Boise State vs. Northwestern Odds, Spread & Picks (March 16)
March 5, 2023; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Northwestern Wildcats guard Boo Buie (0) reacts after making a three point basket in the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
- No. 7 Northwestern is a 1.5-point favorite over No. 10 Boise State in a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament West Region Thursday night in Orlando
- Boise State is 0-8 all-time in March Madness
- Check out the odds and tips between Boise State and Northwestern
No. 10 Boise State will once again look for its first-ever NCAA tournament win when it takes on No. 7 Northwestern in the West Region at 7:35 p.m. ET Thursday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Boise State (24-9, 16-14-2 ATS) is 0-8 all-time in March Madness after losing to Memphis in the first round last year. The Broncos have lost three of their last five games this season, including a 72-62 decision against Utah State in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Northwestern (21-11, 19-13 ATS) have lost four of their last five games, including in the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference Tournament by beating Penn State 67-65 in overtime.
The game will be broadcast by truTV.
Boise State vs. Northwestern Odds
|team||money line||spread||In total|
|State of Boise||+105||+1.5 (-110)||Over 127.5 (-110)|
|northwest||-120||-1.5 (-110)||Below 127.5 (-110)|
Northwestern is a 1.5-point favorite over Boise State and a -120 pick on the moneyline in college basketball odds, giving it an implied winning percentage of 56.9%. The winner advances to the second round of the March Madness bracket to play against either UCLA (29-5) or UNC Asheville (27-7).
Odds as of March 15th at BetMGM. Claim BetMGM promo code to bet on March Madness.
Defense key for Boise State
Defense is Boise State’s forte as it ranks at No. 34th in the country in allowable points (64.3), 35th in three-point defense (30.9%) and 43approx in overall field goal defense (41.3%).
Boise State forced Utah State to 15 turnovers in the Mountain West tournament but still lost after squandering a 36-28 lead at halftime. The Broncos were also outrebounded 39-30.
Boise State has a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring in double digits: second forward Tyson Degenhart (14.3), senior guard Max Rice (13.9), senior guard Marcus Shaver Jr. (13.5), junior guard Chibuzo Ago (11.5) and senior forward Naje Smith (10.1).
Shaver is having an all-around good season as he also averages 6.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
#BoiseState G Marcus Shaver, Jr. received the third-team All-Mountain West honors today.
13.3 PTS | 5.9 REB | 3.8 AST | 1.7 STL
He was one of 15 players in the NCAA to average 13.0+ PTS, 5.0+ REB, 3.0+ AST, and 1.5+ STL this season. pic.twitter.com/0Cl1dtfnjY
— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) March 7, 2023
Degenhart’s 53.7 field goal percentage is second in the conference and he has a 5.4 rebound average. Smith tears down 5.5 boards per game.
Rice is the son of Boise State Coach Leon Rice.
In the loss to Utah State, Shaver and Smith each had 14 points. Shaver also added eight rebounds and three assists while Degenhart finished with 13 points.
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Northwest led by Guard Duo
Northwestern is in the NCAAs for the second time in school history. The other appearance was in 2017 and the Wildcats then had five straight losing seasons prior to that year.
The senior guard duo of Boo Buie and Chase Audige lead the Northwest. Buie is averaging 17.1 points and 4.5 assists per game and Audige is averaging 13.8 points and making 2.4 steals per game.
Audige is second in the Big Ten in steals and keys with a 19 defenseth in Division I in the rating (62.6) and 41St in field goal percentage (41.2).
Conversely, Northwest is 344th in the nation in field goalscoring (40.6%), though Buie is fifth in the conference in assists. The Wildcats are much better off the foul line as their 75.1 free throw percentage is 49th in Division I
Buie and Audige both struggled as Northwestern shot just 31.8% (21 of 66) from field in the loss to Penn State, including 6 to 24 (25%) from three-point range. Buie was 6 of 17 and Audige tied on only 3 of 14 field goal attempts.
BOO BUIE 😤 @booboo_buie X @NUMensBball pic.twitter.com/qGc5yWPrAS
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 11, 2023
Buie finished the tournament with 16 points and four assists, while second guard Brooks Barnhizer added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Barnhizer had double-doubles in both games of the Big Ten tournament, the first two of his collegiate career.
Northwestern forced Penn State to 15 turnovers while committing only four but ended up losing.
Boise State vs Northwestern Prediction
No team goes into the tournament with much momentum. However, the experienced Northwest Guard tandem of Buie and Audige should be able to control the pace in a slow game.
Choice: Northwest -1.5 (-110)
Season record: 32-29 (+0.2 units) ATS, 4-10 (-5.5 units) ML
Other March Madness predictions for the first round:
John Perrotto has been reporting and writing about sports for various media outlets for over 40 years. His work has been published in magazines such as USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John lives in Beaver Falls, PA.
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