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It’s Georgia State vs. Baylor as one of the feature matchups on the opening Thursday of the NCAA Tournament.

We’ve got a pick for this one.

Georgia State Panthers (24-9) at Baylor Bears (24-9)
NCAA Basketball: Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)

You can catch the game on TBS

NCAA Line: Baylor -9

Okay, we’ve got the details out of the way.

As noted above, the Bears are 9-point favs over the Sun Belt champ Panthers.

Are Georgia State going to advance to the Round of 32? In a word – no. That’s not going to happen (or at least quite unlikely).

Are Georgia State good enough to give the Bears a battle to open the tourney – that we say yes to.

ncaa picks

Georgia State could be a peach of a pick on Thursday

 

Baylor, the 3-seed in the West Region, have a shot at an impressive run in this year’s bracket, but the 14-seed Panthers have the game to book a respectable showing in their one and only tournament start.

Yes, we’re a little concerned about the Panthers’ record vs. quality opponents (they’re 0-4 ATS this season as an underdog, including losses to Iowa State (81-58) and Colorado State (80-70)). And adding to that bit of concern is the “dead man walking” impression they pulled against Georgia Southern in their conference tournament final on Sunday.

That Sunday game is at least partially responsible for this line climbing up from -7.5 to -9.

But it’s also what gives us some value. This is a much better team than the one bettors saw last weekend.

The Panthers can score with an up-tempo game, while also being defensively responsible. Their last start wasn’t indicative of what this team brings to the court. Sure they give up matchup edges, that’s why they’re a #14 and Baylor’s a #3. But they have experience and will work hard at both ends. Even if they get down by double digits, we don’t expect this group to fold, but rather battle back.

They should be able to keep it close enough to cover the number.

Georgia State vs. Baylor Pick:
We’re taking Georgia State +9

Sports Betting Forum: Be sure to join us in the Everyedge Sports Betting Forum for thoughtful discussion, insights and opinions on all the NCAA Tournament action.

Saturday, September 1 – The biggest game of opening weekend features a battle of top 10 teams, as No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 8 Michigan Wolverines puts an exclamation point on the Saturday action.

 

Michigan vs. Alabama

 

I’m surfing channels right now, catching parts of on-going games as we’re about 90 minutes from kick-off of the Bama-UM game. Nebraska is finally starting to pull away from Southern Miss, as they’re knocking on the door with a 22-point fourth quarter lead. Husker bettors are still nervous though, as they laid anywhere from 17.5 to 20.5 points. Continue Reading

Our College basketball picks finished the season strong at EveryEdge and today we preview the big game between No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and the top seeded favorites, Kentucky

 


Kentucky is 77-1 straight-up under Coach Calipari when holding opponents to 67 points or fewer

 

The Wildcats were circled in as this year’s March Madness bracket champs more than any other team and through the first five rounds Kentucky was 3-2 ATS with a 10.6-point average margin of victory. Only one of their wins was by fewer than 6.5 points, which is where most online sportsbooks are offering the line as of Monday morning.

 

Kentucky was in full control during their Final Four game against Louisville, carrying a 35-28 win onto the second-half where they eventually won by eight points; good enough for the majority of Cardinals backers who were getting +8.5 or more points.

 

Kansas allows an average of just 61.6 points per game (PPG) and that has whittled the NCAA odds for the total down to 138 from an opening price of 140.5.

 

CHALK OPTIONS

The Wildcats are only 16-22 ATS in their past 38 lined games and we’ve had to use creative basketball betting to capitalize on this team during the tournament. Saturday we tabbed the “Under” vs. Louisville and against Indiana; our posted play was on the Wildcats and Hoosiers “Over” 67.5 in the first-half.

 

Kentucky led that game 50-47 at the break and it was the most first-half points they’ve scored during the tournament but there has been two constants: Having the lead and scoring more than 35 points

Wildcat Scoring – First-half

Led 35-28 vs. Louisville
Led 42-22 vs. Baylor
Led 50-47 vs. Indiana
Led 38-27 vs. Iowa State
Led 45-26 vs. Western Kentucky

 

That’s an average lead of 12 points per game, outscoring opponents 42-30. Including the regular season, Kentucky has first-half averages of 37.7 to 28.5 and the early line for this game is Wildcats -3.5 (even) with a total of 63.5.

NCAA PICKS

Each of these teams has top caliber defense and with Kansas’ scoring averages (35.6-29.0), we think the oddsmaker has done a good job on that first-half total. Team totals for the first-half are Wildcats (33) and Kansas (30.5) and with all its offensive talent, our top play is on the Wildcats staying true to form.
Pick: Take Kentucky Team Total “Over” 33 first-half points

 

Click NCAA Odds for betting options and stop by the EveryEdge Forum for more great info from solid handicappers daily!

