Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#511 Tarleton State vs.
#512 Radford
Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 3:30pm EDT
Written by Michael Briggs


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The Radford Highlanders and Tarleton State Texans will square up in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament on Sunday. Tip-off from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL, will be at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Texans are one-point spread favorites and the game total is 136.5 points.

Radford (19-14 SU and 16-14-1 ATS) was defeated by Campbell in the Big South Tournament semis. The Highlanders finished third in the conference's regular-season standings.

Tarleton State (18-16 SU and 13-16 ATS) was defeated by Utah Valley in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals. The Texans finished seventh in the WAC regular-season standings.

Radford's defense hold its opponents under 65 PPG

Radford was knocked out of its conference tournament in the semis despite shooting 55 percent (11-for-20) from three and outrebounding its opponent 31-22 (with 17 offensive rebounds). The Highlanders' defense left much to be desired, as Campbell shot 55.1 percent from the field, including 7-for-17 from three.

DaQuan Smith, a transfer from Murray State, leads Radford in scoring. The junior guard averages 13.8 points on 43.0 percent shooting, including 40.9 percent from three-point range. A few other Highlanders to watch are Villanova transfer Bryan Antoine (11.1 PPG and a 42.1 3PT%), freshman guard Kenyon Giles (8.8 PPG), senior guard Josiah Jeffers (8.6 PPG and 3.7 APG), and sophomore forward Justin Archer (7.7 PPG and 7.0 RPG).

Radford scores 69.4 points per game (237th) and shoots 45.9 percent from the field (100th), including 35.2 percent from three-point distance (132nd). The Highlanders convert 68.8 percent of their free throws (290th) and average 30.9 rebounds (239th) with a +2.1 rebounding margin. Radford is 186th in schedule-adjusted offensive efficiency, 127th in effective field goal percentage (51.5%), and 316th in adjusted tempo.

The Highlanders surrender 64.5 points per game on defense (41st), and their opponents shoot 44.8 percent from the field (251st), including 33.1 percent from three (127th). Radford is 177th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 207th in assist-per-turnover ratio.

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Tarleton State won't be fazed by Radford

Tarleton State is a battle-tested team, having played NCAA Tournament teams Arizona State, Baylor, and Drake in non-conference play. The Texans also beat a 21-win Belmont team and ACC foe Boston College in non-con play. However, they couldn't find their footing in the WAC tourney quarterfinals, falling 72-58 to Utah Valley. The Texans shot only 35.7 percent from the field, and the Wolverines boasted a 54.2 field goal percentage.

Sophomore guard Freddy Hicks leads Tarleton State in scoring. He averages 15.5 points on 43.7 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds per game. A few other Texans to watch are junior guard Lue Williams (10.7 PPG), sophomore guard Shamir Bogues (9.8 PPG and a 54.3 FG%), junior forward Jakorie Smith (9.6 PPG and 3.9 RPG), and senior guard Shakur Daniel (7.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 3.0 APG).

Tarleton State scores 70.1 points per game (213th) and shoots 45.7 percent from the floor (114th), including 33.9 percent from three (202nd). The Texans hit 69.0 percent of their free throws (279th) and average 27.0 rebounds (358th) with a -2.1 rebounding margin. TSU is 208th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 309th in effective field goal percentage (47.5%), and 214th in adjusted tempo.

Tarleton State surrenders 65.4 points per game on defense (55th), and its opponents shoot 43.7 percent from the field (172nd) with a 35.3 shooting percentage from three (276th). The Texans are 121st in adjusted defensive efficiency and 267th in assist-per-turnover ratio.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Texans are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss and the Highlanders are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall.

I'm betting on the Texans to win as spread favorites on Sunday, taking down the Highlanders in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. Tarleton State faced the 16th-toughest non-conference schedule in the NCAA this season, which will have the Texans game-ready for anyone it plays in the CBI Tournament. Their overall strength of schedule rating (100th) was much tougher than Radford's (275th), as well.

Expect Tarleton State to cover with a superior defensive showing in Daytona Beach.

Prediction: Tarleton State -1

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Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The under is 5-1 in the Texans' last six overall.

I'll bet on the total to be under 137 points on Sunday in the Radford vs. Tarleton State game. The Highlanders hold their opponents to 64.5 points per game (41st) and the Texans hold their opponents to 65.4 points per game (55th), suggesting a lower-scoring affair. Both teams are slow-paced, and Radford is one of the slowest-tempo teams in the NCAA (316th in adjusted tempo). While Radford should boast a rebounding advantage, I don't expect there to be a significant difference in these teams' possession counts, either.

That said, the under is the best bet on the total at 136.5 combined points scored.

Prediction: Under 136.5

Written By Michael Briggs , "Michael Briggs"

Mike Briggs is a passionate sports fan and writer, earning his B.A. in Journalism. In 2020, he moved across the country from New Jersey to San Diego to satisfy his lifelong obsession of living near an MLB stadium. As a proud MSU basketball supporter, Mike believes he's learned a lot watching coach Tom Izzo lead the Spartans to Big Ten titles and Final Fours regularly. He's also well-read on the NBA, having a subscription to SLAM magazine, the famed "basketball bible," since he was a teenager. Mike spends his free time strategizing futures bets and researching opportunities to make a few bucks on tonight's game. You can follow Mike on Twitter @BriggsWrites for sports betting, DFS, and stock trading tips.