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Bruins Continue California Trip at Ducks

Brad Marchand Boston Bruins Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks NHL

The Boston Bruins are battling it out with the Florida Panthers at the top of the Atlantic Division but head into Friday’s schedule trailing by three points. The Bruins’ California road trip did not start the way they would have hoped, but they get a chance to rebound when they visit the Ducks Friday evening.

Shark Bites
  • The Ducks are 9-2 SU in their last 11 games at home.
  • The Bruins are 8-0 SU in their last eight games after a loss.
  • The total has gone OVER in seven of the Bruin’s last 10 games versus the Western Conference.

The B’s began their road trip with a 3-1 loss at the San Jose Sharks Tuesday, but have been dynamite on the road all season long, sporting a 23-8-3 record away from home so far. The Bruins haven’t lost back-to-back road games since they suffered a three-game losing skid on their travels back in early January.

The Ducks used an 11-game winning streak to soar up the Pacific Division standings, but have dropped four of their last five overall and sit six points back of the Los Angeles Kings entering Friday’s meeting with the Bruins. The one victory in those previous contests was a 7-1 thrashing of the New Jersey Devils on Monday, but followed that up with a 2-1 loss versus the New York Rangers Wednesday.

The Bruins have struggled against the Ducks in recent head-to-head contests, however. The B’s have gone 0-4 SU in the past four meetings and have been been outscored 4.25 to 2.0 in the process.

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Expect Day Two To Be An Underdog Day

If Arkansas-Little Rock was the star of the show on Day 1 of March Madness, the plot of the script was about favorites and overs. 

Favorites went 9-6 against the spread on Thursday with the Wichita State-Arizona game closing as a ‘pick ‘em’ while the OVER went 10-6. 

While that may not make much for the drama that people usually hope for in the tournament, it does provide us with some key information heading into the second day of first round action on Friday. 


Can Wichita State Keep it Going?

The No. 3 Miami Hurricanes have been a rough bet lately, but they’ll try and buck that trend when they tangle with No. 11 Wichita State in the Round of 32 on Saturday. Miami is 0-4 ATS in its last four entering the tilt.

Shark Bites
  • Wichita has four round 2 games in the last 10 years, going 3-1 SU and ATS, and 4-0 OU
  • Wichita State is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games in March.
  • Miami’s March Madness games have gone 10-1 OU dating back to 1999.

The Shockers, who had to go through the First Four process before topping No. 6 Arizona on Thursday, are far from a Cinderella story. Wichita State is an experienced squad who plays tough defense, and can drive opponents crazy at will. The Shockers have also been a great source of UNDERs, evidenced by each of its last four games going below the closing total.

The guard-driven Hurricanes are a tough team to beat when their backcourt is rolling, and that’s exactly what’s going to have to happen once again this weekend. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan combined for 44 points, 12 boards, six assists and four steals in the first round.

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Tar Heels Struggling as Lofty Favorites

Kris Dunn Providence Friars North Carolina Tar Heels

It wasn’t exactly a vintage Kris Dunn performance, but the Providence Friars still managed a victory over the USC Trojans in their Round of 64 game Thursday evening in Raleigh. Their reward? A date with the No. 1-seed North Carolina Tar Heels.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 13 of UNC’s previous 18 games.
  • North Carolina is 6-0 SU in its last six games versus teams with a winning record.
  • UNC has not lost a Round 2 game as a favorite since 2006 (six straight).

Dunn had foul issues and played just 27 minutes, tallying 16 points, four rebounds and four assists, but it was Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock who played all 40 minutes and registered 19 and 16 points respectively.

The line in Thursday's contest closed at Friars -2.5 so Providence has started the tourney with an 0-1 ATS mark.

Also starting out 0-1 ATS are the Tar Heels, but Thursday’s opener versus the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles was a tale of two halves. UNC went into the locker room with a slim one-point lead, but came out in the second half and looked like a different team. The Heels won the game 83-67, but failed to cover the number as big 22.5-point favorites.

Senior Brice Johnson had a game to remember as he scored 18 points, hauled down seven boards and swatted eight shots.

Bettors take note: Keep an eye on the spread in this contest as the Heels have gone 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games when tabbed as a favorite of 9.5 or more.

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Will Cinderella Slipper Fit Gonzaga?

Domantas Sabonis Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA March Madness

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have caught fire at the right time and entered the tournament sizzling both straight up and against the spread. That spilled into the NCAA Tournament when they thumped Seton Hall convincingly en route to a Round of 64 win Thursday. Next for Gonzaga is a meeting with the Pac-12’s Utah Utes Saturday evening.

Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 3-0 the last three times these two have met.
  • Gonzaga is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games with one day off between games.
  • Utah is 8-2 ATS in its previous 10 games.

OddsShark’s Jon Campbell pointed out that Gonzaga could be a legit threat to wear Cinderella’s slipper during March Madness and if that win over Seton Hall was an indicator, let’s get ready for a sizing.

The Bulldogs, the 11 seed, won 68-52 thanks to some dreadful shooting from the Pirates. The Hall shot just 32.3 percent from the floor and, gulp, 19.0 percent from downtown.

Domantas Sabonis led the way for the Bulldogs as he scored 21 points and hauled in 16 rebounds in the win. It was Gonzaga’s sixth-straight victory and they have gone 5-0-1 ATS over that span; a run that has faithful Zags backers betting with supreme confidence.