 

March Madness Record: 6-2 ATS………………………….. Follow Everyedge on Twitter!

March Madness continues Saturday as the top college basketball teams in the country hit New Orleans for the Final Four. We setup the first game on the card between Louisville and top seeded Kentucky, looking to improve on our 5-2 ATS record in tournament betting

 


The past seven Final Four favorites of 4-plus points who scored 80 points or more in the Elite 8 have a 1-6 ATS record

 

Winners of the Big East championship, Louisville is making its first appearance in the Final Four since 2005. Their 50-44 SU/ATS win over Cincinnati set a record for the lowest scoring final in Big East history and through the first four games of the NCAA tournament; the Cardinals have kept the trend alive.

 

Louisville fought its way out of the West with 1 over and 3 unders, extending their March Over/Under record to 4 overs, 15 unders and 1 push since 2009. The low scoring games have slowed down the total for today’s game and as of early Saturday, most online sportsbooks show a 1.5 point decrease from the opening line of 138.5.

 

GAME PLAN
Current NCAA odds show a total of 137 with Kentucky listed as a 9-point favorite. The Wildcats have covered three in row and are winning straight-up by an average of 12 points per game with the same formula they’ve used all season. Louisville is going to need to play an almost perfect game to pull an upset and it will come down the Cardinals defense.

 

If Louisville can mix coverages, force Kentucky into difficult shooting situations early and haul in their share of defensive rebounds, the Cardinals gameplan should keep the score within single digits. Louisville ranked seventh overall this season with an average of 8.9 turnovers and they have played their share of close games. Getting plus-9 points or more, we have a strong lean to the dog but our official play is on the total.

 

OVER/UNDER NOTEBOOK
On a neutral court with a total between 130 and 139.5, Kentucky has played 1 over and 9 unders the past two years and this season alone, regardless of location, they show 4 overs, 14 unders and a push in that range.

 

- Since 1997, Louisville and Kentucky have combined to play 3 overs and 11 unders

 

NCAA PICKS
Coach Rick Pitino (44-13 SU, 33-21-3 ATS) and Kentucky HC John Calipari (36-13 SU, 26-22-1 ATS) have impressive March Madness betting resumes and these teams met on New Year’s Eve (69-62 Wildcats win), so the strategy will play a big role. When facing common opponents this season, the two teams combined for an average of 134.5 total points per game and with the recent history on our side, betting under looks like the value play in this contest.
Pick: Take the Under

 

Get Final Four NCAA Odds here and for more on this game, stop by the EveryEdge Forum

 

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Our March Madness basketball picks are 5-1 ATS and today we setup the Elite 8 game between the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and top seeded North Carolina Tar Heels

 

North Carolina has an 18-3 SU record in regional finals, with nine trips to the Final Four since 1988

 

Today’s second game in the NCAA Tournament pits two of the all-time top college basketball teams with Kansas vs. North Carolina in the Midwest final. There is a trip to the Final Four on the line and the winner will face Ohio State, who was too much for Syracuse on Saturday.

 

The sports betting line opened at Kansas -2 and was bet as low as -1 on speculation that North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall might play but the latest reports say that Marshall will not start. Marshall fractured his right wrist in the Round 2 win over Creighton and did not play in Friday’s 73-65 overtime win vs. Ohio.

 

North Carolina has won 12 of its past 13 games straight-up and they are 9-4 ATS during that stretch and still have talent up front with Tyler Zeller, John Henson and leading scoring Harrison Barnes (17.1 PPG) but the knock is that these players have not shown toughness at times. That will be tested against a Kansas team who have won three-straight, holding opponents to 56 points per game.

 

FIRST-HALF SYSTEM

There is playoff/tournament system “live” for this game that has cashed 41 tickets in the past 49 games suggesting a play on the “Under” 66.5 in the first-half:

 

- In neutral court games with a total between 65.5 and 70.5 points, play the first-half “Under” when at least one of the teams has won three-straight games

 

The five-year record for this NCAA Over/Under profile shows 26 overs and 62 unders (70.5-percent) and the average combined score was 64.6 points.

 

NCAA PICKS

NCAA betting on the total has reduced the total to 142 (from 144) but we still see value on that price. Kansas has played 4 overs and 17 unders in its past 21 tournament games and overall, they are 12-21-2 O/U on the season. 15 of those unders came away from home and with the ability to get physical, we think Kansas will slow this tempo down and keep the game below the number.

