If anyone was wondering how dedicated to this shit I am, today should answer that. I’m a DIE HARD Illini fan, who watches every second of every game. After getting my heart ripped out by a goddamn nun today I’m back to find winning NCAA Tournament bets for all of us.
I’m not sure if anyone actually follows my picks, but if you have you should be sitting good right now. I’ll be the first to say we have been more streaky than I’d like. Nevertheless, we are still hitting just under 60% of our bets, and have hit multiple bets with odds better than +320, including a +1200. I’ve only been writing for just over a week, but if I can consistently stay around 55%-60% (obviously I’d like to be 100% but we need to be reasonable), I’ll be happy. I’d also like to put on record that I canceled the Georgia Tech +2.5 bet on Twitter, and tagged the main Crow Worthy account. If you missed the memo, it’s your fault for not following me dummy.
Back to Business
I’m writing this as some of the lines still haven’t been released, as I’m trying to get this out with enough time for everyone to see it. I’m going to be listing my favorite bets for the second day of the round of 32, along with some of the sweet 16 matchups (if lines are available).
Creighton -5.5 (Hammer this Line)
I’ve been a fan of Ohio since the beginning of the year when they took Illinois down to the wire. Preston is an amazingly well rounded player, and extremely underrated. Although I’m a fan of Ohio, they were the beneficiaries of a out of sorts Virginia team. They are simply outmatched here. Creighton is a team that can kill you a million different ways, and if you can’t consistently stop their guard play, you’ll be ran over. I know Creighton has been a little inconsistent this year, but they are too much for Ohio. Look for Creighton to exploit driving lanes, and also knock down threes. Take Creighton and don’t look back.
(Small ML bet also at +220) — Michigan rolled past Texas Southern 82-66 and although they looked good at times, anyone who has watched them all year can tell you that they aren’t the same without Livers. LSU is a long and athletic team who can defend the perimeter, and is extremely active in transition. If LSU can just be competitive on the boards, and run in transition I think this game stays close. Every time we have seen Michigan have trouble this year it has been in part due to teams rebounding well, and running up in down the court. The lack of length both offensively, and defensively that Livers gave them will be missed against this LSU team.
The one issue I see LSU having is rebounding, as I mentioned being key earlier. LSU while be long, aren’t an overall tall, great rebounding team and that will be tested heavily against Michigan, but if they can be competitive on the boards, this game is closer than anyone thinks. I think this game stays close, and like LSU to cover…..and don’t hate a small bet for them to win outright.
Iowa is one of the best offensive teams in the country, and have killers in their back court. Any team trying to contain McCaffrey, and Bohannon have their hands full. Trying to contain their guards along with Luka Garza is a uphill battle. Oregon is coming off a long layoff compared to other teams, having not played at all this tournament. Oregon scored well in the regular season but it’s hard enough to stay ready after a game gets cancelled. It’s even harder when your next opponent is Iowa.
We have seen teams struggle from the field early on when playing in their first game of the tournament (just look at all the unders for proof) and I forsee a slow start from Oregon. I don’t see them having an answer for Luka, or the deep range threat of Iowa. Look for Iowa jumping on them early. (Like Iowa 1st half -2.5 also)
UCLA -4.5 (Hammer this hard)
This is simple. UCLA is the LOCK OF THE DAY. I’ll happily give Abilene Christian credit for giving Texas issues and forcing a ton of turnovers, but their stay in Indy is over after this game. UCLA isn’t going to turn the ball over like Texas and let Abilene control the pace. Look for UCLA to absolutely dominate the glass, along with push the tempo. For Abilene to win this game has to stay low scoring, and there is no shot they can slow down the high power UCLA offense that has been humming along strong. UCLA hasn’t looked invincible, but the Cinderella story that is Abilene Christian can’t go on forever. How this line isn’t at least 7 is beyond me.
Sweet 16 bets
Arkansas vs Oral Roberts UNDER 162
This line is likely going to change massively from now until tip off. If it gets anywhere around 152 or lower, I’ll take the over, but anything above 160 is a under for me instantly. According to my early metrics the projected total should be 158.7, and I agree that it’s likely in the mid to high 150’s. This Arkansas teams is FAST, and can run the Oral Roberts shooters off the three point line. Arkansas has had some of the highest totals on the board their first two games, and haven’t hit the over yet.
Oral Roberts come into the game averaging 78 ppg in the tournament, and I just don’t see them sustaining that against the quick Arkansas defense. Arkansas has been averaging 76.5 ppg in the tournament but showed some struggles against Texas Tech only scoring 68. Although Oral Roberts has the leading scorer in the nation, and another player averaging 29 ppg in the last two games, I don’t think they can keep that up game after game against this competition.
Syracuse has the exact defense that can slow down this Houston offense. They are long, quick, and oh ya, they play a zone that minimize driving opportunities. Houston likes to push the ball, and to get to the rim offensivly, but can get into slumps shooting from the perimeter. They struggled defensively to keep a undersized Rutgers team off the boards, and couldn’t consistently get stops. The Syracuse offense has flame throwing shooters who can score with anyone. I like this game to be extremely close start to finish, and like Syracuse ML also.
I’ll be adding more sweet 16 bets as games get closer, but can’t promise I’ll have time to write another blog. I’ll make sure they are posted on my Twitter account @TCollins1012 if I’m unable to get another blog done prior. Good luck all!