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Below you can find best bets, win predictions and analysis for the games everyone will be watching on Thursday.
College Basketball On TV Today (March 23):
There are 4 college basketball games involving Division I teams scheduled for Thursday, March 23, with many of them broadcast on linear or digital television.
Top college basketball games on TV today include:
- Michigan State vs Kansas State at 6:30 PM ET on TBS
- Arkansas vs UConn at 7:15 PM ET on CBS
- Florida Atlantic vs Tennessee at 9:00 PM ET on TBS
- Gonzaga vs UCLA at 9:45 PM ET on CBS
Best College Basketball Bets Today
Every day, I’ll handicap games early in the morning (east coast time) and provide a short explanation as to why I like them.
Michigan State vs Kansas State (+1.5), Analysis:
I was shocked to see Michigan State as a favorite in this game, but it’s actually a great job by sportsbooks to anticipate the market’s appetite to bet on Tom Izzo. Raw ticket numbers at the BetMGM online sportsbook are almost perfectly split in this game.
Still, I think Kansas State is the clearly better team. The Wildcats showed it time and again during the regular season. Kansas State entered the NCAA Tournament with a 9-8 record in Quadrant 1 games; Michigan State was 5-9.
Izzo deserves credit for yet again coaching his way to a Sweet 16, which included getting the best of Shaka Smart’s No. 2 seed Marquette. I think Kansas State will be the end of this run.
Michigan State vs Kansas State Prediction:
Play: Kansas State +1.5. Tom Izzo isn’t enough of a reason to bet on this Michigan State team, which has already overachieved.
Gonzaga vs UCLA (-1.5), Analysis:
Here’s another line I was surprised by. Gonzaga has reached the Sweet 16 like clockwork over the last few years, and it finished the regular season on a long winning stretch. The Zags are to be commended.
That doesn’t quite mean it’s better than UCLA, though, and this spread is essentially asking you to pick a winner.
As the No. 2 seed, UCLA was an unorthodox Final Four betting favorite in this region prior to the start of the tournament. There was a reason for that status.
Like Gonzaga, the Bruins have plenty of tournament experience, and they have better raw talent than most of the remaining teams. That includes the Bulldogs, in my opinion.
Like the MSU/KSU game, online sportsbooks have done a great job anticipating the public’s appetite to bet a hot Gonzaga team. More than 60% of the tickets at BetMGM are backing the underdog in this game.
I’ll take the favorite to win, cover, and advance.
Gonzaga vs UCLA Prediction:
Play: UCLA -1.5. For more on this game and the other bets I like for the Sweet 16, make sure you check out my Sweet 16 betting guide.
College Basketball Best Bets
One of the things I look for in identifying daily college basketball betting spots is a high total that moves up another four to seven points thanks to sharp money.
I also like to look for contrarian favorites – those games that make you say, “Wait, why is that team favored?” – and ugly dogs who are getting too many points.
It’s also helpful to understand that underdogs of six or more are inherently valuable. Basketball doesn’t have key numbers quite like football does (3, 7, 10, etc), but 5.5 is about the next closest thing.
If you watch a lot of college basketball, it’s easy to imagine how a team up by just one point with 20 seconds left could end up covering a short number like -5 thanks to all the free throws at the end.
Once you have a favorite of -6 or more, though, those gaps start getting harder and harder to cover with just end-game nonsense.
That’s something to keep in mind when identifying valuable favorites or underdogs.
College Basketball Rankings & ATS Records:
|AP Ranking||Team||ATS Record|
|18||San Diego State||16-16|
Free College Basketball Picks
I handicap college basketball every single day during the season, using the same marketplace principles and contrarian fundamentals that have made me a winning better in other sports like football and tennis.
I also pay close attention to the totals market. Line movement can create opportunities to bet for and against steam, depending on the circumstances. Revisit this picks page every day, and you’ll start to see what I mean.
Podcast: Want More College Basketball Analysis, Reactions & Trends?
For those interested in learning more about how to bet on college basketball effectively, make sure you check out The Lion’s Edge for intelligent, weekly insights into trends and betting tips across the online sports betting world.
The Lion’s Edge is available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can also listen to it in the web player below.
College Basketball Betting at BetMGM
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