What ten NCAA Tournament March Madness games appear to be the best bets and the best picks against the spread? Here you go. Enjoy.
Starting with a few that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still spicy …
Click on each game for the game preview and fearless prediction.
LINE: Auburn -6, o/u: 145, ML: Auburn -280, NMSU +240
ATS PICK: New Mexico State
It’s one of those games that should have wild and crazy swings with a whole lot of big scoring runs and scoring, scoring, scoring. This is the best matchup of three-point shooting teams in the tournament, and Auburn is miserable at stopping teams from hitting beyond the arc. It would be really, really nice if the line was closer to the 7.5 it was when it opened, but the Aggies might just win this outright over the SEC champs.
LINE: Virginia Tech -10.5, o/u: 126
ATS PICK: Saint Louis
The line has gone up. It was hovering around Virginia Tech -9, and now it’s up to 10.5 – and to go Kirk Cousins, you like that. The Billikens have the defense to keep the score low – this should be kept around the 60s – and will dominate the Hokies on the boards. Virginia Tech should be able to pull this off, but it’ll take a battle to get there. 10.5 is way too large a number in a grinding game.
LINE: Michigan -14.5, o/u: 130.5
ATS PICK: Michigan
Michigan took down Montana by 15 in last year’s tournament – winning 61-47. This year’s Grizzlies team is better, and it’s dangerous, but the Wolverines aren’t going to take this lightly after the way they ended the season. The defense will control this from the start, but the biggest key will be on the glass. Montana will struggle to get enough rebounds, but the scoring drought will be the problem in the second half. You’ll be happy when Montana can’t hit free throws.
LINE: Utah State -3, o/u: 135
ATS PICK: Utah State
Grit your teeth through this. Washington won the Pac-12 regular season title, and it has the make-up to be an interesting nine-seed, but it can’t hit the boards at all. Utah State is the real deal, averaging close to nine rebounds per game more than its opponents, while the Huskies are -2.6 in rebounding margin. The Aggies move the ball around too well and don’t make the mistakes UW will need.
LINE: Kansas State -4.5, o/u: 119
ATS PICK: Kansas State
Get ready for the Kansas State defense. Yes, it’s a 4-13 matchup with the 13 only going away 4.5, but you’re really, really happy that the line went down from the 5.5. Now you’re getting a better value. The Anteaters are going to be annoying on the boards, but they’ll also give the ball away over and over again. The Wildcat defense will take over in the last five minutes, but they’ll make you sweat out the spread with missed free throws.