The Madness of March is on full display in the Hoosier State, and we are loving it. Whether you have won or lost so far in the Big Dance, we look to enhance your chances of the former on Sunday.
Let’s be honest, just filling out a bracket and picking 12 of 16 winners each of the first two full days of the NCAA tournament is hard enough. Now add in a point spread, which levels the playing field, and attempting to pick two teams that can be parlayed together, that is a full-blown challenge.
However, it’s not impossible. One potential value is you reduce risk at top betting sites. As opposed to making two $110 bets to win $200, with a parlay, you can make a single wager of $100, and if you would lose both, you saved some money. The other possible benefit of grouping two teams together is your payout. Depending on the odds, if the parlay wins would be around $260 back to you compared to $200, which is a significant difference.
Granted, a split making two single wagers only costs you the juice, as opposed to losing the entire bet. However, if you really like two games, this could lower risk and enhance the payout at any book while making NCAAB picks. Here is a pair of Sunday tilts that grabbed our attention, and we will explain why.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears
Sunday, March 21, 2021 – 2:40 pm ET at Hinkle Fieldhouse
For fans of Wisconsin, while thrilled they knocked off North Carolina 85-62, they at the same time had to be thinking where has this team been all season. Wisconsin entered this tourney, losers of four of five and six of eight (2-5-1 ATS) and repeatedly came up short at crunch time, with a 1-5 record in games decided by five or fewer points. Winning by 23 takes that out of the question. Here is what we wonder, can that kind of effort and execution carry over to the next contest?
For the game, the Badgers shot 50.8 percent, which was their best shooting game of 2021, covering 19 tries. Their previous best was the same exact percentage on New Year’s Eve at home against Minnesota. Whisky also was 13 of 27 from behind the arc, and away from Madison, they average eight long bombs at 33.3%. In other words, that was one of Wisconsin's top performances of the season.
While Baylor has picked up a few skeptics in the last few weeks, they are still 23-2, make almost half their shot attempts (48.9%), and average 10 threes at a 41.4% clip. Not bad. Though the Bears are only 1-7 ATS recently, the Badgers have not won and covered two straight in two months (five tries), and Baylor is 13-2 ATS after allowing 55 or fewer points.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Houston Cougars
Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 7:10 pm ET at Lucas Oil Stadium
Rutgers was one of two lower seeds that were favored in the first game, and as opposed to Virginia Tech, they came through for the victory. The College Basketball odds have the Scarlet Knights catching eight-points against No. 2 seed Houston. At last look, those were the heaviest odds for any underdog Sunday, and frankly, it seems justified.
On defense, Rutgers and Houston have a similar identity, looking to control games with defense. Please note we said “similar”, not the same. The Cougars have the ability to make opponents feel like they are in your face, and that can rattle opposing players. You might be matching Houston points-wise, and three errant shots and two miscues later, they ran off 10 straight points.
Houston generates a lot of their offense from its defense, pushing the ball after missed shots and turnovers. The Cougars also have more team speed and better athletes, and they are an excellent rebounding squad, while Rutgers is merely average. Houston shoots better from distance, and they defend the three-ball expertly. That difference alone could account for the point spread differential.
Coach Kelvin Sampson’s club put on a defensive clinic against Cleveland State and made a series of mini-runs to win 87-56. We think the Scarlet Knights are better than the Vikings, but the style of play is not a great deal different, which benefits the second seed.
Parlay Pick and Why
Wisconsin just played a fabulous game, and to come close to replicating that, it won’t be easy against arguably the best backcourt in the country who can play defense and make shots.
Houston’s defense is often suffocating, and they are 9-2 ATS after allowing 30 points or less in the first half of two straight games this season, winning by 16.1 PPG. Grab the Bears and Cougars for the parlay.
NCAAB Picks: Baylor -6.5 (-110) and Houston -8 (-110), Parlay (+264) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.