March Madness First Four Day Two Betting Preview
Not only were yesterday’s games phenomenal, but I also went 3-1 in my picks for those games. That also leaves me 8-4 in my last 12 picks on the blog. Some may call that a heater, by I’m much more humble than those people. I love the board today and here are my day two picks.
#16 Bryant vs #16 Wright State (-3) O/U 154
The entire college hoops world has been talking about Bryant’s Peter Kiss. He’s the nation’s leading scorer, and if there was a way to measure it, he’d be the nation’s leading trash-talker as well. His exuding confidence has led lots of betters to let their bias get the best of them in this matchup. I think Wright State is just the better team.
Per KenPom, Wright State is a significantly more efficient offensive team and relies on their high tempo to control games. Bryant loves to pick up the tempo of games as well, using their zone defense to speed up their opponents to the tune of 7th fastest tempo in the nation. Wright State has struggled this season against zone defenses as most teams throw some sort of zone at them on a nightly basis; however, I believe that Bryant struggles even worse with high-powered offenses. The Bulldogs shoot threes in bunches, but only at a 30% clip. Wright State does a phenomenal job at taking away the three and rebounding at a solid rate as well. I like Wright State and the points in this one. I’d also sprinkle a little bit on the under as 154 is way too high for a post-season matchup.
#11 Notre Dame (-1) vs #11 Rutgers O/U 133.5
This game is going to look a lot different from Bryant and Wright State. Both of these teams are going to slow the game down and try to use a lot of shot clock, but they rely on different things. Notre Dame needs to use their efficient offense to knock down their open looks as they rarely get offensive rebounds. Rutgers on the other hand uses a lot of isolation and pick-and-roll to get Ron Harper Jr. involved in the offense. The Scarlet Knights aren’t a super big team, but they swarm to the ball after the shot and reward themselves with second-chance opportunities.
According to TeamRankings data, they love Rutgers in this one, giving them a 60% chance to win in both of their models, and I love Rutgers as well. Steve Pikiell is one of the best coaches in the country, and his group at Rutgers is as gritty as they come. I also don’t really like this Notre Dame group. Their offense is far too inconsistent for me to bet on them to win tonight. Rutgers +1 is a very easy decision and I think both of these offenses can do enough to hit the over as well.
The play-in finishes up tonight, then we’re staring down the barrel of 13 straight hours of uninterrupted basketball. Can’t wait to have another year with a perfect bracket.
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