2017 March Madness Picks of the Day: Saturday, April 1st

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, April 1, 2017 1:10 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 1, 2017 1:10 PM UTC

We offer up a lot of great information on choosing the right sportsbook, that much is obvious. On such heavily wagered games such as the Final Four, the remaining value can be in those underlying lines made available. This is one of those times where you must have a book that is willing to put out a detailed quarter, first half, and team total lines.


South Carolina vs Gonzaga

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With both Gonzaga and South Carolina making their first Final Four appearance, I’m expecting nerves to be at their peak just at tipoff of this historic matchup. As we look at finding value on wagering this game, I’m concentrating on the first half before both teams adjust to the flow and venue.

Both of these teams have gotten here on the back of excellent defensive play, that much is certain. However, I do believe that Gonzaga will have the defensive upper hand in this matchup from the offset and expect a sloppy first half to play out as the teams adjust to playing at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Gonzaga has allowed just short of 28 points per game on average in the first halves of their NCAA tournament run, and that includes a 39 point first half allowed to Xavier in their 83-59 blowout win. This is right in line with their season numbers of averaging 27.4 points in the first half on the road this year.

This wager cashes if Gonzaga can keep South Carolina from scoring within a bucket of their 1st half average on the road at 32.8 points. Given that Gonzaga ranks 12th in the nation in overall defensive statistics and can put two 7-footers underneath and a 6’ 9” swingman at the #3, makes me believe that this will happen. I’m taking South Carolina Under 30.5 points in the first half – with that line currently available at 5Dimes.


Free NCAAB Picks: South Carolina Team Total 1H Under 30.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes



   Oregon vs North Carolina

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Is there a method to the madness? Yes, of course, so we continue onto the second game of the evening with a first half Under play. This time on the favorite, North Carolina.

While I’ve written before that North Carolina isn’t the best perimeter scoring team in the country, that fact will be exasperated come tip-off time on Saturday night as nerves reach their peak. The truth is, North Carolina has gotten this far by being able to get away with average perimeter shooting because of their offensive rebounding prowess. North Carolina leads the country in offensive rebounding percentage at 41.9%. But here they are matching up with a scrappy defensive team in Oregon, who should be able to force North Carolina to kick the ball back out to their guards, force them to reset plays, and run valuable clock for Under bettors.

Not lost here is that in just one-half of a game of their NCAA tournament run has North Carolina scored less than 36.5 points. Even in their 75-73 win over Kentucky, North Carolina scored 38 and 37 points in the first and second halves, respectively. To say this is a contrarian pick would be an understatement. No March Madness pick is that easy in sports betting, though, so I am taking Under 36.5 points for North Carolina in the first half.

 North Carolina Team Total 1H Under 36.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes



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