If you have blinked more than one time today, I think you are watching March Madness wrong. I have three computers going with three different games and could not be more pleased at the kind of basketball I have witnessed so far today.
UNC Wilmington took Duke right down to the wire. However, as usual, Duke was too strong and got the win but failed to cover as 10-point favorites. In the other early matchup it was Butler handling Texas Tech by a score of 71-61, putting the favorites at 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS after two games.
The second pair of games went the way of the favorites both SU and ATS with UConn rallying in the second half to upend Colorado and Iowa State getting past Iona thanks for a large halftime lead.
Now I have some good news and I have some bad news. As always, the bad news first.
After the last set of games ends, there will be no more basketball for approximately 12 hours. That sucks.
The good news is, I have you covered with some prop bets for the last batch of games. And after some much-deserved rest, basketball returns in approximately 12 short hours.
I have taken the time to share some of my favorite prop bets for the last batch of games set to tip off on Thursday, and I will be using my friends at Bovada for lines and odds.
Providence vs. USC
Providence Friars Team Total Points - "Over" 75.5 -110, "Under" 75.5 -110
This is going to be an absolute butt whooping, in my opinion. I love what Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil bring to the table for the Friars. These two players are absolute studs and pad the stat line every time they are on the court.
Dunn is a potential Top 5 NBA Draft pick and averages 16 PPG, 6.4 APG, 5.5 RPG, 2.5S PG and 1.1 3-pt PG. He has the ability to get into the lane, draw defenders towards him, and find the open guy. If USC's strategy is to deploy the National Guard to stop him, they will get beat by his partner in crime, Bentil. He averages a modest 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 1.5 3-pt PG. I mean come on. Pick your poison.
If you want to beat the Friars then you need to stop these two machines, which is easier said than done. If you over play either of them, they will find the open man and will have open jumpers all night.
I do not see how USC can hang around in this game. I am predicting an 84-69 type score in favour of the Friars.
Give me the "Over" 75.5 -110
Kris Dunn Total 3-Point Shots Made
"Over" 1.5 EVEN, "Under" 1.5 -140
Going to take a flyer here and try to hit the over. Most guards are pass-first, ask-questions-later. While I think Dunn will be the focal point of USC's defensive strategy, I can see him getting open on the perimeter courtesy of some beast-mode type work in the low post by teammate Ben Bentil.
If USC decided to double Ben, which they should because they have nobody who can match up to him in terms of ability, there will be several opportunities for the big man to kick it out to the open man for an open look for three.
Pick: "Over" 1.5 EVEN
Gonzaga vs. Seton Hall
Isaiah Whitehead Total Points
"Over" 22.5 -130, "Under" 22.5 -110
If there is one player Gonzaga might want to focus on, it would be Isaiah Whitehead. The Seton Hall sophomore has scored 130 points over his last give games. And he's grabbed 30 rebounds. And he's dished out 25 assists. That is impressive by anyone's standard.
He will more than likely have his way with the Gonzaga defense that allows almost 70 points per game. He will likely be matched up with Gonzaga's top defensive player, Josh Perkins, but I do not think Josh will be able to slow down Mr. New York Basketball 2014.
Look for him to pace the Pirates and dispatch of those pesky Bulldogs.
Seton Hall by 6-10 points +525
For once, I think the committee got this seeding right and Vegas is getting this line wrong.
I can't see a way Gonzaga gets the job done. They play in a very weak conference and are in the tournament courtesy winning their conference tournament against a St. Mary's team who is 28-5 and was still denied an at-large bid into the tournament.
Gonzaga is not what it once was a few years back. They have a few solid players in Wiltjer and Perkins, but I think this they will be no match for the toughness of the Big East-tested Seton Hall Pirates.
Seton Hall comes into this game on a four-game winning streak and has momentum winning the Big East title over Villanova, who many have picked to make some noise in this tournament. A battle-tested team is always a ready team come March, and I think they can get the job done and advance to the next round of play.
Give me the Pirates by 6-10 points at +525. Free throws to ice the game will be the difference between winning and losing this bet.
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