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Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Betting Line & NIT Handicapping Prediction

Golden Eagles vs Golden Gophers Pick – 2014 NIT Tournament

With the NCAA Tournament taking a short hiatus before the Sweet 16 tips off Thursday, all eyes should be on the NIT. On Tuesday, the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers with a trip to New York City on the line. The Winner will head to Maddison Square Garden for the Final Four in April. [ad-4468020]

2014 NIT Tourney Free Pick
No. 3 Southern Miss (29-6, 13-3 C-USA) vs. No. 1 Minnesota (22-13, 8-10 Big Ten)
Tuesday, March 25 9:00 PM ET ESPN
NIT – Quarterfinal
Spread: Minnesota -4.5
Over/Under: 136.5

ATS Matchup Insight | CP Insider Gambling Preview

Southern Miss

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles have won with defense all season. It’s true that their strength of schedule is hardly worth noting (their one ranked contest was a 69-38 loss to the then-ranked No. 9 Louisville Cardinals), but their 62.8 points per game allowed put them at 30th in the country for that particular category.

So far throughout the NIT, Southern Miss has taken down No. 6 Toledo 66-59 and No. 2 Missouri 71-63. Minnesota will be the team’s toughest opponent yet, but recent trends are in the Golden Eagles’ favor.

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In Southern Miss’ last 23 games, the team has gone 16-6-1 against the spread. Overall, the team is 8-1 straight up, which is why it’s where it is today—one win away from the NIT’s version of the Final Four.

Because of the Golden Eagles’ attention to defense, they’ve gone under the total projected score in five of their last six outings. This game has the potential to have a low score once again, which favors Southern Miss.
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Minnesota

The Golden Gophers have gotten where they are today with wins in the NIT against No. 8 High Point and No. 4 Saint Mary’s. According to WPTZ.com, Minnesota is 5-2 all time in the NIT quarterfinals.

As of Monday at 5pm I couldn’t find odds on this one, but Minnesota will be favored in this one, as it has gone 4-1 against the spread in its last five contests. It is also 5-0 straight up in its last five home games.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, it’s questionable as to whether or not it has the offensive firepower to compensate for the Golden Eagles’ defensive prowess. Minnesota is scoring 71.2 points per game, which is only good enough for 171st in the country—compared to the 67.8 points per night it is giving up (115th in the country).

This one should be a close battle with a relatively close score. The Golden Gophers are the favorites for a reason, but Southern Miss’ defense should keep it in contention for a win until the clock strikes zero.

Prediction: Minnesota 69 – Southern Miss 66

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