Well my picks to build a bankroll for this weekend left us right where we started. You can thank Domantas Sabonis passing up a wide open dunk that would covered Pacers (+6) in favor of a contested three when the game was already out of reach for that.
Good teams win, great teams cover. Expect a first round playoff exit for Indiana.
So if you were able to restrain yourself from going nuts on MLB’s opening day, here are the best bets for this evening’s Sweet Sixteen matchups.
Florida State (+7.5) vs. Gonzaga – FSU +7.5
The Zags have looked every bit the part of a one seed this go around and may analysts think this year is their most realistic chance at the school’s first national championship. They have won their first two games comfortably, however they face the first legitimate postseason threat in the Seminoles.
Florida State overcame a resilient Vermont team in the Round of 64, and stomped out Ja Morant and Murray State with an emphatic 28-point win. The Seminoles have a very balanced offensive attack and Gonzaga will have be able to limit defensive lapses as a result. I think the Zags come away with the win in a close game, with Florida State covering the reasonably wide spread.
Purdue (+2) vs. Tennessee – Tenn (-2)
Bettors will be weary of putting their hard earned money on Tennessee after they nearly blew a 25-point lead in the round of 32 to Iowa, got bettors hopes up again in overtime, only to win by six in a game in which they were favored by eight. However, they were able to pull out a close game, something they’ve had a knack for doing all season. Upperclassmen leadership means a lot in the tournament and the Volunteers have two of the best remaining in Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield
As for the Boilermakers, they are extremely reliant on scoring from star guard Carsen Edwards. While he’s been pretty good about providing it (23.6 PPG), he’s also played well above even his lofty standards, averaging 34 PPG over the first two rounds. The Volunteers are equipped with the perimeter defenders to cause Edwards to have an off night, and that may be all she wrote for Purdue.
Texas Tech (+1.5) vs. Michigan – TTU (+1.5)
The Red Raiders have cruised to the Sweet Sixteen by doing what they’ve done all season: shutting their opponents down defensively. They have yet to allow over 60 points in a tournament game, and their opponents on the season are averaging just over 59 PPG. Texas Tech has also enjoyed the outstanding, under-the-radar play of Jarrett Culver who is averaging 22.5 PPG 8.5 RPG and 6.5 APG through the first two rounds.
The Wolverines have one of the best defenses remaining in the tournament as well, allowing only 58.2 PPG on the season (bonus pick – Under 124.5). They are an experienced team that has experience deep in the NCAA Tournament. So why pick against Big Blue? Though they are experienced, they are still paced in scoring by Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis, and are inconsistent shooting the long ball at times. I expect Texas Tech to force a bad shooting night out of Michigan as they have been able to do to their opponents all season (30% 3PFG).
Oregon (+8.5) vs. Virginia – UVA (-8.5)
Oregon is the lone Cinderella in the Sweet Sixteen, aren’t we supposed to be rooting for them? Don’t we love Cinderella? Not this particular version.
We like the Cinderellas that pull massive upsets. #12 over a #5? Snoozefest, especially against a Wisconsin team that couldn’t shoot their way out of a paper bag (6-30 3PFG). Then, they get lucky enough to play a #13 in UC Irvine who benefitted from an injury to sneak their way into the Round of 32.
They held both of those teams to 54 points. Now could the Ducks truly have been a victim of injuries this season, a team finally finding some stability coming together?
However, Tony Bennett’s Virginia squad has been one of the most consistent teams in the country all season. They have a specific style of play, and almost hypnotize their opponents into playing that style. Junior backcourt mates Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome have been one of the most reliable duos in the country all season. The Cavalier style of play will not be suited for the Ducks and Virginia will run away with this one.