College basketball’s March Madness is upon us and Joe Osborne, Andrew Avery and Iain MacMillan are primed to deliver their best bets for the Round of 64!
What a wild ride the next couple of weeks will be for college basketball betting, so hit the guys up in the comments section with questions and with your picks as well.
Joe starts the show off in the Midwest Region with Tennessee playing Oregon State. The No. 12-seeded Oregon State Beavers have an 18-9-1 record against the spread this season, while the No. 5 Volunteers have gone 14-12. The Beavers offense goes through senior guard Ethan Thompson, who has averaged 15.3 points per game while dishing out almost four assists. Tennessee is a big favorite in its tournament opener, and with his bet here, Joe is looking at the line.
Leonard Hamilton has done an excellent job shaping the Florida State basketball program into a legit contender. This FSU squad is the No. 4 seed in the East Region and is considered a value bet to come out of the region. The Seminoles are huge favorites in this matchup against UNC Greensboro for a reason, and Joe found some value for a bet on FSU for this game.
Luka Garza and the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes will take on No. 15 Grand Canyon to open their March Madness run. Garza has put together an excellent college career at Iowa, as he capped this season off by averaging 23.7 points and 8.8 boards per game, all while shooting 54.7 percent from the field. There’s no question he will be a handful to deal with and while he may single-handedly beat Grand Canyon, Joe isn’t considering the spread here, he’s looking at the total for his wager.
In the Midwest Region, sixth-seeded San Diego State faces 11 seed Syracuse. The Aztecs won the Mountain West Conference for the second time in the last four seasons with their tough three-and-D style. They will be a tough out for anyone. The Orange, on the other hand, well, you know what you get with a Syracuse team: tough defense and a team that generally won’t beat itself.
Iain is looking at the South Region as No. 3 seed Arkansas faces No. 14 seed Colgate. The Razorbacks rely on their big three of JD Notae, Justin Smith and Jalen Tate to get the job done. Those three combined for 42 percent of the Razorbacks’ scoring on the season. Arkansas went an impressive 19-2 as a favorite this season, while Colgate was never an underdog in any game playing in the Patriot League.
It wouldn’t be the MADNESS without a big plus-money underdog pick! It’s the heartbeat of March Madness: Which team is going to be Cinderella? Which underdog is going to capture your rooting interests? Which dog is going to put money in your pocket? Iain has one lined up to open the tourney with.
The darling of March Madness in 2018 was Loyola Chicago as the Ramblers surprised everyone with a magical run to the Final Four as an 11 seed. This time around they come in as an 8 seed and face No. 9 Georgia Tech. How big a hit will the Yellow Jackets take without their star Moses Wright? We shall see, but his absence will be felt one way or another. Both of these teams were pretty good this season against the spread, which makes that bet a little more difficult to cap, so Ninja is looking at the total.
Next on the docket for Ninja, he’s looking at No. 2 seed Alabama, a big fave against No. 15 Iona. Rick Pitino and the Gaels, needless to say, have a tough matchup against the SEC champion Crimson Tide. Iona was the ninth seed (out of 11 teams) in the MAAC tourney, so even qualifying for the NCAA Tournament is quite the accomplishment. For ’Bama, being a No. 2 seed ties them for the best seed the school has ever had in March Madness. They were also a No. 2 seed in 1987 and 2002.