Charleston vs San Diego State March Madness Betting Preview

Aztecs Small Favorites Over 31-3 College of Charleston

Charleston vs San Diego State is a bit of a surprise in the March Madness betting odds. The No. 5 Aztecs are just 4.5-point favorites over No. 12 Charleston in this South Region game. The moneyline has San Diego State -210 and the total on the game is 141.5. The game is slated to tip-off at 3:10 p.m. ET at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. It will be broadcast by truTV. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)

Charleston: Cougars Pile Up the Wins

The College of Charleston is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance but just its second since 1999. The Cougars are just 1-5 in tournament games but have never lost by more than 10 points.

Charleston likes to play an uptempo game and the team is good offensively and defensively. The Cougars are No. 70 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 75 on defense. Charleston is a better shooting team from 2-point range, while the defensive strength is the team’s ability to defend the 3-pointer.

How They Got Here

When you play in the Colonial Athletic Association you pretty much know you’re going to have to win your conference tournament. That’s just what the Cougars did, although it wasn’t easy. Each of Charleston’s last two victories came by five points.

Charleston is playing some of its best basketball of the year, entering the NCAA Tournament on a 10-game winning streak. The Cougars are 7-3 against the spread in their winning streak and are 20-12-1 on the season.

How Far Will They Go

Charleston has no doubt heard of the No. 12 seed upsetting a No. 5 seed, so the Cougars are probably looking for a win or two. A more likely scenario is a quick exit against a San Diego State team that is ruthless on defense.

San Diego State: The Defense Never Rests

When you talk about San Diego State, you have to talk about the defense first. The Aztecs are No. 10 in adjusted defensive efficiency. The team allows just 29.2% shooting from 3-point range. San Diego State can force turnovers and does a solid job preventing offensive rebounds. The offense isn’t bad, ranking No. 64 in adjusted efficiency.

The Aztecs are making NCAA Tournament appearances a habit, advancing for the third straight year. San Diego State has now made the Big Dance 10 times since 201, making the Sweet 16 in 2011 and 2014.

How They Got Here

The Aztecs were pretty much guaranteed a berth in the NCAA Tournament in January. With three solid teams in San Diego State, Utah State and Boise State, the Mountain West strength of schedule rating was pretty high.

The Aztecs won 10 of their last 11 games, including the Mountain West Tournament. But San Diego State was a little overpriced at the start of the season, going 3-8-1 against the spread to start. The Aztecs picked it up in the stretch to finish 15-15-2 ATS.

How Far Will They Go

The Aztecs won’t be satisfied with anything less than a Sweet 16 appearance and it could very well happen. Of course, that could mean defeating Virginia in the second round in a battle of defensive powerhouses. With Alabama looming in the Sweet 16, it’s hard to picture the Aztecs advancing any farther.

Handicapping the Game

Charleston vs San Diego State is a good game for those who enjoy the thrill of betting on March Madness basketball. You have a point spread that’s a little low based on public perception of the two teams. Do the sportsbooks know something about the game or is the line a little soft? That’s the question bettors have to answer before making their wagers.

San Diego State’s offense is just as good as Charleston’s and the defense is quite a bit better. The Aztecs played a tougher schedule, so it’s hard not to like San Diego State here. But there’s no such game as a sure thing, as the scores and odds college basketball style prove on a consistent basis. But the Aztecs -4.5 looks to be the best bet in this game.

San Diego State appears to be a safe bet on the moneyline but it’s never easy to lay -210 against a team that went 31-3 regardless of their competition.

The Charleston vs San Diego State total is about where you would expect, making it tough to pull the trigger on the over/under. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)

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