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Michigan St vs Minnesota
Michigan St. -10 -110 over Minnesota

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle -10½ -110 BET 365 -10½ -110 SportsInteraction -10½ -110 5DIMES -10½ -110

Posted March 23 at 10:35 AM EST

NCAA Tournament - Second Round - Wells Fargo Arena - Des Moines, IA

7:45 PM EST. In its horrible win over Bradley on Thursday, State’s Kenny Goins was awful, shooting 1-of-10 from the floor and 0-of-7 from 3-point range. Spartans coach Tom Izzo was losing his mind in that game, as it is obvious that the Spartans came in unfocused and maybe took their first round opponent way too lightly.

Aaron Henry took the wrath of Izzo’s meltdown in Sparty’s 76-65 victory over one of the softer teams in the field of 68. Michigan State trailed at the half and were never in a position to cover. Anyone that spotted 17½-points with MSU surely won’t be anxious to spot double digits with them here but we can assure you of one thing for sure, which is that the Spartans will bring high intensity and focus here. They’ll also be much better than they were in that weak effort on Thursday and now we get Sparty in a buy-low situation.

By contrast, Minnesota’s stock is high after Richard Pitino’s Gophers knocked out his father’s old institution, Louisville as a 5½-point underdog. Little Richard’s Gophers led by two at halftime and put the Cardinals away in impressive fashion and now they’re taking back nearly twice as many points here. Make no mistake that Louisville limped into the Dance and Minnesota smelled a wounded prey but also make no mistake that Minnesota was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country heading into their first round matchup with Louisville and used a hot three-point shooting day to dispose of the Cardinals. That performance might inspire the Gophers to throw up a bunch more triples here (that would be fool’s gold) and chances are they won’t be falling. Lightning isn’t very likely to strike twice, meaning the Gophers will have to find other ways to score, which in turn means driving into the teeth of the Ward/Tillman/Goins house of horrors. Minnesota won by hitting a slew of three’s (11 of 27 to be exact) while putting up 87 points, a number that they only surpassed twice this year when they put up 88 on Rutgers and 104 on Nebraska Omaha in their first game of the year. The Gophers individual game totals are usually in the 60’s. The Gophers output on Thursday was an anomaly to be sure and now the market is overreacting to both Minnesota’s great shooting performance and Michigan’s State lousy performance. Things get back to normal here, as Minnesota misses their three’s and gets back to being Minnesota while Michigan State shows why they’re elite.

Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.

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Our Pick

Michigan State -10 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)

Purdue vs Villanova
Purdue -3 -106 over Villanova

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle -3½ -106 BET 365 -3½ -110 SportsInteraction -3½ -110 5DIMES -3½ -110

Posted March 23 at 10:35 AM EST

NCAA Tournament - Second Round - XL Center - Hartford, CT

8:40 PM EST. The Wildcats are defending national champions and have had a huge market presence since they've become a perennial college hoops power, but it's easy to forget that these Boilermakers have been to back-to-back Sweet 16’s. Purdue knocked off Old Dominion in the first round, which isn't a very inspiring victory, but it was the way that they easily swatted away the Monarchs, like a pesky fly buzzing about, that made their defensive effort so impressive. The Boilermakers limited ODU to just a 26.9% shooting night and they are capable of making life miserable for Villanova too. That Purdue was still able to thoroughly handle the Monarchs by a 61-48 score with their veteran guards struggling to score at a high clip could be trouble for Villanova. Carsen Edwards put up 26 points against the Monarchs, but shot just 7-for-23 from the field and 4-of-12 from beyond the arc, while Ryan Cline was a dismal 2-for-10 and 1-of-11 from three-point land. A correction to the good is highly likely coming for both players, which is bad news for 'Nova.

A 61-57 win over St. Mary's was the first step for the champs, but that was a tough game and we have to wonder what the Wildcats have left in the tank. They were slow starters against the Gaels and coach Jay Wright said, "The tempo was excruciating, we felt going in we were going to have to grind with them." It has to be considered a down year for the Wildcats despite winning the Big East once again, as they went just 25-9 and finished as the #36 ranked school in the nation according to the KenPom. The Boilermakers were 10th. From where we sit, on a neutral court here in Hartford, Purdue is a short-priced favorite that will have a heavy contingent here. The Wildcats are primed to pass the torch after two championships the last three seasons and they’re also heavily reliable on two players, Phil Booth and Eric Paschall. Like we saw with Ole Miss yesterday, that imbalance gets very problematic when the stakes are raised. The Boilermakers are better defensively, they’re deeper and more balanced and Purdue is also more than capable of ending Villanova’s string of deep runs in this tournament. The Wildcats dodged a mid-major bullet in round one but they are not likely to dodge this major bullet in the round of 32. Purdue wins going away.

Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.

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Our Pick

Purdue -3 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)

Maryland vs LSU
Maryland +135 over LSU

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle +132 BET 365 +135 SportsInteraction +135 5DIMES +135

Posted March 23 at 10:35 AM EST

NCAA Tournament - Second Round - Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena - Jacksonville, FL

12:10 PM EST. The third day of this event is usually what we refer to as overreaction day, as the market has now seen all 32 teams that will compete against one another. LSU went gate to wire against upset minded Yale in the first round on Thursday and led by double digits most of the way. A late run by Yale (they hit three three’s in the final minute for instance) allowed them to cover but the outright winner was never in doubt. Yale hit “garbage time” points to cover but the point is that LSU’s performance stuck out because it was an early game on one of the biggest days of the year on the sports calendar. LSU is a great team and Tremont Waters scares the hell out of us. LSU’s offense revolves around the wizardry of its mini master. The 5’11 Waters is a deft distributor, and his vision in transition (plus the Tigers’ stable of athletes) has made LSU incredibly potent in the open floor. The way the Tigers handled Yale, a team with some future NBA players, was incredibly impressive and also appealing to a market that often overreacts to what it saw last but if basketball is about matchups, this one isn’t so good for the Tigers. Furthermore, although the Tigers are loaded with talent, they are also a team that does not play smart. They take ill-advised shots, they get careless with the ball and they go on extended scoring droughts usually. We wonder if some frustration will set in against the Terps strong interior defense. LSU relies heavily on working the ball inside, working the boards and second chance points. All of that may not be available here.

As a three-point favorite over Belmont, Maryland trailed most of the game before holding on for a two-point win. As a mid-major that few were familiar with, Maryland’s win or near miss against the Bruins doesn’t hold nearly the same weight as LSU’s win over Yale. However, we trust it was a great win. You see, Belmont is coached by Rick Byrd’s picturesque offense and overall smart approach to the game and yet Maryland was still able to overcome that. By contrast, the Tigers approach is not smart. Furthermore, the Terps thrive on second chance opportunities, just like the Tigers therefore LSU will not be able to dominate the boards, thus taking the Tigers even more out of their comfort zone. Maryland’s Two Towers frontline of Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith are big and athletic enough to dominate this game. Offensively, Anthony Cowan is a dynamic scorer and passer who had a horrible game against Belmont (3-of-18, 1-of-10 from 3, nine points) thus, it would be unreasonable to expect another poor performance from the Terps leading scorer. Public perception after Thursday is that the Tigers are being sold short here we’re in complete disagreement. When things don’t go LSU’s way, they get stupid and that part of their game will be on full display here. It is actually the Terps that are being undersold here, thus, we’re playing Maryland to win outright.

Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.

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Our Pick

Maryland +135 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.70)

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