Texas Southern Tigers vs Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions
On Thursday, The 2021 NCAA Tournament finally tips off as Texas Southern takes on Mount St. Mary’s. The First Four matchup takes place in Bloomington, Indiana. The winner will earn the right to take on the East Region No1 seed, Michigan, in the Frist Round. As with most First Four meetings, the teams are pretty evenly matched and we can expect a tight and exciting game. The Tigers are coming off a SWAC tournament win and have won 14 out of the last 15 games. The Mountaineers managed to come out of NEC even though they were the fourth seed. But, they were barely over .500 in one of the weaker conferences. This will be the 9th tournament appearance for the TSU and 6th for Mount St. Mary’s.
Texas Southern Tigers vs Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers Betting Line Movement
After their 9-game winning streak (5-2-2 ATS), the Tigers opened as -2 favorites at most sportsbooks. However, after the Mounts received some early action, the line has dropped to -1. Some bookies even list this game as a pick’em. The total saw even more movement. It opened at 134 or 135, only to drop to 131.5 within a day. Closer to the tip-off, the total has again moved up a bit. Now, it stands at 133.5 at most sportsbooks.
Notes on Mount St. Mary’s
After a so-so regular season, the Mountaineers managed to peak at the right time. They’re now on a 4-game winning streak, both straight up and against the spread. In three of those four games, they were the underdogs. Most of the recent success came thanks to some excellent offensive displays. Mount St. Mary’s averages 71 points per game in the last five contests. Still, over the season, they’re at only 96.1 points per 100 possessions, ranking 287th in D-1. On defense, they mostly rely on stopping the opponent at the 3-point line and grabbing rebounds. However, that won’t matter much against the Tigers who mainly look for shots near the rim.
The player to watch on the Mountaineers team is a 5’8″ junior, Damian Chong Qui. This season, he averages 15.1 points and 5.5 assists per contest. Chong Qui was excellent in the NEC championship game scoring 21 points and adding 5 assists and 8 rebounds.
Notes on Texas Southern
Amid the Covid-19 disruptions and cancellations, The Tigers opened this season with two losses. However, they’ve lost only one game since, going 10-4-1 ATS. Unlike the Mountaineers, they like to run and play at a fast pace, attacking the paint a lot. KenPom ranks them 41st in tempo this season. They lack true shooters in their squad, so are pretty shy when it comes to 3-point shots. On the other hand, they are shooting a more than decent 51% from inside the arc. They also get to the foul line a lot, with 22.2% of their points coming via free throws.
Much of the TSU’s game revolves around leading scorer and primary ball-handler, Michael Weathers. 6’3″ senior guard averaged 16.5 ppg and does most of the damage by penetrating the paint. Weathers dominated the SWAC tournament, averaging 18.5 ppg and winning the MVP award.
Texas Southern Tigers vs Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers Picks, & Predictions: OVER 133.5
The Tigers play at a breakneck speed and if they manage to impose their style they should easily score over 70 points. On the other hand, the Mountaineers scored 66 or more in their last five games, with four of them finishing in OVER.