Add CSU Bakersfield & Oklahoma To Go 'Under' 140 With Your Free Tournament Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:50 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 9:50 PM GMT

Early betting patterns show few people putting the No. 15 CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners in their NCAA Basketball picks for Friday's game against the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Mar. 15: 18-12 ATS, 1-2 Totals

Every once in a blue moon, a No. 15 seed does something magical at March Madness. Who will ever forget the 1997 Coppin State Eagles beating the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first round? Or the Lehigh Mountain Hawks turfing the Duke Blue Devils from the 2012 Tournament? Alas, these things are incredibly rare. Only seven times has a No. 15 seed advanced to the second round since the format changed in 1985.

The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners probably won't be joining them. They have a very difficult opening-round matchup this Friday (4:00 p.m. ET, TNT) versus the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners, who are laying 14 points on the NCAA Tournament odds board as we go to press. The Sooners might even be undervalued in this situation. Wagons ho~!

 

Sooner or Later
Let's go directly to the kayfabe spreads from our favorite hoop nerds:

FiveThirtyEight (Elo): Oklahoma –15.5 to –16

Sports-Reference (SRS): Oklahoma –18.22

Once again, S-R is leaning more heavily toward the major conference team, but that's fine; there's still some profit margin available on the Sooners according to these numbers. Mind you, we can't put quite as much confidence in that assessment with the spread being so large. Things get distorted out here on the extremes. Math and physics break down. Pocket dimensions appear and disappear.

Sharp bettors don't mind. They've already got Oklahoma (25-7 SU, 12-18 ATS) in their NCAA Tournament picks, at a 62-percent clip according to our early consensus reports. There is one big problem, though: that ugly ATS record. The Sooners dropped the cash in each of their last five games. They're 6-17 ATS since December 23. Yeesh.

 

140 When It's Dark Outside
Compare and contrast to the Roadrunners (24-8 SU, 3-0 ATS). They're the champions of the WAC, a conference so barren of basketball talent that it didn't draw any betting odds until Champ Week. Bakersfield swept all three games SU and ATS. This team has some bite to it; Ken Pomeroy gives CSBU the No. 25-ranked defense in Division I according to efficiency. Head coach Rod Barnes is also an NCAA Tournament veteran, having gone to the Big Dance three times when he was in charge of Ole Miss at the turn of the millennium.

This is one of those cases where we're happy to ignore the point spread and take a shot at that total of 140 points. The Sooners have gone UNDER in each of their last 10 games; they've got the No. 11-ranked defense on the Pomeroy charts, and while Oklahoma loves to shoot the 3-pointer, this isn't a fast-paced team at No. 83 in adjusted tempo. CSUB ranks No. 192 in that department, and the UNDER went 2-1 during Champ Week. We'll buy that for a dollar.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: UNDER 140
Best Line Offered: at William Hill

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