Princeton vs Missouri Betting Preview: Unexpected Battle of The Tigers
Bracket-Busting Princeton Looks to Pull Another Shocker
Not many people selected Princeton vs Missouri in their brackets March Madness style. Missouri was a slight underdog to Utah State. But No. 15 Princeton was a huge underdog to second-seeded Arizona. But both are here, while the favorites are heading home a bit earlier than anticipated.
Missouri is favored by 6.5 points and the total is 150.5 for this Saturday game played at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. The moneyline has Missouri -270. The game will be played at 6:10 p.m. ET and will be aired by TNT. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
Princeton: Late Rally Shocks Wildcats
Princeton looked dead in the water against Arizona midway through the second half. The Wildcats led 47-35 with less than 12 minutes remaining, only to close the game with a 24-8 run and send the ‘Cats packing. The win over Arizona was shocking enough. But for Princeton to win after making just three free throws and shooting 4 for 25 from 3-point range is hard to imagine.
The Tigers did make some 2-point shots, hitting 56.4% from 2-point range. Princeton also out-rebounded Arizona and made fewer turnovers, both of which played a part in the win. But the Tigers had just one player in double figures but seven players scored six or more points. It was a true team victory.
Neither the Princeton offense or defense put a lot of fear in opponents. The Tigers are No. 106 in offensive efficiency and No. 108 defensively. While the offense didn’t live up to its ranking, the defense was solid. Arizona was just 4 for 25 from 3-point range. The Wildcats were 4 for 7 from the foul line. That’s two areas where the Wildcats were expected to have big edges. It didn’t work out that way.
Missouri: Pulled Away From Utah State Late
Missouri also had to rally in the second half against Utah State. But it was nothing like the rally Princeton had to make. Missouri trailed 51-49 with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. But a 29-16 scoring advantage over the last 10 minutes sealed the win.
Missouri shot the ball well, although you expect that from the Tigers. Missouri was 17 for 28 in 2-point range and 10 for 25 on 3-point shots. The Tigers made five fewer turnovers than Utah State, also a deciding factor.
But Missouri can’t be too happy to have been out-rebounded 33-27 in the contest. The Tigers have to do a better job on the glass if they plan on advancing in the tournament. To get just three offensive rebounds in a game is pretty dismal.
Handicapping the Game
Princeton vs Missouri is one of the decent college basketball matchups in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It pits Missouri’s offense, which has an adjusted offensive efficiency rank of No. 9, against a better-balanced Princeton team. Missouri’s defense is rated No. 159.
Princeton’s strength on offense is its 2-point shooting, which is No. 53 in college basketball. They’re not a great 3-point shooting team but still take a lot of long-range shots. Princeton doesn’t make a lot of turnovers and they’ll have to play smart against a more athletic team.
Missouri’s offense gets the job done from the inside or the outside. The team is No. 10 in 2-point field goal percentage (56%) and No. 72 in 3-point shooting. Missouri does limited turnovers but isn’t good at snagging offensive rebounds.
It’s the defense that you have to worry about with Missouri. They can force turnovers but allow teams to shoot a high percentage. They’re also one of the worst teams in the country at allowing offensive rebounds.
Missouri should have an edge inside the paint and need to exploit that as much as possible. The point spread is relatively small. But the Missouri defense always makes it risky to lay points with the team. The number is high, but the way to bet Princeton vs Missouri is to take the over 150.5. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
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