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NIT Championship: Minnesota faces SMU

The UNDER has gone 4-1 in the past five NIT finals as the Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the SMU Mustangs in the title game of the postseason hoops tournament on Thursday.

The Gophers are back after losing the 2012 NIT final 75-51 to Stanford as a 2-point favorite. They are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their past 10 postseason games (including both March Madness and NIT games). SMU is 7-1 SU in its past eight postseason games (the NIT this year and in 2011).

Minny were 2.5-point underdogs earlier in the week at Bovada. The total was 134.5 at 5Dimes.

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SMU has defeated UC Irvine, LSU, California, and Clemson to reach the championship game of this year's NIT. Minnesota has dispatched Hight Point, St. Mary's, Southern Miss, and Florida State.

Southern Methodist will face the 24-13 Golden Gophers, who own a 16-16-2 ATS mark on the season. In totals betting, the Mustangs are 12-20 on the OU so far this season while the Golden Gophers are 14-19.

View Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Southern Methodist Mustangs Odds and Stats.

It's a betting matchup between the No. 165-rated Mustangs and the No. 248-ranked Golden Gophers, according to the latest pro hoops power rankings here at Odds Shark.

Last time out for Minnesota, they were a 67-64 winner as they battled Florida State on the road. They covered in the match as a 1-point underdog. Okaro White scored 16 points in a futile effort to lead the Seminoles to a win (they lost 67-64 to Minnesota at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday).

Last time out for Southern Methodist, they were a 65-59 winner as they battled Clemson at home. They covered in the match as a 3.5-point favorite. The Mustangs grabbed a 65-59 win over the Tigers on Tuesday, behind a 21-point effort from Markus Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.

How They Match Up:
Rating these schools in several key categories is important for handicappers and Southern Methodist has the nation's No. 127-rated offensive output, at 71.22 PPG. The visiting Golden Gophers defense ranks No. 90 allowing on average 67.86 PPG. The Mustangs FG% has averaged 48.34% so far, more than the Golden Gophers marksmen have achieved on the year, 44.61% per game.

A few Golden Gophers at Mustangs trends to consider:
Minnesota is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Minnesota is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Southern Methodist is 16-7 ATS in its last 23 games
Southern Methodist is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Southern Methodist's last 11 games