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Day 2 Betting Preview 

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I wanted to do this for Day 1 but when I woke up this morning my left eye had been almost swollen shut. I’m not sure why or how, but it happened. Let me tell you it’s really uplifting to wake up on your favorite day of the year, having taken a vacation day from work only to have limited use of your left eye and an annoying task to take care of. I’m sure I won’t be getting any sympathy from Aroldis Chapman, which quick side note I locked him in as a keeper in my fantasy baseball league just hours before he went down, anyway, quick picks for the rest of day 1… St Louis -3.5, Harvard +140, Texas -1.5, ND St +150, and NM St +260.  


12:45pm Baylor -3.5 vs Nebraska

It’s too early to say the Big 10 is overrated, but both OSU and Wisconsin have not started their opening games looking very good. Nebraska has been red hot as of late, but so has Baylor. The Bears finished their season with a 10-2 record thanks to their offensive star Cory Jefferson and their defensive star, 7’1” Isaiah Austin. Austin averages over three blocks per game and has helped Baylor outrebound their opponents by nearly seven boards a game.

The Cornhuskers run has been in large part to dynamic swingman Terran Petteway but this is not a good offense on the whole as they have averaged just 67.0ppg on 42.7% shooting.

Baylor is the better team in this matchup. They have the better track record this season and they have the advantage of playing much closer to home, in San Antonio. They should cover this spread rather easily.

2:50pm UMASS +160 vs Tennessee

Tennessee was a play-in team for a reason and they barely escaped that game. While they have the luxury of playing closer to home, UMASS is not afraid of playing away from home as they have accumulated a 6-2 record on neutral courts this year.

Guard play is enormous in the NCAA tournament, and UMASS has the best in this matchup. Chaz Williams averages nearly 16 points and 7 assists a game and is great down the stretch.

The Vols big advantage is on the glass. They racked up 21 wins this year because they outrebound their opponents by 8.5 a game. Also, they have the ability to lock down on defense, since they have only allowed 61.1ppg on 40.8% shooting.

The Vols might have the defensive ability to slow Chaz Williams, but their offense is far too streaky. They got hot late last night, stealing one from Iowa, I don’t know if they can replicate that. Maybe the A-10 is the reason the #6 seed is a four point underdog to a play-in team, but outside of Florida the SEC wasn’t anything special either. The Minutemen haven’t gone dancing since 1998, so they have absolutely nothing to lose and I believe that being listed as an underdog is going to fuel them to playing on Sunday.

3:15pm Louisiana Lafayette +800 vs Creighton

People really love Doug McDermott. As far as I’m concerned the soon to be Wooden Award winner, is too much of a one man team to do much damage. They don’t do much well, they just give the ball to Dougy and let him jack threes from NBA range. Conversely the Ragin Cajuns don’t do much well other than score as well. This should be a high scoring up and down game but I’m not sure if Creighton can score enough to keep up with LL. If LL can get some confidence going in the first half, they might look like the better overall team in the second half. The difference in this game is going to be who hits the glass harder and LL has shown the willingness to get after loose balls on their recent 11-2 run. On the surface it may seem like a silly upset pick, but nearly 60% of people are currently betting Creighton -14 and in my opinion that’s the silliest thing about this matchup.

4:45pm Oklahoma State -3 vs Gonzaga

Anytime you have the best player on the floor you have a distinct advantage. The Cowboys are a much better team than their seed indicates. The suspension of Marcus Smart really hurt their seeding this year, but they have gone 5-2 since his return with both losses coming to ranked opponents in overtime.

Meanwhile the Zags have exactly zero wins vs ranked opponents this season. They have had a good season because they don’t make a ton of mistakes and outshoot their opponents 50% - 39%. But again, they couldn’t get the job done against the best teams on their schedule. OK St. just has too much for Gonzaga. They should overpower them and advance to Sunday.

7:25pm Providence +165 vs North Carolina

The Tar Heels are about as sporadic as any team in this tournament and that doesn’t bode well for a team that hasn’t played in a week. Providence is a much more solid team. They usually only run with a six man rotation, but they know how to play with each other and they trust in each other.

The deciding factor in this one is free throw shooting. On one hand you have the Tar Heels, who are absolutely abysmal shooting just 62.5% from the line while the Friars shoot at a 78.1% clip, the second best in the nation. If this game comes down to the end, like I think it will, the Friars have a distinct advantage.

9:55pm North Carolina Central +325 vs Iowa State

There may be a lot to like about the Iowa State Cyclones, but maybe too much. Something tells me they are far too confident in themselves after winning the Big 12 tournament. They rely solely on their high powered offense to get the job done averaging 82.9ppg. But they don’t force turnovers and have allowed an average of nearly 74ppg.

Everyone and their brother is high on this Cyclones team especially the betting public, nearly 80% are betting Iowa State -8. But know this, the NCC Eagles are new to the big dance. Jeremy Ingram might prove to be the best offensive player on the court and point guard Emmanuel Chapman knows how to find his teammates without making mistakes. They are also relentless on D having allowed just 58.5ppg on 37.3% shooting and 29.5% from three. This defense is legit and has a chance at slowing the overconfident Cyclones down en route to a rather large upset, and a potentially nice payday for us.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

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