Free NCAA Tournament Picks: Saturday's Top Betting Totals

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, March 26, 2016 2:45 PM GMT

The first half of the Elite Eight tips off tonight as Oklahoma and Oregon lock horns followed by the Villanova versus Kansas tilt. Forget about who wins or loses, let's cash in our tournament picks.

Oklahoma vs. Oregon
The Sooners wrapped the regular season averaging 80.4 points per game and have stayed on pace in the tournament with 81.3 points per game in their three victories. Splashing down from beyond the arc has been instrumental in Oklahoma's prolific offense as they ended their regular season with a 42.6 percent mark from downtown, tied with Kansas for second in the nation. The team's 49.2 field goal percentage was among the best in the country as well. Oklahoma's defense has been on pace, allowing 70.5 PPG in the regular season and 70.6 in the Big Dance. In other words, the Sooners are giving you exactly what you thought they would and have advanced with victories over 15th seed Cal-Bakersfield, 10th seeded VCU and 3rd seed Texas A&M.

But they have yet to face a defense quite like the one they will see today. Oregon's defense was very good during the regular season but over the past four games, including their Pac-12 tournament win over Utah, the Ducks have limited the opposition to a mere 60.2 points per contest. Unless the Sooners get clean looks from beyond the arc, they will have to go inside and deal with Oregon in the paint. I think this one will get physical and dirty down low which is why the three-point shooting of Oklahoma will be mitigated as Oregon is playing their best defense of the season. Here are some stats to consider:

Under is 7-1 in Oklahoma's last eight games following a straight up win.

Under is 11-2 in Oklahoma's last 13 games.

Under is 7-3 in Oregon's last 10 games.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 153 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Villanova vs. Kansas 
Figuring out whether to bet over or under in our college basketball picks in this game is not easy. Both the Wildcats and Jayhawks have played solid defense in the tournament thus far limiting their opposition to 64.3 and 67.6 points per game respectively. Yet their offenses have been clicking on all cylinders with the 'Cats averaging 88.3 PPG while the Jayhawks are pouring in 85.6 points per contest. The NCAA tournament odds in this one is holding pretty firm as of this writing with the offshores offering 145 to 146 in their college basketball totals.

Ten of Villanova's last 12 games have gone over the posted total while four of Kansas's last seven have done the same. While both teams have done a better than solid job on defense neither team has faced the scoring juggernaut they will see in tonight's affair. I cannot imagine this game being played in the 60's therefore we must consider that these two schools play into the 70's or even 80's. I don't see either team blowing the other out, and as a result there will be fouls down the stretch which will lengthen the game and increase the amount of points scored.

In my estimation this will not be a defensive battle but will morph into a showcase of upper echelon talent trying to outdo the others on a national stage. Let's look for this score to surge, particularly after a first half of feeling the opposition out and getting rid of the pregame jitters. I see plenty of points in this one which is why I am going over the posted total for my NCAA Tournament pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 145 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker