: 75.93%
- Rebounds: 44
- Average Score Against: 70.50
- Field Goals: 38.30%
- Three Points: 31.88%
- Free Throws: 73.40%
- Rebounds: 30.90
Expert Prediction & NCAAB Betting Pick
Wichita State will win by at least 15 points.