The quarterfinal round of the OVC tournament will take place tonight, as SEMO survived the first round last night. The Redhawks will now take on Tennessee State, and we’ll preview the game before going over why I will be targeting a first-half bet in this one.
High-scoring games have become the norm for SEMO, and last night’s first-round win over Lindenwood was no different. The Redhawks were able to win 84-65, marking the fifth straight game in which they have scored over 78 points. Tempo is a big part of the Redhawks game, as they run at the 6th highest tempo in the country, according to KenPom, so it is unsurprising that they both score and allow a lot of points per game.
In last night’s win, the Redhawks attempted 78 field goals which is almost 18 attempts higher than their normal field goal attempts average, which ranks 34th in the country. SEMO had an average shooting night based on their season average, but they struggled from three last night, only going 6 for 20 from deep.
When these two teams last met on February 9th, the Redhawks could only shoot 16% from three and 38% from the field, which led to an 85-65 loss. In that game, the Tigers were able to put up more field goal attempts and outrebound the Redhawks as well. That win for the Tigers evened the season series at 1-1.
After Tennessee State lost the first matchup between these two teams, they went on to win seven of their last nine games. Even with that win streak, the Tigers will still enter this tournament off a loss, as they dropped the final game of the season to Southern Indiana by a final score of 93-81.
High-scoring games are also standard for Tennesse State this season, as they are averaging 75.2 points per game and attempted the 53rd most three-pointers in the country. Much like the Redhawks, their defense can disappear at times, leading to opponents shooting an average of 44.1% against them.
For my play in this quarterfinal matchup, I’ll be targeting the first half over of 75. Both teams rank in the top 75 in first-half scoring average this season, and I would rather take advantage of SEMO when they have the momentum from last night in the first half, as opposed to in the second half when they are on their fourth half of basketball in the last 24 hours.
Entering tonight, SEMO ranks 346th in the country in first-half points allowed, while Tennesee State ranks 268th, so neither of them has come out of the gate strong on the defensive end this season. Both matchups between these two teams went over this total in the first half, as the average total in those games was 84.5 points.
The volume of field goal attempts will undoubtedly be present between these two teams, and with Tennesse State being ranked 92nd in three-point percentage, this is a perfect matchup for them with the rest advantage since SEMO ranks 203rd in the country in three-pointers made per game.
First-Half Over 75