Minnesota vs SMU in NIT Final betting odds preview

Joe Murphy

SMU is favored by a three-pointer against Minnesota according to the NIT betting odds menu at Odds Shark.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers lost 75-51 to Stanford as a 2-point favorite in their last trip to the NIT Final in 2012.

They'll try to get the job done in the championship game this time around as a 3-point underdog going up against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Thursday.

With a 67-64 win as a 1-point underdog against Florida State, Minnesota improved to 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over its last seven games including a 3-0 SU and ATS run over its last three games.

The Gophers have won in different ways throughout the NIT, dialing up the offense in an 88-81 win over High Point and an 81-73 win over Southern Miss and playing strong defensively in holding St. Mary's to 55 points and Florida State to 64.

In Minnesota's last 10 postseason games combined, the Gophers are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS.

Southern Methodist added another strong win to a season full of them with a 65-59 win over Clemson to advance to the NIT Final. SMU is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS over its last four games since ending the regular season on an 0-3 SU and ATS run.

[ See also Final Four odds, trends and matchup report details ]

Over its last two NIT tournaments, SMU is 7-1 SU in its last eight postseason games. The Mustangs' defense has allowed under 70 points in each of the team's last six games.

The total has gone UNDER in two of Minnesota's last three games and in four of Southern Methodist's last six games. Considering Minnesota's tendency to play to the style of its opponent in this tournament, this could be a low-scoring game with SMU's strong defensive style.

Both of these teams have played well to get to this point and will be highly motivated to get the job done and win the NIT Championship. Minnesota is looking for redemption from 2012, and SMU is looking to win this event for the first time in program history.

To come out on top, Minnesota will need to find a way to solve SMU's stingy defense.

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