It’s getting down to the nitty gritty as the Sweet 16 is set to tip-off in just a few minutes. I don’t have a play in the Loyola game, but I’m not going to go against Sister Jean so I’ll be rooting for the Ramblers to continue their run. Over the first two rounds of the tournament, we’re catching fire with a 9-2 ATS mark! We have lost a few tourney plays with Illinois going down last week, losing our Illinois to win the Tourney bet and our Illinois vs. Michigan wins bet. All in all, we’ve made some money this tournament and we’re looking to make some more here in the Sweet 16. I’m going to go ahead and give out plays for today and tomorrow, pay attention to the activity page as I may add some plays throughout the day. Enough small talk, lets get to some winners. We’re blowing out some candles this weekend. If you have any questions, you can find me on twitter @rolandza24
Louisiana Tech PK (-110)- 1 Unit
Our first matchup finds us in the NIT in what’s slated to be a close matchup between Louisiana Tech & Miss. State. Their are a few angles on this matchup… 1st: Louisiana Tech brings a Top-30 KenPom Defense which is driven by excellent perimeter defense, holding teams to 29.7% (13th Ranked) from behind the arc. Tech does a good job of protecting the paint by only allowing 46% (30th Ranked). Tech’s defense is predicated off of driving you off of the 3-point line and forcing you to take and make contested 2 point shots as they force teams to get more than half of their production from inside the paint. Miss. State doesn’t like to take the 3 too much as evidenced by 59% of their point production coming from the 2 point shot. 2nd: It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the ticket/money distribution % in this one. Louisiana Tech is only garnering 38% of betting tickets but are taking in a massive 65% of all bets, leading me to believe their might be some institutional (smart/sharp) money on their side. 3rd: Final point, Miss. State might be without a significant contributor in Tolu Smith (12.5 PPG & 8.4 RPG) who is noted as questionable at the time of this writing. Lets ride with Louisiana Tech to pull out a close one in the NIT.
Baylor -7 (-120)- 1 Unit
This is simple.Baylor is the better team and Villanova has outperformed expectations in the tournament after losing Connor Gillespie to injury just a few weeks before the big dance. Baylor is shooting an absurd 57% from the field and Villanova doesn’t offer much resistance by giving up an Effective FG % of 51.2%, per KenPom. It’s been well documented here on TheSharpMoney.com how good a 3-point shooting team Baylor is at 41.5% & getting 37% of their points from behind the arc. Villanova also doesn’t do much to stop the 3-ball, by allowing a 35% 3PFG% which ranks them 238th out of all schools tracked by KenPom. Looking at the ticket breakdown, Baylor is taking in 35% of all tickets, but is currently garnering 78% of the money. This is a clear Pros/Joes battle with 65% of the public taking Villanova to continue their run and the Pros with 35% of tickets taking the Baylor Bears. I typically like to take the side of the sharp money unless I see an analytical mismatch on the other side, but that is not the case here. Take Baylor to end the Villanova run. I would even recommend including them in your parlays today because there is just no way they’re losing. Book it.
Syracuse +7 (-120)- 1 Unit
Who said I don’t like a good Cinderella Story? For those of us here at TSM, we’ve been on ‘Cuse since the beginning of the tournament, cashing in on the spread in each of their first two games of the tournament. The 2-3 Zone seems to be working in full effect and has been giving teams fits in the first two rounds of the tourney. This pick comes down to a few things for me. 1. Can Syracuse force Houston to be off their game beyond the arc to stay within the 7 point spread? 2. Will Buddy Boeheim be able to do enough to keep his team in it during tough stretches? 3. Will the injury to Dejon Jerreau (11 PPG/ 5RPG/4APG) prove to be too much for the Cougars to overcome? I believe all 3 of these things to be true to a certain extent, or just enough for Syracuse to stay close for the cover. Jerreau is a big part of the offense as an initiator which is important in a matchup against a 2-3 Zone team like Syracuse who likes to use their defense to stall ball movement and fluidity. Lastly, when looking at the money we’re on the right side again. ‘Cuse is only getting 40% of the betting tickets but is receiving 63% of all money being wagered on the matchup.
FSU +2 (-110)- 1 unit
Guys, FSU is getting the majority of the money here and I just can’t stand to see Michigan win another game after we completely faded them going into the tournament. I’m going out on this hill, if you want to follow me go ahead. If not, I don’t blame you. FSU is only getting 39% of the tickets but receiving 75% of all dollars wagered. Both offenses are high-powered, ranking in the Top-15 of KenPom Adj. Offensive Efficiency ratings. I think this can prove to be a problem for Michigan who is without a top producer in Livers whom offered up 13 ppg prior to his injury. We saw what happened last week with Michigan eeking out a victory over LSU who arguably gave that game away with a little help from the refs. Major difference between FSU and LSU is going to be the defense. FSU comes into this game with the 31st ranked KenPom defense and as a team is 2 inches taller on average than Michigan. Let take the Seminoles here, they have the offense to keep up with Michigan and just enough defense to pull out the stops needed to win the game outright.
USC Money-Line (-130)- 1 Unit
Last one here. I absolutely love this USC team thats lead by the Mobley twins which quite possibly might be one of the more talented Frontcourts in all of college basketball. This is an all Pac-12 matchup that we usually get excited for in football, but this time USC and Oregon are meeting on the hardwood. USC beat the breaks off of Oregon the last time out after they jumped out to a 19-0 lead at one point on the Ducks. There should be a little revenge factor in this one for the Ducks but I don’t think they’re polished enough to get a W here. USC has a top 5 KenPom Adj Defensive Efficiency and a Top-15 Offense! Oregon loves getting to the rack with 52% of their points coming from inside the arc, and they’re good at it shooting 53.3% from 2, per KenPom. This is a problem for the Ducks, as that Mobley Twin Frontcourt I mentioned is only allowing 41% from 2, which is good for 1st in the nation. They drive you off the 3 point line also, forcing you inside as 50% of their defensive point distribution is from the 2 point shot. Lastly, when looking at the ticket breakdown the big money is favoring the Trojans at 60% of all dollars wagered off of just 43% of the total tickets wagered.