Pick: Take the Under

 

Check NCAA Odds

The first of four No. 1 seeds advanced yesterday and tonight, two more will try and live up to expectations including the Kentucky Wildcats vs. Indiana Hoosiers

 


The Wildcats (7) and Hoosiers (5) share a combined 12 National Championship titles

 

Kentucky is 1-4 ATS in its past four games including a 1-1 ATS split in the first two rounds of March Madness betting. Their margins of victory were by 15 and 16 points but the pointspread vs. Western Kentucky was a typical No. 1 vs. No. 16 style (26.5 points).

 

Online sportsbooks opened the Wildcats at -8.5 vs. fourth seeded Indiana and the current NCAA odds shows Kentucky at -9.5.

 

Indiana is 7-2 ATS this season in nine games as a dog and one of those wins was Dec. 10, when the Hoosiers handed the Wildcats their only regular season loss, 73-72 as a 5.5-point dog. It was a buzzer beating three-pointer by Christian Watford and the Hoosiers will need their perimeter shooting to be at the top of its game tonight.

 

Kentucky shot 56-percent from the floor in wins over Western Kentucky and Iowa State with little assistance from the bench. It was foul trouble that helped limit Anthony Davis in the loss at Assembly Hall and the Hoosiers took full advantage, going 14 of 17 from the line.

 

The Wildcats discipline has improved dramatically as the team matured through the back-half of the season and No. 1 seeds are 33-8 straight-up in Sweet 16 betting the past 11 years, but Kentucky has sent many a bettor to the poorhouse this season thanks to these inflated lines.

 

NCAA PICKS
Favorites off back-to-back blowout wins in this round (15-plus points) are on a 12-4 ATS hot streak but the Wildcats are on a 14-21 ATS run in lined games. There is a lot to support Kentucky advancing to the next round but rather than lay the points, we are backing another first-half play.
Pick: Take the “Over” 67.5 in the first-half

 

For more March Madness betting, picks and handicapping tips, stop by the EveryEdge Forum.

 

Check updated NCAA Odds

We breakdown the first set of Sweet 16 matchups with our top basketball picks and ‘leans’ for all four Thursday night games

 


Michigan State will try and improve on its recent 6-1 ATS March Madness record

 

No. 4 Wisconsin tips things off at 7:15 pm ET vs. the top seeded Syracuse Orange and sportsbooks favor Syracuse -3 but that’s down from an opening line of -4.5.

 

Syracuse (33-2 SU) won the Big East regular season title but without Fab Melo it’s going to be tough getting past Wisconsin straight-up, let alone covering by more than three points. The Orange is 1-1 ATS in the March Madness tournament but just 2-7 ATS in their past nine and 5-11 ATS since January 14.

 

Wisconsin has a 5-2 ATS record in its past seven and after losing its past two regional semi-finals, look for the Badgers to take advantage of the situation.
Pick: Take Wisconsin, with a lean to the “Over” 120

 

No. 6 CINCINNATI vs. No. 2 OHIO STATE
Most online sportsbooks opened the Buckeyes at -7 and the dog is getting upwards of 78-percent action according to one sports betting site, yet the line has spent time at -7.5 and even -8 points. Strange line movement and that’s a bit of a caution flag, especially for a Buckeyes team who are 5-9 ATS as single-digit chalk this season.

 

The Bearcats are on a 10-3 ATS run in their past 13 and coming off an impressive win over Florida State but No. 2 seeds in the Sweet 16 have a 13-5 ATS record in March Madness vs. opponents off an upset win.
Lean: Ohio State

 

No. 7 FLORIDA vs. No. 3 MARQUETTE
Florida’s first two wins in the March tourney were by 26 and 34 points but the current line at Pinnacle (Marquette -1.5) suggests a much closer game on-deck. Florida HC Billy Donovan’s record in the NCAA tourney from the Sweet 16 out (12-3 SU, 11-4 ATS) is earning this team a tip of respect but favorites have dominated this region with a 9-3 ATS record and we like the Golden Eagles to advance.
Pick: Take Marquette

 

No. 4 LOUISVILLE vs. No. 1 MICHIGAN STATE
The Cardinals and Spartans renew acquaintances for the first time since the 2009 Midwest Regional Final and Michigan State is favored by -5 points with a full game total of 125. This marks the first time since all four No. 1 seeds have made it to the Sweet 16 and we lean to the favorite in this matchup but our top play looks at the first-half total.

 

Michigan State cruised past Long Island but they were threatened by Saint Louis and we are looking for an exceptionally strong defensive gameplan early against the Cardinals. The current first-half line is 57.5 or 58 and we see these teams coming up well shy.
Pick: Take the first-half Under

 

Get updated NCAA Tournament Odds!