Conference tournaments continue on Friday, March 15, with no game as more interesting than Duke-North Carolina.
This is an exceptionally busy slate of games, so let’s kick things off with the matchup everyone’s excited for and then cover the rest of the big games that could kickstart your weekend off right. Bet online today in the New Jersey area at BetAmerica!
[Friday, March 15]
#5 Duke Blue Devils -3.0 vs #3 North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina looks for 3 in a row against the Duke Blue Devils on Friday night. UNC dominated the Blue Devils in the two regular season games. Although on paper it sure looks like the Tar Heels have what it takes to beat Duke a third time, they won’t.
Zion Williamson, shrugging off any fear of ending his NBA career before it even begins, stepped back onto the basketball court on Thursday. The best player in college hoops dominated Syracuse with 29 points, 14 boards and 2 assists. The best part? Coach K played Zion 36 minutes. The other best part? He didn’t miss a field goal, going 13-of-13.
The future first overall draft pick definitely got his feet underneath him and is itching to take down Duke’s biggest rival. With their best player on the court, Duke should easily handle North Carolina. No need to look at trends, stats, or anything, really. Williamson’s that dominant.
NCAAB Free Pick: Duke -3.0
Iowa State Cyclones -2.5 vs #15 Kansas State Wildcats
Although the Cyclones were favored to beat Baylor on Thursday night, they were only favored by 2 points. Iowa State dominated the Bears and now enter the Big 12 Semifinal versus Kansas State looking like a legitimate contender for the tournament title.
The trends firmly give this to K-State, who is 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 at a neutral site, and 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Iowa State dominated the Wildcats 78-64 in the last head-to-head. That battle was on the road and the Cyclones really picked their game up on Thursday. They should cover in this.
NCAAB Free Pick: Iowa State -2.5
#12 Florida State Seminoles vs #2 Virginia Cavaliers -9
FSU is 9-1 SU, but only 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games. Virginia beat Florida State 65-52 in the last matchup. The Cavaliers have only lost 2 games this season and both were to the Duke Blue Devils. Since losing to Duke the second time, UVA has gone 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS. The only team to stay close to the Cavaliers was Louisville.
Although Virginia should cover, a few trends point to Florida State keeping this close. The Seminoles are 7-1-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win. 9 points feels like way too many to give to a top 15 ranked team. Going with the Seminoles and taking this big spread, which should give me enough room for the cover.
NCAAB Free Pick: Florida State +9
West Virginia Mountaineers vs #18 Kansas Jayhawks -11.0
After being one of the worst teams in the Big 12 during the regular season, the West Virginia Mountaineers are a game away from battling for the Big 12 Tournament Championship. WVU upset Texas Tech straight up on Thursday night.
It’s too much to ask that the Mountaineers beat both Texas Tech and Kansas, right? So, let’s forget about the moneyline upset. Instead, let’s consider backing the Mountaineers to cover because Kansas is 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS win, and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up win while West Virginia is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games versus a team with a winning straight up record.
NCAAB Free Pick: West Virginia +11.0
Iowa Hawkeyes vs #11 Michigan Wolverines -8.0
Michigan and Michigan State should be on a collision course for Sunday’s Big Ten Championship. Before the Wolverines can try again to beat their biggest rivals, they must beat Iowa on Friday and a semifinal opponent on Saturday.
The Wolverines might not make it past Iowa on March 15. The Hawkeyes are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings and 9-0 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games. Iowa beat Michigan 74-59 during the regular season. Anyone thinking the Hawkeyes deserve backing on the moneyline won’t find an argument here. But, taking the points is the safer way to go.
NCAAB Free Pick: Iowa +8.0
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs #8 Tennessee Volunteers -5.5
Tennessee goes into their game against Mississippi State on Friday night having gone 7-3 SU but only 3-7 ATS in their last 10. Luckily for the Vols, one of the wins both straight up and against the spread was against the Bulldogs.
Tennessee dominated Miss State 71-54 on March 5. The Bulldogs must play much better on Friday. Surprisingly, the trends say they will. Mississippi State is 9-0 ATS in their last 9 Friday games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 following a straight up win. The Bulldogs are the play.
NCAAB Free Pick: Mississippi State +5.5
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