Not to be outdone, Utes big man Jakob Poeltl scored 16 points and grabbed 18 boards as the Utes defeated Fresno State 80-69 in their opening game. It was a balanced offensive effort from the Utes as Lorenzo Bonam led the team with 17 points, while Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor chipped in with 16 apiece.

The Utes have gone 10-1 over their last 11 games with an 88-57 beating from the Oregon Ducks serving as their only loss over that span.

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4 Reasons Why They Can Win: Oregon

The selection committee shocked pretty much everyone by pegging the Oregon Ducks as a No.1 seed heading into March Madness. Though unexpected, Oregon did win the Pac-12 decisively by dismantling a strong Utah team 88-57 in the conference finals. Though many could overlook them, here are four reasons why the Oregon Ducks can win the NCAA Tournament.


Villanova Cashing For Total Bettors

Villanova has spent most of their season as one of the most complete two-way teams in the nation, but their recent offensive explosion have made them a brilliant OVER play. The OVER is 8-1 in the Wildcats’ past nine games with ‘Nova and their opponents combining for 151 points per game. Villanova will start their potential trip to Houston against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs Friday.

This entire season will be dictated by how Villanova does during the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats have not made it past the second round since 2010 and anything less than a trip to the Sweet 16 will likely be looked at as a failure. Junior Kris Jenkins has turned his game on recently as the forward has averaged 21 ppg over Villanova’s past eight contests.

What UNC Asheville lacks in offense, they make up for in a stifling defense. The Bulldogs finished third in the nation in steals and have held their opponents to under 70 points per game on the year as a whole. Though far from the best in the nation, the Bulldogs boast depth defensively as all five of their starters average double-digit points.

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Cal Enters NCAA Tournament Streaking

The California Golden Bears head into March Madness as a hot play on the court and at the window, as they have gone 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in their final 11 games.  Cal will look to keep cooking when they start the NCAA Tournament against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Friday.

Cal is not going to be an easy out for any team this season as they sport the best defense in the Pac-12, allowing just 67 ppg, while featuring a rim-attacking lineup like few others. Five different Bears are averaging double-digits this season with senior Tyrone Wallace (15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists) leading the way.

Hawaii is the trendy darkhorse pick this tournament, as the Warriors posted a 27-8 SU record and came within single-digit points in losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma this year. Stefan Jankovic is a difficult challenge for any team to contain as the 6’11 Serbian finished in the top five in points and rebounds in the Big West.

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MSU Dominating As Huge Favorites

If the Michigan State Spartans feel snubbed by the committee for not getting a No.1 seed, they will get their chance to take it out on Middle Tennessee Friday. The Spartans will enter the game as a massive favorite, but they are a perfect 7-0 SU and ATS in their past seven games when favored by 17.5 points or more.

There is a real argument to be made that Michigan State is the most complete team in the nation, as the Spartans finished in the top 25 in points, points allowed and rebounds while finishing with the most assists per game in the country. The most complete player in the nation Denzel Valentine leads the incredibly effective team. The senior became the first player in recorded history to finish a season averaging 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Blue Raiders ended the season on a six-game winning streak with their relatively mediocre offense topping 75 points or more in four of those six contests. There is no doubt what got Middle Tennessee dancing though, it was their defense that held opponents to 68.3 ppg.

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Sooners Enter March Madness Cold ATS

Buddy Hield Oklahoma Sooners NCAA March Madness

Buddy Hield and the Oklahoma Sooners provided college basketball fans several memories throughout the season. The Sooners did not, however, leave any lasting memories at the betting window and finished off the season especially cold against the spread. Sooners backers will hope that ATS slump ends when they face the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners Friday.

Shark Bites
  • UNDER has gone 10-0 in Oklahoma’s previous 10 games.
  • Oklahoma is 1-5 ATS in its previous six tournament games.
  • Oklahoma has been a No. 2-seed twice and is 1-1 ATS in those games.

The Sooners, currently 14.5-point favorites at online book Bovada, enter the NCAA Tournament on an 0-5 ATS (3-2 SU) run including a 69-67 loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 semifinal. Furthermore, the Sooners have the worst ATS record of any team playing in the tournament at 12-18 ATS.

Still, it’s going to be tough to bet against Hield and the experienced Sooners, especially in these early stages. Senior guard Hield leads the group with 25 points per game, shoots the three at a 46 percent clip and is the probable Naismith Award winner. There is experience throughout the lineup though with senior Isiaiah Cousins, senior Ryan Spangler and junior Jordan Woodard also featured in the starting five.

The Roadrunners went 24-8 SU but played in just three lined games this season, covering the number each time. The team enters the tournament with six-straight wins and have won 10 of their last 11 games. The lineup features five players who average double-digit points per game but the schedule doesn’t feature a ton of primetime matchups. They were blown out 94-59 by Saint Mary’s and were thumped 75-59 at Arizona State.

While the Sooners haven’t been the best wager this season, they’ve been above average when it comes to covering double-digit spreads. In 10 games when they’ve been faves of 10 or more, the Sooners have gone 6-4 ATS.

Click here for a history of the No. 2 vs. No. 15 matchup.

CS Bakersfield Roadrunners vs Oklahoma Sooners Matchup

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