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March 17, 2016

Sports Profit System is 8-3 in March so far with college picks.

A total of 4 picks were released on Wednesday, a day in advance, for today's NCAA Tournament games!

There are no NBA picks tonight and unlike yesterday, we aren't going to release anything in advance given that tomorrow's early afternoon games don't provide as much value.
 

1: Take Arkansas Little Rock at +9 spread against Purdue for 3% of the bankroll.

Arkansas-Little Rock has had a historic season! The squad went 29-4 with resume building wins coming at the hands of Tulsa and San Diego State. Their lone non-conference loss this season came on the road in Lubbock, to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Trojans are arguably the very best defensive teams in the country as they come into this contest ranked 3rd, holding their opponents to just under 60 points per game.

The Purdue Boilermakers have had a solid season themselves; making it to the Big 10 championship game and they are a team that has a lot of size. AJ Hammons, Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas are all big men under the rim, and while they make things difficult at the basket and on the boards, this may not be the ideal matchup for the Boilermakers.

Purdue is a team that likes to use their size to their advantage; however this game is being played in altitude inside the Pepsi Arena. Fatigue, especially with the big men laboring up and down the court for a full 40 minutes is likely to take its toll on the Purdue players. This should allow the Trojans to create scoring opportunities both in transition and from the perimeter. They average 70.9 points offensively and shoot 45.8 percent from the floor, including 38.8 percent from beyond the arc. They are also a team that forcing an above average amount of turnovers and we have seen Purdue’s ball security be shaky at times. These are certainly areas that we expect the Trojans to exploit.

Nine points are simply too many points to spot a team like the Trojans, who have only lost 4 games all season long. They can play lights out defense and shoot the ball extremely well. Fatigue could be a factor for the Purdue bigs late in this game and the 12-5 matchups have shown their history to be tricky and have produced quite a few upsets over the years. There is no question that Purdue is the more talent riddled team, however we expect the Trojans to come out with something to prove in this contest and keep things close throughout, if not challenge for the outright upset.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Arkansas LR  is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog!
  • Arkansas LR is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record
  • Purdue is 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss!
  • Arkansas LR is 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600!
     

2: Take Iona at +8 spread against Iowa State for 3% of the bankroll.

Those who like to watch fast-paced potent offenses will no doubt appreciate this game. This season, the Iona Gaels have treated their matchups like up and down track meets. They are a team that likes to push the tempo and average nearly 80 points per contest. They have a dynamic guard in A.J. English, who has been the key to Iona’s success this season. English averages 22.4 points per game to go along with 6.2 assists per game. He has really been the leader of this team and down the stretch of close games, its English who undoubtedly will have the ball in his hands. As good as English has been, Iona is a team that likes to distribute the ball and their 16.8 assists per game is good enough for 15th in the nation.

If there is a team that likes to get out and run as much as Iona does, it would be the Cyclones. The Cyclones are very similar to Iona in that they average 81.8 points per game and were also one of the best passing teams in the nation as they averaged 16.5 assists per game. The Cyclones often get hyped up coming into the NCAA tournament only to crash and burn with early exits, like last season and will certainly have their hands full in this contest with the Gaels. It will be interesting to see how the Cyclones respond if they should happen to face some adversity, which they surely will, going up against this high powered offense.

The Cyclones comes into the tournament standing a respectable 21-11 but haven't brought much momentum with them having dropped  back to back close losses against the likes of Kansas on the road and Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament. Meanwhile the Gaels come into this one red-hot having won 12 of their last 13 games. We believe the Gaels have been somewhat underrated in terms of seeding and should have been much higher given their performance over the last couple of weeks. The Gaels have a very talented backcourt which could make things interesting in the later stages of this game.

This will likely be a closely contested back and forth affair. While Iowa State is has more talent on their roster, it's tough to beat a team as offensively proficient as Iona by more than 2 possessions. This is a game that we believe either team could win which makes the points extremely valuable.


3: Take Yale at +6 spread (buy half a point) against Baylor for 3% of the bankroll.

