After Thursday stunners, Picks for 16 Friday NCAA Games in the Bettors Insider O'Sullivan, Baller Challenge
O'Sullivan NCAA Tournament: 10-11, -$30.35
Baller NCAA Tournament: 10-10, -$8.90
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(Standing Caveat: The universe is chaotic. Life is unpredictable. Things happen. Like injuries. And COVID protocols. In following Seattle O’Sullivan’s betting advice, be advised that you should always monitor your bets during the day to make certain unforeseen things have not occurred which might change your wagering opinion. Thank you.)
11 Michigan Wolverines vs. 6 Colorado State Rams, 12:15 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Michigan -1 (-110), bet $22 to win $20
WIN: Michigan covers 75-63 +$20
Baller's Pick: Colorado St. +1.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
13 South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. 4 Providence Friars, 12:40 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Providence -130, bet $13 to win $10
WIN: Providence wins 66-57 +$10
Baller's Pick: Providence -2 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
9 Memphis Tigers vs. 8 Boise State Broncos, 1:45 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Game Over 133.5 points (-110), bet $11 to win $10
LOSS: Memphis wins 64-53 = 117 -$10
Baller's Pick: Game Under 133.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
16 Norfolk State Spartans vs. 1 Baylor Bears, 2 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Norfolk State +21.5 (-109), bet $10.90 to win $10
LOSS: Norfolk State doesn't cover, losing 85-49. -$10.90
Baller's Pick: Game Under 137.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
14 Longwood Lancers vs. 3 Tennessee Volunteers, 2:45 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Longwood +18 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
LOSS: Longwood doesn't cover losing 88-56, -$11.
Baller's Pick: Tennessee -18 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
12 Richmond Spiders vs. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes, 3:10 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Iowa -10.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Loss: Iowa lost 67-63, -$11
Baller's Pick: Iowa -10.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
16 Georgia State Panthers vs. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, 4:15 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Georgia State +23.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: Georgia State covers, losing 93-72, +$10
Baller's Pick: Gonzaga -23 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
9 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels, 4:30 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: North Carolina -3.5 (-106), bet $21.20 to win $20
WIN: UNC covers, winning 95-63, +$20
Baller's Pick: North Carolina -3.5 (-106), bet $11 to win $10
12 New Mexico State Aggies vs. 5 Connecticut Huskies, 6:50 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: UConn -275, bet $41.25 to win $15; UConn -6.5 (-110), bet $5.50 to win $5
LOSS: UConn doesn't win, losing to New Mexico St. 70-63. -$41.25
LOSS: UConn doesn't cover, losing to New Mexico St. 70-63. -$5.50
Baller's Pick: UConn -6.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
15 Saint Peter’s Peacocks vs. 2 Kentucky Wildcats, 7:10 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Saint Peter’s +17.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: Saint Peter's won in OT 85-79, +$10
Baller's Pick: Saint Peter’s +17.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
12 Indiana Hoosiers vs. 5 Saint Mary’s Gaels, 7:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Indiana +3 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
LOSS: Indiana did not cover, losing 82-53. -$11
Baller's Pick: Saint Mary’s -2 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
9 Creighton Bluejays vs. 8 San Diego State Aztecs, 7:27 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: over 119.5 points (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: Creighton 72-69 = 141 in OT, +$10
Baller's Pick: Under 120.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
13 Vermont Catamounts vs. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks, 9:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Arkansas -5 (-105), bet $21 to win $20
Loss: Arkansas doesn't cover, wins 75-71, -$21
Baller's Pick: Arkansas -5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
10 San Francisco Dons vs. 7 Murray State Racers, 9:40 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Murray State -1 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
WIN: Murray State covers, winning 92-87 in OT, +$10
Baller's Pick: Murray State -1 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
13 Akron Zips vs. 4 UCLA Bruins, 9:50 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: over 128 points (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Loss: UCLA wins 57-53 = 110, -$11
Baller's Pick: UCLA -13.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
16 Texas Southern Tigers vs. 1 Kansas Jayhawks, 9:57 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Kansas -22 (-105), bet $10.50 to win $10
WIN: Kansas covered winning 83-56, +$10
Baller's Pick: Kansas -21.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
10 Loyola (IL) Wolves vs. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes, 12:15 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Ohio State pick (-110), bet $5 to win $4.55
Baller's Pick: Loyola pick (-110), $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Yes, I’m going against another trendy upset pick, although by this time, Loyola has somewhat transformed into an expected upset, so do they really count as an upset? Philosophical questions aside, I think Ohio State has been hearing all week that they’re just fodder for the Cinderella machine, and they won’t be sleeping on Loyola when they come out today. The Buckeyes have budding superstar Malaki Branham and All-Big 10 player E.J. Liddell. Ohio State is battle-tested and have beaten several good teams this year, including Duke, Seton Hall, and several Big 10 teams in the tournament. They won’t be surprised by Loyola, and their experience this year will prevent an upset.
