Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
Elite Eight of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Philips Arena - Atlanta, Georgia
6:09 PM EST. The story of Loyola Chicago has captured the hearts of a nation with newly minted international celebrity and team chaplain Sister Jean front and center. The good sister has been mobbed on the sidewalk and asked for photos so many times, she now has a selfie pose. ESPN's Darren Rovell reported that Sister Jean is the most tweeted about person connected with any team during this NCAA Tournament and that includes the Loyola players who hit game-winning shots in the first and second rounds. With all the mainstream attention the Ramblers are getting, there has no doubt been an overreaction to their performance. We aren't here to take anything away from this #11-seed and its improbable run, but Loyola has won its three games by just four total points. In that win over Nevada last time out, the Ramblers shot an otherworldly 75% in the second half and still needed a pair of clutch three-pointers down the stretch to help seal the one-point win.
A huge W over Kentucky has launched K-State into the Elite Eight. In any other year, the #9-seed Wildcats would be a Cinderella story, but Sister Jean snatched that glass slipper, which suits us just fine because K-State can fly a little under the radar against a team that cannot now. Leading scorer Dean Wade is still a big question mark for the Wildcats after he played just eight minutes against Kentucky but the fact they won means anything he contributes today is a bonus. What's more impressive about that victory over UK is that K-State was severely undermanned after three forwards got into foul trouble, which forced the purple Wildcats to go with a five-guard lineup that still frustrated a group of future NBAers with their stellar defense. That D held Crieghton to 59-points, UMBC to 43 and finally #18 Kentucky to just 61. We are in the business of playing over and under-reactions so what would this line have been if these two teams played in the regular season? Wildcats -6, -8, maybe double-digits? Everyone loves a feel-good story, but we like cashing tickets even more. Win or lose, Kansas State is the value play in this game. It's been fun, but it’s time to say sayonara, Sister.
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.
Kansas State -1 -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)