There are still two more nights until one of the best Sweet Sixteen matchups I can recall commence. We will be here with plenty of picks and coverage Thursday-Sunday, but in the meantime, a quick note on the overall odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky remains the overwhelming favorite and is still at even money to win the whole thing and complete the first perfect season in nearly 40 years. But there are still a couple other interesting values on the board. If you are not on the UK Big Blue train, my advice for splitting your wager among the few teams that can legitimately win this thing still stands. Rather than an even-money “field” wager, why not get in on Arizona at 13/2 or Duke at 8/1. Then split the rest with Wisconsin and Gonzaga and a flyer on UNC and you’ve dollar-cost averaged to odds of nearly 15/1 – even eliminating Carolina at 33/1, you are still in the 10/1 overall range – a much better value averaged down to 2/1 than an “even money” field wager.
Sorry if that is math-nerdy, but unless you really think Michigan State, Louisville or Oklahoma can win the whole darn thing, it’s a better value play.
Let’s get to some value in tonight’s NIT games.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Hurricanes at Richmond Spiders -2
Two of the teams that had some legitimate NCAA inclusion arguments are still alive and fighting for a chance to get to Madison Square Garden in the NIT quarterfinals. Miami has been hot, winning five of their last six games after taking a tough hard-fought loss to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. If they win that game, they are likely Dancing for real.
Meanwhile, Richmond finished strong as well, now winning eight of nine games. Of course, all teams will be on a decent streak by the third round of a tournament by the very definition of “survive and advance” but both of these teams have played well beyond just the NIT.
Miami is the better team physically, but the Spiders are at home where they have covered five of their last six games. Especially this time of the year, I tend to lean home team in tournaments like this unless one team is WAY better (and Miami is not, despite their higher ceiling they displayed in the Duke game). Richmond is 8-2 ATS in their last ten games overall. I think they narrowly win and cover tonight against a tough Miami squad.