Baller: Loyola is experienced too and they're always going to have a chip on their shoulder when playing a Big Ten team.
15 Jacksonville State Gamecocks vs. 2 Auburn Tigers, 12:40 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Auburn -14.5 (-115), bet $11.50 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Game Over 138 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: My editor warned me when I submitted yesterday’s picks that I was going to burn myself out if I wrote so much about every game. So I’ll keep some of these simple: Auburn’s erratic and hero-ball-obsessed guards are going to screw over future lottery pick Jabari Smith at some point, but it’s not going to be today. The Tigers cruise.
Baller: Jacksonville St. hung with Alabama at Alabama back in December. That should get Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl's attention. Auburn's loss to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament should get his team's attention.
14 Montana State Bobcats vs. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders, 1:45 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Texas Tech -14.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Game Under 132.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Another simple one: Texas Tech has the best adjusted-defense in the nation, and Montana State struggles to score. They will today, too.
Baller: Montana St. will definitely struggle to score, but Texas Tech hasn't shown inclination to stomp on mid-level teams. My concern is they comfortably win 72-58, so I'm going to play the Under.
14 Yale Bulldogs vs. 3 Purdue Boilermakers, 2 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Purdue -15.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Yale +16.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Working the BettorsInsider Ivy League beat, I’ve been watching Yale all year (look, other people are afflicted with worse, but I accept your sympathies). Yale’s big men will not be able to handle Purdue’s frontcourt of Trevion Williams, who’s a better passer than any of the Yale guards, and 7’4” Zach Edey, who will have a sore grip tonight after grabbing the rim after so many dunks. The Bulldogs’ guards are super-handsy and rely on the refs deciding they can’t call everything, but that won’t play against Boilermaker superstar and lottery pick Jaden Ivey. Yale’s backcourt may foul out in the first half. Yale’s overrated, they should’ve lost both Ivy League tourney games, and they’re gonna get smacked today. To say I can’t wait would be an overstatement…but a mild one.
Baller: O'Sullivan underestimates Yale's guards and their defense. I don't see them as an upset special, but Coach James Jones's teams always play like they have something to prove.
15 Delaware Blue Hens vs. 2 Villanova Wildcats, 2:45 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Delaware +15.5 (-109), bet $10.90 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Delaware +15.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I like Delaware here because of the local angle - the Blue Hens will want to show pride and they probably live a life where they hear nothing but Villanova love all day long. They’re not going to beat the Wildcats, but they’ll play hard and hang tough for a least a while. Villanova is a great team but their adjusted-tempo is 345th in the country, so the likelihood that this game is a slog with the score being reasonably close is strong. The Wildcats live a life where they hear nothing but, well, Villanova love all day long. So they won’t have the same focus Delaware will have. The Blue Hens’ offense is almost Top 100 which, not great, but not horrendous. I predict a rock fight with ‘Nova pulling away late, but too late to cover.
Baller: The teams, coaches and players all know each other and Villanova hasn't blown out a team in nearly two months.
10 Miami Hurricanes vs. 7 USC Trojans, 3:10 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Miami +1.5 (-105), bet $15.75 to win $15
Baller's Pick: Miami +2 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I covered the Ivy beat for BettorsInsider, and I covered the ACC. Now, while I performed well picking the Ivies, I underperformed picking the ACC. Kinda like Miami did. The Hurricanes could’ve beaten Duke last week in the ACC Tournament, and they’ve lost a bunch of close games this year. Which indicates that they play a lot of close games. I like Hurricanes guards Isaiah Wong and Charlie Moore, who keep coming no matter what’s happening in the game. USC’s defense is solid but Miami’s offense is 17th in the country. Wong and Moore have great games, keep it close, and pull it out in the end.
