College Basketball Picks - ATS Predictions
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Gonzaga is just a super team, really good, fundamentally sound, mentally tough, unselfish, and fun to watch. UCLA, on the other hand, has probably been playing over its head the last couple of games, and that's tough to keep up. Now, two touchdowns is a ton of a line in a game at this level of the tournament, but the Bulldogs just keep winning by big margins. Heck, they let up against USC last time out and still won by 19. We're gonna give the points here with Gonzaga.
Gonzaga is basically a semi-pro basketball team, rolling through the college ranks; 28 of its 29 wins this season have come by double-digits. Meanwhile, USC is shooting 55 percent from the floor in this NCAA tournament, but we have serious doubts the Trojans will shoot anywhere close to that Tuesday night. This probably won't be a 20-point game, but ten would do it. We're giving the points here with the Zags.
Loyola played Cinderella in 2018, but perhaps it's Oregon State's turn to take on that role. And the Pac-12 is putting on the best performance of any conference in this tournament, with four teams in the Sweet 16, two more than any other conference. The Beavers played 10-10 in the Pac-12 this season; one wonders what the Ramblers would have come in at. Plus, OSU's getting a touchdown. We're betting the Beavers here, plus the points.
Baylor shot just 41 percent from the floor Friday; we expect a better performance Sunday. Wisconsin, on the other hand, shot 51 percent Friday and 13/27 from 3-point land; we don't expect a repeat of that performance anytime soon. We're betting the Bears here, minus the touchdown.
North Carolina is playing the better ball as of late, and if it can limit the turnovers, it might run away with this game. Wisconsin, meanwhile, struggled mightily against the big men of the Big Ten this season, and that doesn't bode well for this match-up. We're going with Carolina here.
Drake might be an interesting team in this tournament and a possible Sweet 16 candidate if it were at full-strength. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs will probably play this game without two of their top players. Wichita State, meanwhile, is 8-1 over its last nine games, and while the Shockers struggle at times to throw the ball in the hole, they've also held every opponent this season under 50 percent FG shooting. We like Wichita State here, giving the short spread.
Kentucky has the better resume hands down in conference play not only in their overall record but also in the quality of the wins. That said, UK finds itself in a dangerous spot tonight. They are off back to back wins over quality opponents and have a huge revenge game against Auburn on deck. The 6.5 point line is larger than their margin of victory in their last three, and the Aggies come into the match on a confidence-building three-game win streak. I'm going to bank on the home side staying within the number.
The Eagles have been by far the more profitable team against the spread, and the 11.5 may look appetizing, but there are some games that would suggest that the line may be an underlay. Boston College was blown out in their last road contest by 27 points in Miami and has also been easily dispatched by Wake Forest 82-60 and Syracuse 76-50 in the visitor role. In the previous meeting, the Eagles shot well over their seasonal average hitting 45% from the field, putting up 60 points. That's very unlikely to happen tonight against a Cavs team that allows 48.4 points at home. Look for this game to play out the opposite way of the earlier meeting. Virginia sneaks by the number getting the cover while Boston College scores fewer than 50 sending the total “Under”.
This series has a strong O/U trend with seven of the past eight games going “Over”, but I find Iowa's road scoring worrisome. The Hawkeyes don't play great defense, which is especially true away from home where they rank near the bottom in the nation (78.2 PPG – Ranked 301). Iowa has averaged 71.2 in their four true Big Ten road games, beating only bottom-dwelling Northwestern. Indiana is on a tailspin, but keep in mind that this team at home gave Maryland all they could handle losing by just one point, beat Michigan State by four and Ohio State by 12.
As I mentioned above, the Boilermakers have dominated this series taking nine consecutive contests, but that didn’t result in a bonanza at the windows covering just four of the games. I just can’t play them against a Nittany Lions club that is razor sharp right now. That’s not to say that I’m backing PSU here either. The total seems like the best play. Both teams have been shooting well in recent games, and this is the lowest number hung on one of their meetings in seven games.
This should be a fantastic game. All season Virginia has been one of the top teams in the country, and Texas Tech is arguably playing the best ball right now of any team in the tournament. That said, I'm going to stay away from a side play and bank on getting the right side of this total. Both squads play outstanding defense which is reflected in a very low 117.5 total line, but I think it is still on the high side. When the No. 2 scoring defense of Michigan faced Texas Tech, and the third-ranked D they amassed 107 points. When Virginia and their No. 1 scoring defense took on Oregon and their 12th ranked D they combined for 102 points. I’ll look for more of the same tonight.
Duke's been playing with fire as of late, and that often leads to getting burned. And Michigan State has just the right kind of team to do it. Plus, the Blue Devils might be without G Cam Reddish, who's nursing a sore knee.