March Madness Tuesday Play-in Games Odds Shopper and Betting Picks
by Dave Schwab - 3/16/2015
The madness of March is in full swing with the start of this season's men's basketball NCAA Tournament this Tuesday night with two play-in games in the opening round. Matchups such as this offer a tremendous opportunity to track line movement and shop the betting odds since thespreads for both games have already been released.
The following is a brief look at a both of these games on Tuesday night where I shopped the odds to try and get the best value for my picks.
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NCAA Tournament Midwest Region- Hampton vs. Manhattan
Both of these teams will be playing for bragging rights that they won a game in this season's Big Dance considering that next up for the winner is a trip to Louisville this Thursday to face No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in the Wildcats own backyard.
Hampton comes into this game with a straight up losing record of 16-17 while going an even 8-8 in the MEAC this season. However, a stunning run to the conference tournament title punched the Pirates' ticket to this year's field of 68 teams. They are averaging 67.2 points per game and shooting 40.8 percent from the field.
Both Brian Darden and Reginald Johnson came up big in this past Saturday's stunning 82-61 victory against Delaware State in that title game with 20 points each. Hampton closed as a 1.5-point underdog. It has now won its last four games both SU and against the spread.
The Jaspers made their way into Tuesday's nights showdown by upending Iona 79-69 in the Metro Atlantic Conference Tournament title game as four-point underdogs. They finished the season with seven SU victories in their last eight games while going a profitable 6-1 ATS in their last seven outings. The total has stayed "under" in their last four games.
Manhattan has the slight edge in scoring in this matchup with 69.9 PPG, and it's shooting a slightly better 43.5 percent from the field. Behind Emmy Andujar and Ashton Pankey, I really like the Jaspers' chances to come away with a convincing win on Tuesday night. These two combined for 39 points in the victory over Iona after averaging a combined 40 points a game on the year.
The oddsmakers opened the Jaspers as 7.5-point favorites, and this spread has held steady with books such as BetOnline, Top Bet and Bookmaker. It remains to be seen if there will be any movement in either direction before tipoff on Tuesday night.
NCAA Tournament West Region- Ole Miss vs. BYU
The SEC's Mississippi Rebels and the WCC's BYU Cougars each earned the No. 11 seed in the West Region, and this Tuesday in Dayton they will battle it out for a chance to play No. 6 Xavier in Jacksonville this Thursday.
The Rebels ended their season on a disappointing note with three losses (SU and ATS) in their last four games before bowing out to South Carolina 60-58 as 4.5-point favorites in their first game in this year's conference tournament. They are now a costly 2-6 ATS in their last eight outings with the total staying under in eight of their last 12 games.
Ole Miss has given up an average of 73.8 points over the course of its last five games as opposed to a season average of 67.7 points allowed. The Rebels' scoring average as dropped off a bit during this same stretch to 70.4 points per game after averaging 72.6 PPG this season. Junior guard Stefan Moody has led the way with 16.3 PPG, but he is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field.
BYU caught everyone's attention by knocking off then-No. 3 Gonzaga 73-70 in its regular-season finale on Feb. 28 as a heavy 13.5-point road underdog. The Bulldogs got their revenge by beating the Cougars 91-75 in the WCC Tournament Championship, with BYU closing as an eight-point underdog. The Cougars come into this game with a SU 8-1 record in their last nine contests while going a profitable 7-2 ATS.
The duo of Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth has been deadly this season with a combined 35.9 points a game, with each player shooting better than 47 percent from the field. The Cougars are nothing to write home about when it comes to playing defense, but they are ranked second in the nation in scoring with 83.6 PPG. This should prove to be too much for the Rebels to handle in Tuesday's matchup.
BYU opened as a two-point favorite against Ole Miss. While this number has already jumped to three points with Top Bet, Bookmaker and Sportsbook.ag, as of Monday morning you could still get the Cougars -2.5 points with BetOnline.
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