Baller: If USC plays like Virginia or Florida St., Miami is going to lose. If they play like any other ACC team, the Hurricanes look good with points.
11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide, 4:15 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Alabama -165, bet $16.50 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Alabama -4 (-110), bet $11 to win $10.
O'Sullivan: Notre Dame shouldn’t be here. If Rutgers knew how to throw an inbound pass, Notre Dame wouldn’t be here. If Rutgers knew how to box out, Notre Dame wouldn’t be here. Last night, many people saw what they thought was a thrilling, double-overtime game. What I saw was a Scarlet Knights team that blew that game. It never should’ve gone to that second overtime. The Fighting Irish struggle to score, their best player Blake Wesley is an erratic freshman who’s loose handling the basketball, and they’re undersized down low. They’re in over their heads now. I might’ve picked Rutgers over Alabama, but I can’t pick Notre Dame here. I swear, I’m not bitter. You know who should be bitter? Rutgers.
Baller: Teams from the Tuesday play-in games really struggled on Thursday. I'm thinking that continues Friday. But man I hope the SEC is as good as it thinks it is.
11 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. 6 Texas Longhorns, 4:30 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Virginia Tech +1.5 (-115), bet $11.50 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Virginia Tech +1 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I’m gonna go with the team who’s been on a magic carpet ride this past week over the team that’s gone 5-5 in their last ten games and hasn’t covered in their last six. Virginia Tech shoots the heck out of the ball, almost 40% from three, they will not be afraid of the moment, and as the ACC Tournament showed, they may not be able to be killed. That’s right, they may be zombies. Texas, on the other hand, are playing like zombies too, but you know, in the bad way. Lame undead humor aside, I’m enjoying watching Virginia Tech, but part of that is because I’m impressed how determined they are. I just don’t think Texas wants it as badly.
Baller: Virginia Tech has won 13 of their last 15 and their only losses were to North Carolina and at Clemson – two teams they beat in the ACC Tournament. Texas has lost three straight. Granted, two of those losses were to great teams, but Virginia Tech is playing like a great team.
13 Chattanooga Moccasins vs. 4 Illinois Fighting Illni, 6:50 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Illinois -7.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Illinois -8 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: The spread on this game has come down from 8.5 to 7.5, which is where I’ll grab it. Chattanooga is another trendy upset pick. But the Moccasins have no answer for Illinois seven-footer Kofi Cockburn, and again, I’m bucking the conventional wisdom by thinking that this is the year the Big 10 performs beyond expectations in the tournament. Chattanooga has lost 10 of their last 11 games against Big 10 opponents, and they’ll lose today.
Baller: based on all the metrics, Illinois should win by more than 8. But I felt a lot more confident getting 17 1/2 with Saint Peter's.
15 Cal-State Fullerton Titans vs. 2 Duke Blue Devils, 7:10 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Duke -18.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Game Under 145 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I imagine Coach K’s expressed feelings about his team’s performances over the last week are still echoing off the locker room walls. Duke comes out focused today and takes care of business.
Baller: Duke hasn't played a good defensive game in a couple weeks. I'm guessing that's been stressed, and I'm calling something in the neighborhood of 80-60, but it could be 78-60, and then I'm going to be ticked off.
11 Iowa State Cyclones vs. 6 LSU Tigers, 7:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: LSU -176, bet $17.60 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Game Under 128.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: LSU head coach Will Wade was fired last week, due to swirling allegations/proof/common understanding of NCAA rule violations during his tenure. I don’t think this will throw the Tigers into chaos, as they’ve already been through it in tournaments’ past, and because it’s a surprise to absolutely no one. They’ve gone 6-4 in their last ten games in the tough SEC, while Iowa State has gone 4-6 in their last ten games in the tough Big 12. The Pomeroy rankings have LSU a full 27 spots ahead of the Cyclones. It would have to be a lot of chaos to pull the Tigers down to their level. I’ll pay a little more for a straight victory.
