2023 NIT Season Tip-Off: Baylor Team to Beat

Bears Odds-On Favorites in 4-Team Field

The 2023 NIT Season Tip-Off takes place Wednesday and Friday and features three pretty good basketball teams and one average squad. Baylor, Florida and Pittsburgh are each in the top 40 of the Ken Pomeroy college basketball ratings. Oregon State is not, with the Beavers sitting at No. 186. But the Beavers may get the most out of the tournament, having the opportunity to play a pair of tough programs before the conference season starts.

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2023 NIT Season Tip-Off Odds

Baylor Bears (-165)

The Bears are the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, which makes sense in two areas. Not only is Baylor the best team in the tournament field, but it plays the weakest team to begin with. The Bears will be prohibitive favorites over Oregon State on Wednesday, while Pittsburgh and Florida will beat up on each other. The Bears opened with a hard-fought win, then coasted over the likes of John Brown and Kansas City. At least Baylor will be tested a little bit here.

Florida Gators (+275)

The Gators are the second choice to win the 2023 NIT Season Tip-Off, but there’s no guarantee Florida will get past Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Florida lost to Virginia in its second game this season to enter the tournament at 3-1. The Gators have seven players averaging 9.8 points or better, so Florida spreads the ball around. Zyon Pullin made his season debut last game and scored a team-high 15 points in a win over Florida State.

Pittsburgh Panthers (+400)

The Panthers are going off at decent odds, considering they will be the slightest of underdogs against Florida. Pitt has been piling it on against weaker foes. So, the tournament will be the first real test for Pittsburgh. Only Carlton Carrington averages more than 30 minutes a game for the Panthers. Pitt is playing 10 players at least 10 minutes a game.

Oregon State (+1500)

The Beavers aren’t a terrible team. But they’re not a very good one, either. Oregon State’s 3-1 record has to be taken lightly. The Beavers defeated Div. III Linfield College then beat Troy and Appalachian State in overtime. Oregon State played a decent Nebraska team last time out and lost 84-63. Sophomore Jordan Pope is leading the Beavers with 20.5 points per game.

You never like to play favorites in tournaments like this, but it makes sense in this case. The Bears are the best team in the field and have the easiest path to the finals.

Wednesday’s Games

Baylor Bears vs Oregon State Beavers

Date, time:
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Ken Pom college basketball ratings have Baylor winning by 17 points. The NCAAB lines will probably be pretty close to that. The Bears could be slightly higher, given how Nebraska just rolled over the Beavers. The Cornhuskers are a good team but aren’t as good as Baylor. With Thanksgiving off between games, there’s no reason for Baylor to hold anything back. The Beavers will look to slow things down, but the Bears can play up-tempo or in a half-court game. A national TV audience should bring out the best of the Bears, and it would be surprising to see Baylor win by at least 20.

Florida Gators vs Pittsburgh Panthers

Date, time:
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Of all the college basketball games today, odds are this will be one of the most entertaining. Both teams are better offensively than on defense. While neither team races up and down the court, both do play at a reasonably decent tempo. There should be a fair number of shots taken. The Ken Pom ratings have the Gators winning by a single point in a high-scoring game. While the style of play and field goal shooting point to the over, both teams have been poor from the foul line. The Panthers are shooting 64% from the foul line, and the Gators are just at 61.2%.

This should be the most closely contested game of the 2023 NIT Season Tip-Off. But it is a bit tough from a betting perspective. If the total is near 158 or lower, making one of your NCAAB picks on the over isn’t the worst play you can make.

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