Virginia Commonwealth begins its trek toward a second consecutive Final Four when it takes on Wichita State Thursday night in South Regional action.
The Rams, who might not have made the Big Dance had they not won the CAA tournament, are getting six points from the Shockers, who earned the five seed after winning the Missouri Valley regular-season title.
VCU has been a great Madness bet, going 9-1 ATS in 10 tournament games. They are also hot, 17-1 SU past 18 games overall and have been nasty as an underdog (7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS past 10 games in that role).
Wichita State is 12-4 ATS past 16 games overall however and are favored at and other top online sportsbooks.
Rose Garden is the location for this game, which makes it a neutral-site matchup.
The Shockers currently sports a 27-5 record overall in NCAAB action, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 16-13 ATS. The Rams are 28-6 and 17-14-2 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Shockers produce a 17-12 OVER/UNDER record on the season, while the Rams have gone 15-18 against the number.
Bettors looking to side with Wichita State in this one will find them as 6.5-point favorites at BetOnline. (Watch for line moves, a terrific bracket contest and up to $5,000 in casino match play bonus cash at BetOnline.)
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Power Rankings at Odds Shark show No. 97-rated Virginia Commonwealth taking on the No. 3-rated Shockers in this contest. The scores prediction computer here indicates a possible 82-76 win for the Shockers on Thursday.
How They Match Up:
When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Rams rank No. 215 in NCAA Division 1 with 33.7 per game. That compares with Wichita State’s No. 27 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Wichita State is college basketball's No. 93-ranked team at 7 per game, while the Rams rate No. 70 with 7.4 per game.
Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Virginia Commonwealth owns the country's No. 20-rated mark, allowing 62.1 points per game on the highway. Wichita State, on the other hand, rates No. 35 in scoring at home.
In their last action, Virginia Commonwealth was a 59-56 winner on the road against Drexel. They earned a push of the 3-point spread as favorites. Darius Theus scored 16 points leading the Rams to a 59-56 victory over Drexel at Richmond Coliseum on Monday.
In their last action, Wichita State was a 65-64 loser at home against Illinois State. They failed to cover the 12-point spread as favorites. The Shockers endured a 65-64 loss at the hands of the Redbirds on Saturday, despite a 17-point effort from Joe Ragland at Scottrade Center.
Virginia Commonwealth Rams Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
After playing Drexel are 8-2
After a win are 9-1
Wichita State Shockers Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
After playing Illinois State are 6-4
After a loss are 9-1
A few Rams at Shockers trends to consider:
Wichita State is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Wichita State's last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Wichita State's last 6 games