Indiana Slight Favorites Over NC State In Women’s Sweet 16 Basketball Matchup

Posted on March 26, 2021 - Last Updated on March 27, 2021

The Indiana Hoosiers may have made an early exit in the women’s Big Ten Tournament, but they’ve made that look like an aberration instead of a foreshadowing of things to come. However, with Indiana vs. NC State looming large on Saturday, the Hoosiers need to maintain their momentum to advance to the next round.

Indiana sportsbooks actually like the team’s chances to get to the Elite Eight. Although the Wolfpack is the higher seed, NC State has looked anything but dominant in the tournament so far.

Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are firing on all cylinders.

A look at the lines for Indiana vs. NC State Saturday

Indiana sports betting apps like BetRivers Sportsbook have Indiana as a 2- or 2.5-point favorite in Saturday’s game, set to tip at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Hoosiers come in with some decent momentum, having won 11 of their last 12.

The one loss over that stretch came in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals to Michigan State. It seems that Indiana has put that behind them, however. The Hoosiers have allowed a total of 80 points through their first two March Madness games.

However, that was against a 12 and 13 seed. NC State is the top seed in the Mercado Region. The Wolfpack have won 10 of their last 11, with that lone defeat coming all the way back on Feb. 7.

NC State’s defense hasn’t been as stingy, however.

In fact, in both of the Wolfpack’s preceding games, it took late runs to put away their challengers. Although they ended up winning by 21 and 12 points, the games were much tighter through the first three quarters.

Does Indiana have what it will take to keep NC State from ramping it up in the fourth quarter again? That’s what Indiana bettors looking at the lines on this game will have to decide.

For the total on this game, operators like DraftKings Sportsbook have a line of 134.0 points. Can the Hoosiers’ defense keep the total low?

What the numbers say about the total

While NC State has scored 79 points in each of their tournament games, they failed to reach 70 points in their previous four.

They have shot a good percentage from the field in the tournament so far, hitting 53 of their 105 attempts.

Maintaining that percentage against the Hoosiers will be a challenge for the Wolfpack.

However, the question is whether Indiana will score enough on its own to push the total over the line. The Hoosiers haven’t needed to push the pace because of their defensive success, netting just 133 points in their first two games of this tournament.

Both teams certainly have the offensive firepower to make the Over happen here. All five NC State starters scored in double digits in the Round of 32. In their first game, four players achieved that feat.

Indiana’s shooting at a slightly lower clip so far, but their attack has been just as varied. The Hoosiers got four starters into double-figures the last time.

If the Hoosiers are able to hold the Wolfpack under 33% from the field as they have their first two opponents, the Under in this game looks good.

Indiana has gotten this far on its defense. There’s little reason to expect they’ll win any other way on Saturday.

Photo by Associated Press
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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