We expect State to rack up over 70 points easily against a defensively weak Valparaiso side. Over 126 looks like is a bet.
The first full slate of games kicks off at 12:15 EST on Thursday, March 21st. Here are some our top handicapping picks for the first full day of March Madness. We are using our March Madness sign-up bonus money in our picks at Bovada, Topbet and GTbets. See details here or in the banner below on the March Madness 2013 promotions.
No. 14 Valparaiso at No. 3 Michigan State 12:15 EST
Our Play: Over 126 (best odds at www.topbet.eu)
It’s too bad this one went up a few points from the opening number. Nevertheless, we still like the bet. Michigan State should have no issues scoring 70 or so points against an undersized, poor defensive team in Valpo. The Crusaders should still be able to keep themselves in the game against the Spartans – just enough to push this one over our magic number of 126.
No. 13 New Mexico St. at No. 4 Saint Louis 2:10 EST
Our Play: New Mexico +9.5, again best odds with Topbet.eu
New Mexico State has not gotten much ink as most think Saint Louis is a virtual lock to beat them. Saint Louis has been talked about as a possible tournament Cinderella and perhaps they are starting to look past a talented Aggies squad. They possess a large frontcourt, good defense and a solid backcourt and could easily give the heavily favored Billikens a run for their money. We still think Saint Louis pulls it out in the end, but this one could be a lot closer down the stretch than most think.
No. 9 Wichita State at No. 8 Pittsburgh 1:40 EST
Our Play: Pittsburgh -4.5 using the Bovada sign-up bonus. More details above.
It’s a bit of a down year for Pitt, but the Panthers still have a hugely talented squad that is more offensively oriented than in years past. Still, Pittsburgh is physical, defensive team in the paint and should be able to exert their will over a smaller Wichita State team. Steven Adams and Talib Zanna will control the paint in this one and could make things particularly tough inside for the big of the Shockers. Pitt’s poor NCAA tournament history makes us a bit weary, but we think the team will thrive as an 8th seed because the pressure is off Jamie Dixon’s squad.
No. 11 Belmont at No. 6 Arizona 7:20 EST
Our Play: Arizona -4.5 with Topbet as the best price.
This game seems like the consensus upset pick for most bracket holders, with most picking the Bruins to knock off the Wildcats. Arizona has not played well coming into the tournament but is a better team than Belmont and should feed off the naysayers who think they will get knocked out early. Also, the game is in Salt Lake City, which is not far from Arizona giving the Wildcats a bit of a home court advantage.
No. 15 Albany at No. 2 Duke 12:15 EST
Our Play: Duke -17.5 betting at GTBets.eu using the 50% Sign Up Bonus up to $500.
The Blue Devils, seemingly always overhyped may surprisingly not be getting all the respect they deserve in this year’s tournament. Eager to avenge an early tournament exit last year, Duke will show no mercy to Great Danes. They have a enormous advantage in every facet of the game against Albany and this game should be a 30-40 point rout.
No. 13 South Dakota State at No. 4 Michigan 7:15 EST
Our Play: South Dakota State +11 and going deep on it at www.topbet.eu
We’re warning bettors not to sleep on South Dakota State, a school who may have their best basketball team in a number of years. The Jackrabbits have a top point guard in Nate Wolters and a sizeable and experienced frontcourt. Michigan has been inconsistent all season long and needs to be ready to face a tough opponent in South Dakota State. We think they may be sleeping a little bit on this squad – this game has big time upset potential.