Soar Over The Books With Our March Madness Betting Totals

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, March 20, 2016 2:51 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 20, 2016 2:51 PM UTC

Our Handicapper looks to get back on track with a pair of Sunday O/U totals that have strong wagering value. Read on as he makes a pair of slump-busting NCAA Tournament picks.

Sometimes there are days like yesterday, where the results of games are some kind of bizarro land that defies all trends and expectations. As a spectator, those moments are what keeps us coming back. As a bettor, we have to be cool and collected and count on our bankroll management skills to survive the chaos.


Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. Syracuse Orange (Over 128)
Speaking of chaos, the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (25-9) threw a wrench in my bracket on Friday morning, as I had the Spartans winning the entire NCAAB tournament. The offensive performance of the Blue Raiders was nothing short of sensational, as they shot 55.9% from field goal range and 57.9% from behind the arc in putting up 90 points. They also stayed out of foul trouble, which allowed their starting five to stay on the floor almost the entire game. They may be on tired legs come Sunday, but I don’t expect that to be an issue with the offensive side of the ball. That may be an issue on defense however

What could be lost in that upset; however, is that the Blue Raiders allowed Michigan State to shoot 55.6% from the field. It was Michigan State’s 11-24 shooting from 3-point range that buried their chances at winning that game. But they were able to get plenty of looks down low.

The Syracuse Orange (20-13) beat Dayton in the first round in a game that both teams shot pretty poorly from the floor, with the Orange converting just 39.6% of their field goal attempts. That was well below their season average of 42.6%, but they still scored their season average of 70 points per game. Against a frantic Middle Tennessee State defense, I expect that the Orange will find more success shooting from the floor as they get easy shots going straight to the basket. The bar has been bet down too low in this game, so I’m taking Over 128 at Pinnacle as one of my NCAA Tournament picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 128.5.
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Georgia Bulldogs vs. Saint Mary's Gaels (Under 135)
For another value pick on the board we have to go outside of the NCAAB tourney and to the NIT, as the Georgia Bulldogs (20-13) travel to the St. Mary’s Gaels (28-5). The Gaels find themselves as a 6.5-point favorite at home, while the O/U total can currently be found at 135 at Bovada.

Although St. Mary’s shoots a blistering 53.8% from the floor and 77.7 points per game at home, their O/U record suggests that backing the Over at home hasn’t been successful. St. Mary’s has a 10-18 O-U record overall and a 6-10 O-U record at home. The reason for this is their home defense, as the Gaels only allow an average of 60.8 points per game at home on 40.9% shooting. The Georgia Bulldogs, coming out of the SEC, likely haven’t played on a court as small as St. Mary’s for a long time – where the opposing crowd is basically on top of you.

For the Under to cash in this matchup, we will have to have a reversal of a strong trend of Over results for the Bulldogs. Georgia has cashed the Over in 8 of their last 10 games, after all. But it is possible, as Georgia has came into that trend after cashing five straight unders in a row. I wouldn’t bank on a Georgia player making a career high in points like what happened in their last game against Belmont in St. Mary’s gym. I’m taking Under 135 in this game and backing the St. Mary’s defense at home on the NCAA basketball odds at Bovada.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 134.5.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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