College Basketball Picks - ATS Predictions
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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.
Purdue shot 54 percent Thursday night; we don't believe the Boilers will repeat that performance Saturday. Virginia, meanwhile, shot just 36 percent Thursday; we're betting the Wahoos shoot a little better than that Saturday. We like Virginia here, minus the points.
Duke is lucky to be here, but sometimes a good scare is good for a team. And last month's loss to Virginia Tech might provide some added motivation.
Kentucky is favored on Friday, as this will be their biggest test of the tournament thus far. We’re going to pick the upset and pick Houston to advance to the Elite Eight.
North Carolina is the third-highest scoring team in NCAA Division I at 86.1 points per game. Auburn is 36th at 79.5. On defense, Auburn ranks 93rd at 68.5 points per game allowed, while North Carolina is 208th at 72.5. This expects to be a very quick basketball game, but in the end, the Tar Heels will win and should cover the spread.
The Cavaliers are just a better all-around team than Oregon and own the better performance this season against quality opponents.
The Boilers made almost everything they threw up against Villanova; we do not expect them to shoot like that against the Vols, who are holding foes to 41 percent shooting on the season. Also, while Tennessee blew big leads both games last weekend, it's good enough to build big leads in the first place.
Why did FSU knock off Gonzaga a year ago? Because Florida State plays in a tougher conference than Gonzaga. Regardless of who is on the Noles’ or Bulldogs’ roster, the ACC is the best conference in America in terms of college hoops. Florida State is the more battle-tested team, and they will be a problem for Gonzaga. I wouldn’t even be shocked if they staged another upset.
We like these two teams, but when they get together, of course, we have to find a winner. In the end - the Cougars and their athleticism will win this game.
Oregon caught a break getting an inept Wisconsin team in the first round of this tournament. The Ducks on paper aren't that lucky with this match-up. UC Irvine is holding opponents to just 38 percent FG shooting on the season and out-rebounding foes by seven per game. Oregon's playing some pretty good defense lately itself but for what should be a close, tough game we're taking the Anteaters and the points.
The Hawkeyes shot the heck out of the ball for the last 30 minutes Friday; that probably will not happen Sunday. Meanwhile, the Volunteers let Colgate back in the game Friday; they won't do that again Sunday.
Let me preface this by saying this will easily be one of the more entertaining matches audiences will say tournament-to-date. This game will be a nip-and-tuck affair for most of the contest. However, Texas Tech’s physicality and their defensive prowess will be too much for the Bulls to overcome and Buffalo will run out of gas. Texas Tech will pull away late and generate a cover as they continue onto the Sweet 16. I urge takers to keep an eye on this Texas Tech team because they can certainly make a run to the Final Four.
I wouldn't be shocked if the Bears staged an upset and knocked off the Bulldogs here. At the time this article was written, we had a reasonably top-seed friendly first round without anything too crazy unfolding outside of fan-favorite Murray State staging what seemed to be an obvious upset. There is often a No. 1 or No. 2 seed that may struggle to get out of the Second Round in each tournament, and this game looks like the best scenario for such a feat to occur.
Kansas did what it usually does as a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, stretching its opening-game winning streak to 13 games. This should be a great game, but in the end, we are taking the team that has been there and done that before. Kansas wins as the underdog.