Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST and updated at 6:00 PM EST.
First Round of NCAA Tournament – Intrust Bank Arena - Wichita, Kansas
5:10 PM EST. The Jayhawks got much more than they bargained for in their first-round game with Penn. Kansas trailed by 10 at one point before the Quakers went cold and let KU run away with a 76-60 victory in what appeared on paper to be an easy cover. Kansas is college hoops royalty, but this year's team is not your typical squad. There are no superstars or players destined for NBA greatness on these Jayhawks, and they are much thinner than usual. While we usually avoid discussing injuries, there is a 7-foot elephant in the room. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike injured himself during the SEC tournament and played just three minutes in the first round. He appeared to be more of a liability than a valuable contributor. So much of the Jayhawks game depends on Azubuike opening things up for their outside shooters. Even if he plays longer today, it is impossible to know how effective he'll be. An MCL sprain just doesn't heal overnight and it could be a lingering problem.
The Big East isn't what it used to be, but that perception in the market serves us well here as we get an opportunity to back an undervalued school from that conference, just as we did Butler in round one. The Pirates rank just outside the top-25 (26th) over at KenPom which uses advanced stats to formulate its rankings rather than old players and coaches that aren't likely watching these games anyway. That ranking tells us the Pirates are under-seeded by a notch or two, as teams like Arizona (#4), Miami (#6), Rhode Island (#7) and Arkansas (#7) all got a better draw even though they aren't as strong as Seton Hall. The Pirates played a tough schedule that ranks 29th in the nation, and they had some nice road wins including Texas Tech, Louisville, Butler and Providence. Three of which made it to The Big Dance while the Cardinals were on the bubble. Fast starts have been the calling card of this Pirates offense, as they rank 15th in the nation in first-half scoring at 39.1 points per game. In round one, Seton racked up an incredible 51-points over NC State and rode that wave to victory. Seton Hall is battle-tested and under the radar when compared to its high profile competition today, but don't sleep on the Pirates. They just might be the better team here, which makes taking back these inflated points a no-brainer.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Seton Hall +4½ -105 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)