Washington State vs Texas A&M NIT Semifinal Picks and Predictions: Healthy Cougars Maul Aggies

The Washington State Cougars struggled for much of the season due to a litany of injuries. Finally healthy, they're showing what they're made of in the NIT. While Texas A&M is favored, we like WSU's size advantage and expect them to cover tonight.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2022 9:24 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Michael Flowers Washington State University Cougars NIT College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M has been one of the hottest teams in the country over the last month. The Aggies have won 10 of their last 11 games, with a loss in the SEC Tournament Final being the lone blemish. They will look to make a statement after being left out of the NCAA Tournament field by the committee.

Washington State has been almost as hot, winning eight of its last 10 games. 

Both teams have found the NIT easy-going thus far, winning every game by double-digits. What will give way in the NIT Semifinal? 

Check out our free college basketball betting picks and predictions for the Washington State Cougars and Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday, March 29 to find out.

Washington State vs Texas A&M odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Texas A&M opened -1 and took some money, moving the line up to -2 before eventually settling at -1.5 at current across most books. The total opened 136 but has moved down to 133.5 at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Washington State vs Texas A&M predictions

Predictions made on 3/29/2022 at 8:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Washington State vs Texas A&M game info

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2

Washington State vs Texas A&M betting preview

Injuries

Washington State: None.
Texas A&M: None.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cougars are 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 neutral site games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Washington State vs. Texas A&M.

Washington State vs Texas A&M picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Aggies have been red hot. Buzz Williams’ team has won 10 of its last 11 games and has been solid on both ends of the court. Guard Quenton Jackson leads the way with 14.5 points per game, while Tyrece Radford and Henry Coleman also average double-digits in the scoring department.

Texas A&M has been a covering machine during this hot streak, going 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games overall and 4-1 ATS in its last five as the favorite.

This will be a tough test Tuesday night against a Washington State team that has won eight of its last 10 games. The Cougars have struggled to remain healthy, and this season likely would’ve played out much differently with a different bill of health. This is a lengthy team that shoots the three well (9.0 makes per game) and is solid defensively (26th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency).

Washington State does hold a distinctive size advantage in this matchup. The Cougars have three talented bigs in Efe Abogidi (6-foot-10), Mouhamed Gueye (6-foot-11), and Dishon Jackson (6-foot-10). Gueye is a talented freshman who missed the PAC-12 Tournament — a critical absence that cost the Cougars dearly. Meanwhile, Texas A&M has only one rotational player who stands above 6-foot-5. 

The Cougars crash the offensive glass, ranking 17th in offensive rebounding percentage. They should grab plenty of their misses against an Aggies team that struggles to rebound defensively (337th). 

This is a tricky matchup to call — both teams are red hot, play good defense, and are well-coached. In a game that’s so close, we must lean toward the underdog against the spread, however small. For all the hate that has gone toward the PAC-12 for its NCAA Tournament showing, did the SEC fare much better? Kyle Smith is doing an underappreciated job at Washington State and this team is finally healthy — at just the right time.

Prediction: Washington State +1.5 (-105)

Over/Under analysis

The Cougars rank 26th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing only 65.3 points per game while holding opponents to 42.0% from the field. 

The Aggies aren't far behind, ranking 32nd in defensive efficiency and allowing 66.7 points per game while limiting opponents to 42.3% on field goals.

Washington State has the distinct rebounding and size advantage, which should allow them to muck things up. They also play at a slow pace, ranking just 230th in KenPom’s adjusted tempo metric. 

The Aggies aren’t much faster, ranking 204th in adjusted tempo. Buzz Williams typically calls for a lot of ball pressure, which should affect a Washington State team that lacks an elite lead guard. 

The number is low, but all signs point toward the Under.

Prediction: Under 133.5 (-110)

Best bet

Texas A&M is getting all the love in this spot and is expected to be the heavy public betting side. We get it, this team is on a roll.

However, we think people are overlooking this Washington State team. The Cougars are solid defensively, shoot the three-ball well, and are well-coached: a good recipe come March, regardless of what the tournament is named.

The Cougars are finally healthy and are just getting started under Kyle Smith. We like them to advance to the NIT finals.

Pick: Washington State +1.5 (-105)

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