Indiana vs. Kent State odds, prediction, betting trends for 2023 March Madness first round matchup

After entering the season as a favorite to win the Big Ten, Indiana still had an impressive 2022-23 season despite finishing fourth in the Big Ten regular-season rankings and this year’s NCAA tournament. However, a first-round matchup against 13th-seeded Kent State, the MAC tournament champions, will be a challenge, as shown in the current four-point spread.

Indianas has had some ups and downs and could potentially be on guard if it doesn’t play its best for 40 minutes. Kent State played a competitive out-of-conference schedule that included trips to Charleston, Houston and Gonzaga, and although the Golden Flashes went 0-3 in those games, they were competitive, dropping an average of 4.66 points per game.

Can the Hoosiers fend off the enraged Golden Flashes? Here’s everything you need to know about betting on Indiana vs. Kent State in the 2023 NCAA tournament, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for this first round game.

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Indiana vs Kent State Odds

According to Sports Interaction, Indiana is currently considered a 4-point favorite with a total of 140.5 points. Some early money comes on the Golden Flashes as they’re down from +5.5 to +4.

  • spread: Indiana -4 (-110); State of Kent +4 (-110)
  • About Below: OVER 140.5 (-110); BELOW 140.5 (-110)
  • money line: Indiana-188; State of Kent +156
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Three betting trends to keep an eye on

– The Hoosiers enter the NCAA tournament with an ATS record of 15-17-1 after playing just twice in their last eight games.

– They haven’t finished as underdogs often, but Kent State has done well in the underdog role, playing in four of five games this season. Despite a straight 3-0 loss to Charleston, Houston and Gonzaga, Kent State outperformed the betting market and covered all three games.

— After Kent State won the MAC championship and Indiana lost in the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday, both schools are entering the NCAA tournament with an equal break. Playing against an opponent with the same break, Kent State posted an impressive 13-6 ATS while Indianas posted a below-average 5-10 ATS mark.

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Indiana’s main players

First-team All-Big Ten center Trayce Jackson-Davis is the heart and soul of the Hoosiers and wants to cement his legacy with a deep tournament run to wrap up his collegiate career. Jackson-Davis is Indiana’s most-used player with an effective field goal percentage of 57.9 and 20.8 points per game. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is Indiana’s other option, as the freshman guard rose sharply after Xavier Johnson’s season-ending foot injury. Hood-Schifino is a pick-and-roll maestro who loves to pull himself up from the midrange.

MORE: Print your 2023 March Madness bracket here

Main players of the state of Kent

Kent State is led by its backcourt duo Sincere Carry and Malique Jacobs as both guards combined covered 50 percent of the Golden Flashes’ shot attempts on the floor. MAC Tournament MVP Carry has averaged 20 points per game in Kent State’s three games, and MAC Defensive Player of the Year Jacobs boasts the 18th-best steal percentage in college basketball (4.62 Percent). It’s dangerous to have a backcourt that’s equally dominant at both ends of the field.

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15 against 2 | 14 against 3 | 13 against 4 | 12 against 5

Best Individual Matchup: Jalen Hood-Schifino vs. Malique Jacobs

As mentioned above, 2023 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Jacobs has a knack for turning over. He’ll likely be tasked with slowing down Hood-Schifino, and if he can stay in the pick and roll with him by going over medium ball screens, Hood-Schifino might have trouble scoring consistently. If Jackson-Davis and Hood-Schifino can get their spots in the two-man game, Kent State will have trouble getting enough stops to compete with the Hoosiers.

Indiana vs. Kent State stats to get you started

Kent State is one of the smallest teams in the country, ranking 345th in average size, which could see Jackson-Davis succumb to the Golden Flashes defensive tackles. Kent State may choose to double up the post if Jackson-Davis gets the ball, which seems like a good idea in theory, but Jackson-Davis is an elite passing big man since he’s so used to doubles teams. Jackson-Davis averages 4.1 assists per game, which ranks third among centers nationally. His elite passing ability will force Kent State to be solid in their rotations or the Hoosiers could have a solid shooting day from perimeter.

DeCourcy (Alabama) | Bender (Kansas) | Fagan (Marquette) | Pohnl (Kansas)

Indiana vs. Kent State Prediction

As demonstrated by Kent State’s competitiveness in their three Quad 1 games, the Golden Flashes have what it takes to compete with the Hoosiers, but it’s hard to see them completely shut down Indiana’s offense. Jackson-Davis and Hood-Schifino’s high IQ play on offense should emphasize the Golden Flashes’ defense enough to advance to the Round of 32 with a multiple possession win. Indiana’s success on offense will force Kent State to maintain a high pace and set this game up for a 70+ possession game that lands ABOVE the total.

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Forecast: Indiana 77, Kent State 70. Indiana (-4) covers the spread on the fly ABOVE the sum (140.5).

See what BetQL is projecting for Indiana vs. Kent State, along with sharp picks, value bets and more for each March Madness game!

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