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Betting the NCAA Tournament: 16 games Friday and 16 bets

Lets run it back on Friday. 32 more teams. 16 more games. Countless angles to attack.

9-Northwestern (+130) vs. 8-Florida Atlantic (-155)

Spread: Owls -3 | O/U: 142

Is Northwestern’s Boo Buie one of those annual players who carries his team on a run in March? Or can FAU recreate the magic from their run to the Final Four a season ago? Doubtful either happens. The bet here is on Buie doing enough today to help the Wildcats stay within the number and maybe even pull the mild upset.

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

14-Colgate (+675) vs. 3-Baylor (-1050)

Spread: Bears -14 | O/U: 138.5

Head Coach Matt Langel simply gets the most out of his team every year. This Raiders’ team is not his best but here they are for the 5th consecutive season. While previous editions have put up solid fights in Round 1, that will not be the case this year. Take Baylor and lay the points.

12-UAB (+230) vs. 5-San Diego State (-285)

Spread: Aztecs -7 | O/U: 139

Morning tip times are unusual for players. Add in the nerves these players will feel at least early and as a result the UNDER looks attractive both for the 1st half and the game.

15-Western Kentucky (+800) vs. 2-Marquette (-1350)

Spread: Golden Eagles -14.5 | O/U: 158

Tyler Kolek is scheduled to play. If he is healthy, Marquette can make a run far beyond this game. However, if the oblique is still an issue even this game could be inside the number with five minutes to go. Leaning to Marquette covering the number for the game but probably waiting to see how Kolek looks before making a play in-game.

16-Stetson (+2000) vs. UCONN (-6500)

Spread: Huskies -26.5 | O/U: 146

The defending champs will make Stetson’s first trip to the Big Dance a memorable one. Danny Hurley’s squad is ready to begin their march towards a second straight title. Huge number but UCONN ends this game early. Take the Huskies to cover the first half.

11-New Mexico (-148) vs. 6-Clemson (+124)

Spread: Lobos -2.5 | O/U: 152

The public may have been clamoring for Rick and the Johnnies to get into the tourney, but Richard and the Lobos arrived thanks to a win in the Mountain West title game. New Mexico averages 65 FG attempts per game which ranks 5th in the nation while Clemson average just 57/gm. Take the Lobos to control tempo, crash the boards, and get off enough shots to cover this number and get a Pitino into the Round of 32.

13-Yale (+550) vs. 4-Auburn (-800)

Spread: Tigers -12.5 | O/U: 140

There is a massive talent gap in this one, and yet the spread is “only 12.5”. The reason? Yale knows how to slow a game down and limit possessions. DO I think they cover that number? No. I do think, however, that the UNDER is very live in this one. Fewer possessions leads to fewer points. Take the UNDER 140.

10-Colorado (-102) vs. 7-Florida (-118)

Spread: Gators -1 | O/U: 159

Micah Handlogten (broken leg) was lost to Florida in the opening minutes of the SEC Final against Auburn and the Gators never recovered. Florida has had a few days to come to terms with the loss of Handlogten, but his absence on the court will be felt. It is not unusual, frankly, it is somewhat common for a “play-in team” to advance a round or two in the tournament. Lets take Colorado to pull the mild upset.

9-Texas A&M (-105) vs. 8-Nebraska (-115)

Spread: Cornhuskers -1 | O/U: 147

Fresh off their first-ever trip to the Big Ten semis, will this be the year the Cornhuskers win their first NCAA Tournament game? Texas A&M was slated to be one of the Top 20 teams in the country when the season started and floundered until closing with wins in five of their last six. This comes down to a balanced Nebraska attack and ability to defend being just a bit stronger than the Aggies star backcourt of Taylor and Radford.

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

13-Vermont (+550) vs. 4-Duke (-800)

Spread: Blue Devils -12 | O/U: 132.5

Duke enters the tournament with little fanfare and surprisingly low public expectations. Don’t be sucked in by the silence. The Blue Devils’ roster is loaded. The time to questions their mettle will come in time, but not in Round 1. Take Jon Sheyer and Duke to cover the number and roll over the Catamounts.

16-Grambling (+2000) vs. 1-Purdue (-6500)

Spread: Boilermakers -26.5 | O/U: 138.5

Does the Redemption Tour begin? Or does history repeat itself? Braden Smith and Zach Edey are more mature and frankly, just better than last year. That number is big so lets take Braden Smith OVER 22.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists.

13-Charleston (+370) vs. 4-Alabama (-485)

Spread: Crimson Tide -10 | O/U: 173

Let’s take an extra beat to look at that Total. Wow! That is one of the highest in Tournament history. These teams love to get up and down the court and can score from all five spots. Lets hope they do as we sweat the OVER.

16-Longwood (+2000) vs. 1-Houston (-6500)

Spread: Cougars -24 | O/U: 128

This Cougars’ team plays so hard. They attack their opponent at both ends of the court. Gotta wonder if Houston’s injuries which are significant don’t eventually catch up to them in the form of fatigue or scoring droughts. Not happening in Round 1 though. We like the OVER in this game and maybe sprinkle a little on Houston’s Total OVER 75.5.

12-James Madison (+180) vs. 5-Wisconsin (-218)

Spread: Badgers -5 | O/U: 145

Are the Badgers the team that lost nine of their last 12 regular season games or the team that narrowly lost in the Big Ten title game? Frankly, not sure. JMU has not lost since January. Although they have won their last 13, does the level of competition matter? This one is a head-scratcher. We’ll wait until this game tips to get a feel for how to play it. If we were forced to make a bet pre-flop, I think we lean OVER 145 Total Points.

9-TCU (-185) vs. 8-Utah State (+154)

Spread: Horned Frogs -4 | O/U: 151

These teams are both efficient on offense – Top 15 in transition and Top 35 in attacking the rim AND both teams struggle to defend. Lets not overthink this. Take the Game Total OVER 151.

12-Grand Canyon (+185) vs. 5-Saint Mary’s (-225)

Spread: Gaels -5.5 | O/U: 131.5

Having won the West Coast Conference, is this the year Saint Mary’s gets out from under Gonzaga’s shadow? Tyon Grant-Foster, the WAC Player of the Year, averages just under 20PPG. With his total posted at 17.5PPG, lets take the OVER.

Enjoy a Friday full of college hoops and a few sweats.

Purdue Boilermakers
North Carolina Tar Heels
UConn Huskies
Auburn Tigers
Duke Blue Devils
Houston Cougars