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Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State Prediction, Odds and College Basketball Betting Picks for WAC Tournament Semifinal

The 2023 WAC Tournament has provided plenty of great games and drama thus far. On Friday night, the Semifinal Round figures to give fans more thrilling action. In the first of two semifinals, the 5-seed Grand Canyon Antelopes are set to take on the top-seeded Sam Houston State Bearkats. The Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State college basketball betting picks expect this to be a very close game with a slight edge being granted to the higher seed.

The following game preview provides the college basketball betting odds, trends and KenPom ratings before sharing our official Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State prediction for the WAC Tournament semifinal matchup.

Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State Prediction | College Basketball Betting Picks

WAC Tournament Semifinal
(5) Grand Canyon Antelopes (22-11, 11-7 WAC) vs. (1) Sam Houston State Bearkats (25-6, 14-4 WAC)
Time: 9 p.m. EST
Venue: Orleans Arena — Las Vegas, NV
Coverage: ESPN+

Grand Canyon Antelopes Preview

The WAC Tournament has been competitive across the board so far, and Grand Canyon’s first two games have been no exception. The Antelopes were able to outlast 12-seed UT Arlington in the First Round on Tuesday before slipping past 4-seed Seattle in yesterday’s quarterfinal. Both victories featured a final margin of only five points. After Rayshon Harrison dropped 30 points in GCU’s tournament opener, it was Gabe McClothan’s turn to go off on Thursday as he finished with 35 points in the win over Seattle.

Sam Houston State Bearkats Preview

Despite finishing one game behind Utah Valley in the final regular season standings, Sam Houston State drew the top seed in the WAC Tournament thanks to the conference’s new statistical-based seeding method. The Bearkats began their tournament run in Las Vegas on Thursday with a dominant quarterfinal win over California Baptist. SHSU raced out to a 16-point halftime lead and cruised to the victory despite the fact that Donte Powers (21 points) was the only player who scored in double figures.

Qua Grant Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State prediction WAC Tournament college basketball betting picks
Credit: Sam Houston Athletics

Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State College Basketball Betting Picks and Odds

College basketball betting odds for Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: GCU: (+125) | SHSU: (-145)
Point Spread: GCU: +2.5 (-110) | SHSU: -2.5 (-110)
Total: 126.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

College Basketball KenPom Ratings

The following table displays the KenPom adjusted efficiency ratings for the two teams involved in Friday’s first WAC Tournament Semifinal. In addition to overall efficiency margin, offensive, defensive and tempo ratings are included.

TeamOverall AdjEM (Rk)AdjO (Rk)AdjD (Rk)AdjT (Rk)
Grand Canyon+4.66 (117)111.1 (79)106.5 (197)65.4 (287)
Sam Houston State+12.73 (64)106.1 (156)93.4 (13)64.6 (318)
  • Antelopes are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win.
  • 23 of the Antelopes’ last 27 games overall have gone OVER the total.
  • Bearkats are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
  • Ten of the Bearkats’ last 11 games following a straight up win have gone UNDER the total.
  • Antelopes are 3-0 both straight up and ATS in their last three head-to-head meetings against the Bearkats.

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Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State Prediction | College Basketball Betting Picks

Based on the KenPom rankings and the College Basketball NET, bettors might be a bit puzzled as to why the point spread for this semifinal matchup is so tight. Grand Canyon may be the underdog, but Bryce Drew’s team has a couple of key factors working in its favor.

The first is the fact that the Antelopes already own a road victory over Sam Houston State, which came in overtime back in early January. The other key element to consider is the complexion of the crowd that will be in attendance at the Orleans Arena tonight. Given the proximity of Las Vegas to each school’s respective campus and the knack GCU fans have for traveling, one can reasonably assume that The Havocs will occupy the majority of seats in the arena.

Will the favorable crowd be enough for Grand Canyon to earn a fourth consecutive win over SHSU? This could prove to be a tall order given how well the Bearkats have been playing lately. Jason Hooten’s team hasn’t lost a game since early February. The eight-game winning streak that the Bearkats carry into Friday’s WAC Tournament semifinal includes four double-digit victories.

What’s more, Sam Houston State was able to dominate in yesterday’s quarterfinal despite a poor team showing at the offensive end. Leading scorer Qua Grant was held to just nine points in the game. It seems reasonable to expect a bounce-back effort from him on Friday. The Antelopes have struggled defensively this season, and the tandem of Grant and Donte Powers figures to be tough to handle.

SAM HOUSTON STATE COVERS will be our official college basketball betting Grand Canyon vs Sam Houston State prediction for the WAC Tournament Semifinal Round matchup.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives Sam Houston State a 71.2% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: Sam Houston State -2.5 (-110 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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