Friday's NCAA Tournament Betting Cheat Sheet

Peter Loshak

Friday, March 21, 2014 12:28 PM GMT

The first half of the Round of 64 in the 2014 NCAA tournament is in the books, and the results were as always, interesting. Lets look at the Friday slate and decide which matchups sports bettors should be looking at with their picks.

From my personal perspective, Syracuse’s easy cover over Western Michigan was the most telling, and they might be in for a return to their elite level of play from earlier in the year, a deep tournament run, and possibly a string of further ATS covers.

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For the Friday games, there are a few bets that are looking decent to me. Starting off, I think we might be more likely than not to see an Over in the Tennessee/Massachusetts game. That NCAA Tournament odds opened at 134 or 134.5, and was quickly identified by the market as being off, and it got bet up to 137 or 138 market-wide. On the overnights it had settled back at 137, but I tend to agree with the initial movement, and I’m leaning towards an Over in that one. UMass likes to run, as we know, and Tennessee can be amenable to that kind of play themselves.

I think I am liking the first half Over at just 63, more than the full game Over. That is a pretty low total for a first half Over, and we saw two Thursday games expected to be lower-scoring, Colorado/Pitt and Harvard/Cincinnati, both eclipse that number in their respective first halves. So I’m leaning to the Over 63 on Friday in Tennessee/UMass.

I also think we’re more likely than not to see an Under in Stephen F. Austin/VCU, and I outlines specifically why in my video preview of that game earlier this week. The total in headed down though, currently 135.5 down from 137 earlier in the week.

And finally, I think a modest Money Line round robin parlay on three teams that I think will all win, but also all have reasonable Money Lines to win, could have some value for our NCAA Tournament picks. New Mexico, Baylor, and North Carolina are all teams looking promising heading into the tournament, and I think all three should win their Friday games, and would be surprised if more than one of them wound up losing.