NCAA Tournament Picks: Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014 1:14 PM GMT

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Oklahoma State Cowboys have grown familiar with one another in recent years, which leads to a major opportunity in playing the total Friday. Have the sportsbooks left any value on the table for those of us looing to place our college basketball picks on this matchup?

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Tournament odds for this second round matchup in the West Region at Viejas Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 4:40 p.m. ET on TNT.

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A constant 

Gonzaga is set to make its 16th consecutive appearance in the Big Dance, as it captured the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament championship.

The Bulldogs have compiled a 16-8 SU all-time record against schools from the Big 12 Conference, which includes beating the West Virginia Mountaineers 80-76 on the road and losing to the Kansas State Wildcats 72-62 on a neutral floor.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 3-0 SU and 1-2 ATS when playing with seven or more days rest.

Fortunate to turn things around

Oklahoma State started the year as one of the favorites to cut down the nets in the futures market, but things didn’t go quite as planned over the course of the season.

Cowboys star point guard Marcus Smart was suspended for three games due to an altercation with a fan during conference play, while the program also lost forward Michael Cobbins to a foot injury.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 7-7 SU and 5-8-1 ATS in March since the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

Getting points

The Bulldogs have compiled a disappointing 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS record as an underdog the last two-plus seasons, which includes a pair of road losses to the BYU Cougars and Memphis Tigers this year.

Gonzaga failed to cover the number in both of those games, while the UNDER cashed in each opportunity.  

Mixed signals

It’s important to point out that 11 of the Cowboys’ 12 losses this season have come against teams in the tournament field, which signals that it took care of business against lesser competition.

Oklahoma State is going to be difficult to back on the SBR Odds page, considering it wet 8-15 ATS versus opponents with a winning record.

Compare 2013-14 NCAA Tournament Betting Futures

Outlook

I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the total for their college basketball picks, as I developed a handicapper line that offers little-to-no value in making a straight-bet wager on this matchup.

Both of these head coaches are familiar with one another, as these two programs have met five times since the 2004-05 campaign.

That familiarity will allow Gonzaga to develop a game plan in limiting Smart in transition.

NCAA Tournament Pick: Under 139

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