Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#697 Tulane vs.
#698 Wichita State
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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Tulane will try to snap its two-game losing streak when it travels to Wichita State on Wednesday night. The Green Wave had won five straight games before dropping back-to-back games against No. 1 Houston and Tulsa. Wichita State has won three of its last four games, including a 71-69 win at SMU on Sunday.

Green Wave relying on experience

Tulane has lost consecutive games for the first time this season, as it was able to bounce back from its previous five losses with wins. The Green Wave opened AAC play with an 88-77 setback at Cincinnati on Dec. 29, but they bounced back with a five-game winning streak. They pulled off a pair of upsets during that stretch, beating Memphis as 4-point underdogs and Temple as 1-point underdogs. Tulane also picked up wins against Tulsa, SMU and UCF during that stretch. The Green Wave have been unable to maintain that momentum, losing to Houston and Tulsa in their last two games.

They were 10.5-point underdogs against Houston, but they were 9-point favorites in their 81-79 loss to Tulsa. Tulane’s strength has been on the offensive end of the court, as it is ranked No. 73 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The Green Wave rank sixth in the country in turnover rate and have the second-best free-throw shooting percentage in college basketball. They are an experienced team, so success in those categories is not particularly surprising. This will be a tough matchup, as Wichita State is No. 13 nationally in effective field goal percentage (44.6). Junior guard Jaylen Forbes leads Tulane with 18.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while sophomore guard Jalen Cook is adding 18.4 points and 4.6 assists. Third-leading scorer and leading rebounder Kevin Cross missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for this game.

Shockers struggling from the perimeter

Wichita State got off to a slow start in conference play, losing each of its first three AAC games. The Shockers have responded by winning three of their last four games, including wins over South Florida and Tulsa to open that stretch. They had that two-game skid snapped in an 88-78 loss at Memphis last Thursday in a game that pushed the 10-point spread. Wichita State bounced back from that loss with a 71-69 win against SMU, springing the upset as a 1.5-point underdog. The Shockers trailed for a large chunk of the game, but Craig Porter Jr. knocked down a pair of free throws to give his team the lead with 35 seconds remaining.

They have struggled throughout the season offensively, ranked No. 297 in effective field goal percentage (47.5). Wichita State has been particularly terrible from beyond the arc, ranked No. 345 in 3-point percentage (29.1). The Shockers’ strength on the offensive end has been their low turnover rate, but they are still No. 219 in overall adjusted efficiency. They are facing a Tulane defense that is No. 128 in adjusted efficiency. Junior guard Jaykwon Walker leads Wichita State with 12.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while senior guard Craig Porter Jr. is adding 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am a big fan of backing Tulane as a road underdog in this matchup, especially since the Green Wave have covered the spread in five of their last seven games. They have the exact metrics that I am looking for in a road team, as they are experienced, do not turn the ball over and make their free throws. These are all categories that set teams up for success away from home. Wichita State is one of the worst shooting teams in the country, especially from the perimeter, so the Shockers are a team that I want to stay away from. They have failed to cover the spread in five straight home games.

Prediction: Tulane +1

Full-Game Total Pick

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Tulane is going to be looking to control the pace of this game, which means getting out in transition as often as possible. The Green Wave rank ninth nationally in average possession length and have the sixth-lowest turnover rate in college basketball, which means they get more shots off than almost any other team in the country. They also bring the second-best free-throw percentage into this game, which allows them to capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Tulane’s defense ranks outside the top 200 in field goal percentage, and the over has cashed in eight of its last nine games.

Prediction: Over 144
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Follow on Twitter @Blake_Vonhagen