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Betting On March Madness – Saturday’s South Picks

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 5:11:23 AM

March Madness betting players are recovering from a busy first round-of-64, which means there are a few games already set for Saturday, particularly from the South region where three of Saturday’s games are all ready to go. Here are our picks for the first trio from the South.

VCU Indiana Odds – Saturday, 7:10 PM ET

The No.12 Rams had to win their conference tournament just to get the chance to follow up on last season’s run to the Final Four, then they swarmed No.5 Wichita State for a 62-59 win in which a lot of college basketball betting players didn’t even think they were the underdog. Bradford Burgess led the way with 16 points, including a late three-pointer that sealed the deal for VCU, who came out on top in a highly defensive game in which neither team shot higher than 42.4% and went to the foul line a combined 19 times. VCU’s full-court press gave Wichita State the blues, although the Shockers got better with it throughout the game.

The No.4 Hoosiers outshot No.13 New Mexico State in a 79-66 victory as they hit 59.3% of their field-goal attempts, while the Aggies shot 55.1% from the field. Jordan Hulls had 22 points, while three other starters had 14 points in a balanced game for the Hoosiers, who were always in control of this game and the final score flatters how much they really dominated it, although they can’t afford to let another opponent shoot 55%.

It’s all about how the Hoosiers handle the Rams’ press, which is first in the nation in steals, while Indiana averages 12.7 turnovers per game, which is 106th in the country. That’ll be the difference as VCU claims another big scalp.

March Madness Betting Pick: VCU Rams

Iowa State Kentucky Odds – Saturday, 7:45 PM ET

The No.8 Cyclones managed to end Connecticut’s title defense quickly with a massive first-lead that got as high as 22 points, and they held on for a 77-64 win over the No.9 Huskies in which Iowa State held a 40-21 edge on the boards and hit 19 of their 20 free-throw attempts. Chris Allen dropped 20 points, while Royce White added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones, who weren’t intimidated by the defending champions at all and didn’t even get worried by UConn’s second-half run.

Top-seeded Kentucky went into the locker room up by 19 points and cruised to an 81-66 win over No.16 Western Kentucky, powered by 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Davis (who should be the consensus college basketball betting favorite for national Player of the Year) went crazy in his first Tournament game with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks for the Wildcats. Kentucky outrebounded their smaller counterparts 39-27 and shot 55.6% from the floor while Davis was a one-man block party, but the Wildcats still allowed the score to be closer than it needed to be.

Kentucky is favored by 10.5 points, and they’re going to have to get out on the perimeter because the Cyclones shoot the three as well as anyone in the country; 8.8 three-pointers per game (10th in the country) at a 38% clip (35th). They know they’re not going to beat Kentucky inside with Davis, but the problem is, he can defend on the perimeter as well. This is going to be a tough matchup for Kentucky, which means the point spread is risky. But take the Wildcats to move on to the Sweet Sixteen.

March Madness Betting Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Colorado Baylor Odds – Saturday, 8:40 PM ET

The No.11 Buffaloes held off a furious late rally to stun No.6 UNLV 68-64, losing a 20-point lead, but they were never behind. Askia Booker notched 16 points, while Andre Roberson chipped in with 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Buffaloes, who had a 43-30 edge on the boards and they really limited UNLV’s opportunities for second-chance points. The Buffaloes were only 17-of-27 from the foul line, but they still managed to come away with the victory.

No.3 Baylor almost let their game against No.14 South Dakota State slip away in a 68-60 win that should have been nowhere near that close. Pierre Jackson poured in 18 points, while Brady Heslip added 17 points for the Bears, who didn’t get a lot of scoring from their forwards, although Perry Jones III did have 11 boards for Baylor, who had a 31-17 edge in rebounds. It was basically a microcosm of Baylor’s season: they fail to fulfill their potential almost every time they step onto the floor and this should have been a 20-point blowout, so which Baylor team will show up?

Baylor is a 7.5-point favorite against their old rivals from the Big 12, and Colorado surprised a lot of people with their play against UNLV, coming out of the Pac-12. But Baylor should get up to play a team that they’re used to seeing, and they’ll cover the online betting spread on Saturday.

March Madness Betting Pick: Baylor Bears

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