Baller: Two of the top defensive teams in the country square off and it would be nice if they play true to form. Three games ago, Iowa St. put up 36 in a home loss to Oklahoma St., and in their last game they lost 72-41 to Texas Tech. There can't have been many 11 seeds ever coming in off a 31-point loss.
16 Wright State Raiders vs. 1 Arizona Wildcats, 7:27 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Arizona -22 (-107), bet $16.05 to win $15
Baller's Pick: Arizona -21.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Wright State won their tournament on Wednesday. Their adjusted-defense is 257th in the nation. Arizona’s adjusted-offense is 5th in that same nation. So, yeah.
Baller: Teams from the Tuesday play-in games really struggled on Thursday. I'm thinking that continues Friday.
12 UAB Dragons vs. 5 Houston Cougars, 9:20 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: UAB +8.5 (-109), bet $10.90 to win $10
Baller's Pick: UAB +8.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I just find Houston a lot less impressive than most people. They have major injury issues, and they let teams hang around. In the American Conference Tournament, they let Cincinnati hang around and then, in the final, they let Memphis hang around. They’ll let UAB hang around. The Dragons score almost five points more per game than the Cougars, shoot better from three-point land, shoot free throws better, and have won their last seven games. The Cougars backcourt is shakier than a good team’s should be. I don’t like UAB enough to pick an upset, but enough to cover 8.5 points.
Baller: O'Sullivan convinced me to take Murray State, and that worked out . . . Houston's resumé is impressive, but not THAT impressive.
10 Davidson Wildcats vs. 7 Michigan State Spartans, 9:40 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Michigan State -106, bet $10.60 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Davidson ML (+100), bet $10 to win $10
O'Sullivan: Part of my pick is the experience of the Big 10 going against the experience of the Atlantic 10. Part of the pick is due to just fate; given NCAA Tournament history, it seems almost destiny that Michigan State faces Duke on Sunday. But the main part of my pick is, Michigan State are simply more physical and tougher than Davidson. Head Coach Tom Izzo will have his Spartans crashing the boards and harassing the Wildcats’ backcourt with every dribble. Everything will be contested. I like Davidson, but last week’s loss to Richmond proved their mettle isn’t quite there.
Baller: This is going to be a great battle of coaches and Davidson's Bob McKillop is one of the best. Their loss to Richmond doesn't look as bad now and they're big and physical enough to play with the Spartans.
14 Colgate Raiders vs. 3 Wisconsin Badgers, 9:50 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Wisconsin -320, bet $20 to win $6.25
Baller's Pick: Colgate + 7.5 (-110), bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: I’ll put the maximum (for this exercise) $20 on the heavily-favored Wisconsin, because they’re experienced, they’re 86 spots over Colgate in the KenPom, and have a Top 40 adjusted-defense, and because they’re another sexy, almost fait accompli upset pick, and I think this is the year where the “obvious” upsets don’t happen. They certainly don’t happen to teams with smart coaches, and Wisconsin Greg Gard is one. Gard will have his team up and ready against a Colgate team that’s played the 20th easiest schedule in the country.
Baller: Wisconsin won 22 games against teams in the top 300 this year but only 7 of those wins were by 8 points are more. They don't blow teams out. Colgate will be facing something new with the speed and size of the Badgers, after rolling through the Patriot League, but Coach Matt Langel's team would be much higher on the computer if they didn't get off to such an awful start before turning it around in January. They hung with Tennessee in 2019 as a 15-seed, let's see if they can hang with Wisconsin.
9 TCU Horned Frogs vs. 8 Seton Hall Pirates, 9:57 pm Eastern
O'Sullivan's Pick: Seton Hall -109, bet $10.90 to win $10
Baller's Pick: Seton Hall ML -110, bet $11 to win $10
O'Sullivan: In the final game of the day, I’ll take Seton Hall straight up, because despite being three spots below TCU in the KenPom, the Pirates have played a bunch of tournament teams and will not shrink from the moment. Seton Hall enters the game on a better roll than the Horned Frogs as well, 7-3 against 4-6, and their scoring offense is just a touch better than TCU’s. It’ll be close and not necessarily pretty, but a nice end to a nice two days.
Baller: I like The HALL. Then again, I liked UConn and they laid an egg.
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