2017 March Madness Predictions: Short Spread Favorites to Bet in NIT Tournament

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Saturday, March 18, 2017 2:17 PM GMT

With betting odds settling for the NCAA round of 16. Let's not forget about including games from the other tournaments in our college basketball picks, as the NIT has second-round action taking place and our expert has gathered the top value plays to share for this evening. 

UCF (4) vs. Illinois State (1)

Illinois State's suffocating defense will win the day here. The Redbirds have a legitimate gripe getting spurned by the NCAA tournament selection committee and will now take their anger out on anyone standing in their way. The Knights happen to be next on the hit list. The numbers also back the Redbirds here:

UCF is 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win, and 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games. Conversely, Illinois State is 5-1 ATS in their last six non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

Free NCAAB: Illinois State -6

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Akron (7) vs. UT-Arlington (6)

The Mavericks of UT-Arlington just lit it up against BYU in the opening round and came away with a 105-89 victory. Their opponents, the Zips, did a nice job of edging the No. 2 seed in Region 2 Houston by the score of 78-75. But Monday night will belong to the Mavericks as this offensive juggernaut will roll against Akron in a double-digit victory.

Free NCAAB Pick: UT-Arlington -5½

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Boise State (6) vs. Illinois (2)

The Broncos of Boise State are lucky to be alive after a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Utah. They won't be so lucky this time around as this Illinois team has layers of depth and will wear down these bucking Broncos. The number also vouch for the Fighting Illini:

Boise State is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

Boise State is 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win.

Boise State is 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win.

Illinois is 7-1-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.

Illinois is 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

Free NCAAB Pick: Illinois -7

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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