BY CHRIS APPEL
Well gang, we went two-for-four last week. Batting .500 will get you in the hall of fame quickly. But for betting, you are going to lose in juice money going that route. Let’s hope for a better week.
I will pick out two Sweet 16 games on the schedule and give my opinion and prediction. I will say, though, these fellas in Vegas made it tough. Looking at all eight games scheduled for Thursday and Friday, nothing stood out… and that’s scary. An eye-popping line is something you want to see, and all of these are right where I’d expect them to be. Only because we are degenerates, we are going to have some fun throwing some money around here. Here are my picks…. Happy hunting.
Thursday March 24th – 7:10 PM EST.
MIAMI +4.5 over Villanova
Two words: SENIORS & EXPERIENCE. Miami has it. Jim Larranaga has done this before with George Mason, he will do it again with the Hurricanes. These guys will be motivated to come out and win, outright, against Jay Wright’s Wildcats. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this Villanova team, but they just have not beaten anyone formidable outside the Big East, and we all know how overly hyped that conference gets this time of year, and time and time again, all these teams just don’t advance past the second round. This will be a good game, close the whole way through, but look for Miami to win it, and if not, think of the +4.5 as a nice little buffer, just in case.
Thursday March 24th – 7:30 PM EST.
OKLAHOMA -1.5 over Texas A&M
This line worried me, just a tad, because I’d think it would be Oklahoma -3.5. Oklahoma is coming off a tough game against VCU where they had to grind their way for the win. Wooden Award finalist Buddy Hield posted 36, but a lot of this came late in the game. His lack of efficiency was what kept VCU in this game. Maybe they overlooked VCU? Maybe they weren’t prepared for their defense? Who knows? But I think they learned a lot from this game.
Similar scenario happened here for A&M against Northern Iowa. The last minute of that game was when A&M pressed Northern Iowa and forced several turnovers. But, they did this without Northern Iowa’s steady point guard in the game, Matt Bohannon. I believe Bohannon’s absence at this point in the game (knee injury) was the door left open for A&M. Oklahoma starts 3 guards who are all more than capable of being a primary ball handler. They won’t be put in such a situation and Hield will have another stellar game.
This game will be close the whole way, but look for Oklahoma's efficient offense to close it out and win by seven.