NCAA Tourney Betting Values: Two Dangerous Dogs For Friday Night

Ross Benjamin

Friday, March 18, 2016 2:44 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 18, 2016 2:44 PM UTC

Our analyst shares his top two NCAA Tournament underdog plays on Friday’s card. He’s been a stellar 22-10 (69%) with his NCAA basketball underdog picks over the past fifteen betting days.

Northern Iowa vs. Texas 9:50 PM ET
Northern Iowa can be extremely frustrated to play against, especially for non-conference opponents who haven’t faced them before. The Panthers are adept at slowing the pace of game down to a snail’s pace, and are very efficient offensively. Northern Iowa has committed 9 turnovers or less 17 of their previous 23 games, and is allowing its opponents an average of just 49 field goal attempts over their last five games. Quite simply, the Panthers don’t beat themselves.

Northern Iowa is 12-1 in their last 13 games, 11-2 ATS during those contests, and enter the NCAA Tournament riding a six game win streak. They owns quality wins this season over the East Region #1 seed North Carolina, the Midwest Region #4 seed Iowa State, and defeated conference rival Wichita State twice.

Texas has accomplished a lot this season under first year head coach Shaka Smart. However, they’ve gone just 4-5 in their last 9 games. The Longhorns have struggled mightily offensively over its previous three games, averaging 59.7 points per contest, and shooting an awful 37.2%.

Texas is the more athletically gifted team in this matchup, but as we’ve witnessed in the NCAA Tournament already, that doesn’t always translate to wins. I like the underdog in this matchup for one of my Friday NCAA Tournament picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Northern Iowa +4.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Cincinnati vs. St. Joe’s 9:57 PM ET
Cincinnati is a banged up team right now. They have five players listed on the injury report, with four being probable, and the other questionable. In all likelihood at least four of those players will play. However, it remains to be seen if any or all of them will be at full throttle.

You can certainly make a case for Cincinnati being better than their 22-10 record may indicate. They fell short in all three of their games that went overtime, lost five games by exactly 2 points, and also sustained a 4 point defeat. We can also come to the conclusion they’ve gone all season without being able to figure out how to win a close game, and I don’t expect that’s going to change in a pressure filled NCAA Tourney contest.

After losing their final two regular season games, St. Joes bounced back in emphatic fashion during the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, compiling three straight wins over George Washington (24-10), Dayton (25-7), and VCU (24-10). Those opponents weren’t exactly creampuffs, considering that Dayton and VCU are part of this year’s NCAA Tourney field, while George Washington has already advanced to the second round of the NIT. The Hawks have been a money maker all season, going 22-11 (66.7%) ATS and it includes a perfect 7-0 SU&ATS in their last seven games as an underdog.

At the time of this writing, NCAA Tournament odds provide me with a best combination of number and price for this wager.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Joe’s +3
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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