The Baylor Bears need to be on upset watch in this contest as they take on a very underrated and well-rounded Yale team. The Bulldogs come into the NCAA tournament having won their last 5 regular season games and are labeled as a #12 seed, but arguably could have been seeded higher. This is a team that plays extremely sound fundamental basketball and it built for a tournament like this. On the season they are averaging 75.2 points per game on offense but their real strength and advantage in this contest will come both on the defensive and rebounding side of things. The Bulldogs have shown their ability to clamp down defensively and have held their opponents to just 63.1 points per game which ranks 12th best in the nation. They have also dominated on the glass, averaging over 40 boards per game. Makai Mason and Justin Sears are the two who we expect to share a bulk of the ball handling duties in this contest. Mason is averaging 15.8 points per game and 3.7 assists per game while Sears is averaging 15.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs.

The Texans are no stranger to being upset in this tournament as well. Last year the then number 3 seeded Bears were upset in the first round of March Madness by #14 seed Georgia State after blowing a 12 point with 3 minutes left in the game. This year Baylor is playing a better opponent in the first round in Yale, which should be an interesting matchup. Baylor is also no stranger to giving up leads as they have done so multiple times this season, most recently dropping their Big 12 tournament semi-final game to Kansas. Baylor actually held a lead at the half but went on to give up 49 second half points. While we expect the Bears to be more focused in preventing another upset in this contest, we simply don't trust them laying this many points.

While Baylor is undoubtedly the more well-known team in this contest, we believe that Yale is actually the better overall team. They have the fundamentals needed to be a legitimate dark horse in this tournament and make a surprisingly deep run. They will also have the rebounding edge in this contest as well. If Yale can hold the Bears to just single shot possessions and continue to attack the glass, it will be incredibly difficult for Baylor to create any kind of separation on the scoreboard. Yale has proven themselves to be proficient with the basketball, shooting 47.1% from the floor and given the way the Baylor defense has defended this season, they may have the edge there as well. This is a matchup that could go either way and we wouldn't be completely shocked if the Bulldogs managed to pull the upset. Even if they don't however, the points have value as they are likely to come into play.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Yale is 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
  • Yale is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games!
  • Baylor has covered only one of its last 9 non-conference games.
     

4: Take NC Wilmington at +10.5 spread against Duke for 3% of the bankroll.

There is no question that the Duke Blue Devils are the more herald and widely known team in this matchup. They are the defending national champions and a regular in the field of 64. That being said, they are certainly no strangers to early exits in the tournament. Just a couple of seasons ago, Mercer managed to upend the Blue Devils in the first round of the tournament and that is certainly something that could happen to them in this contest.

NC Wilmington may not be a widely known school to the casual sports bettor, but this is one of the most potent offenses in the nation. They rank 39th in the nation averaging 79.2 on 45.6% shooting from the field per contest. They are a team that doesn't have a lot of size, but their small, guard heavily lineup makes them extremely efficient shooting the basketball. They have the ability to stretch the floor and shoot the three-ball, something that they can use to counteract Plumlee who will be clogging the painted area.

This is also an early game on the card which could play into the underdogs favor. With this game being played early in the afternoon, the Duke players may not be as motivated or accustomed to playing this early which could have a hug impact on their ability to create separation on the scoreboard. This is arguably the Seahawks biggest game of the season and their chance to prove that they have what it takes to contend with the country's best. This is also an in-state rivalry game and while it certainly does not mirror the Tobacco Road rivalry shared by UNC and Duke, this game surely means much more to Wilmington than it does to the Blue Devils.

Duke is a team that plays with a very thin, 6 or 7 man rotation which could hurt them in this contest against a much smaller UNC Wilmington team. If the Seahawks can push the pace and tire the Blue Devils rotation out or get their rotation into early foul trouble, it could spell disaster for Coach K's team. The Seahawks have shown their ability to remain competitive, eve in their loss as 5 of their 7 losses this season have come by 7 or fewer points and even nearly pulled off an upset over Georgetown on the road earlier this season.

Knocking off the Blue Devils is a tall task, however with this early meeting; they should be able to knock down enough shots to keep this contest from getting out of hand. Even if the blue Devils do mount a huge lead, they have shown their ability to get complacent and sit on a lead as they did in the ACC tournament against Notre Dame. If that is the case again in this contest, that leaves the door wide open for the Seahawks to pull off a backdoor cover. This is simply too many points in the very first game of the tournament and the Blue Devils will struggle to win this game by double digits.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Duke is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games!
  • UNC Wilmington is 38-17 ATS in tournament games dating back to 1997!
  • UNC Wilmington is 37-21 ATS in their last 58 games when playing on a neutral court!



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