Iowa vs. Auburn will be a high-score affair, plus more best bets on March Madness for Thursday night

It’s one of the best days of the year for a sports fan. The NCAA tournament has started. You’re probably pretending to work while watching it. Don’t feel bad; we all do it.

So I won’t waste your time here because I know you’re busy and just here to get some tips. Don’t worry. I have three picks for today’s tournament play, but since I’m doing you a favor, would you mind making one for me? Before you look for tonight’s tips, read these stories.

And now tournament time.

All Eastern times and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The hot ticket

No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Auburn, 18:50 | TV: TNT

  • key trend: The over is 5-1 in Auburn’s last six games and 16-7 in Iowa’s last 23.
  • The Choice: Over 151.5 (-110)

Since the release of the brackets, there’s been a lot of talk about how Texas A&M was screwed. It was a No. 7 seed when just about every bracketlogist pinned him as a No. 5 or No. 6 after ending the season with 10 wins in their last 12 games. While I understood the outrage, I couldn’t pity the Aggies too much. They have lost to Murray State and Wofford (Nos. 227 and 232 in KenPom, respectively) this season. But most importantly, the Aggies weren’t even the team that got screwed the most!

See where this game we’re picking is playing tonight? It’s in Birmingham, Ala. So, #8 Iowa has to play a “neutral side” game against #9 Auburn, just 100 miles down the road from Auburn. Worse, if Auburn wins, it will likely face No. 1 Houston on Saturday in Birmingham. What Iowa and Houston are dealing with is far worse than being a No. 7 instead of a No. 6.

But anyway, I should pick this game. Iowa loves to move fast and take a lot of punches. The philosophy is, “We may not be great shooters, but if we take enough shots, enough of them will go in. Auburn, which also moves pretty fast but is a better defensive team, doesn’t shoot as well but what it does is.” , frequently getting to the free-throw line and smashing the glass at the offensive end.

Well, Iowa has done a great job all year not fouling opponents (not defending part of the thing), but they don’t face many teams that play like Auburn does in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes might be forced to defend themselves in ways they aren’t comfortable with tonight and I think the end result of it all is that we get a lot of points affair.

This is what SportsLine says about the game: The projection model doesn’t see much value here overall, but it does see quite a bit to one side of the range.

💰 More March Madness picks


No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Colgate, 19:25 | Television: TBS
The Pick: Colgate +13.5 (-110) —
Colgate is a trendy disgruntled choice for a reason. If you’re looking for a double-digit seedling that can beat a top team, look for high variance teams. It’s Colgate because the Raiders can shoot. Colgate has shot 40.9% from three this season, the best brand in the country. They also shoot 57.1% of two, which ranks seventh. What is strange, however, is that they only shoot from the free-throw line 65.9% of the time.

Of course, they also play in the Patriot League, which isn’t quite as strict as the Big 12, where Texas plays. I have serious doubts that Colgate can handle Texas athletics, although size won’t be an issue as Colgate is actually taller than the Longhorns. What I trust is that Colgate can fire enough shots that Texas can never go too far away. I don’t think we will see the excitement, but we will see that Texas has to work for it.

No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Penn State, 21:55 | Television: TBS
The Choice: Over 135 (-110) —
Given what I wrote about Texas A&M in the letter above, Aggies fans probably thought I would choose Texas to cover and Penn State to win outright. Sorry to disappoint you! I really have no idea who’s going to win this game tonight.

Penn State ran to the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game before eventually falling to Purdue, but often those kinds of runs take it out of a team before the tournament begins. On the other hand, the teams all screaming were screwed by the bracket often agree with the pundits by getting eliminated early. So we’re going to focus on total here because it feels low.

Penn State is a slow offense, but they’re incredibly efficient. Coach Micah Shrewsberry’s name comes up on jobs like Georgetown because he’s a very good coach, especially in the game. Meanwhile, the Aggies aren’t great offensively, but they do a great job of putting pressure on opposing defenses and getting to the free-throw line. I don’t think Penn State is athletic enough to stop them from getting there, nor do I think the Aggies are good enough to defend the perimeter to prevent the Nittany Lions from getting candid looks from get three.

🔒 SportsLine Picks of the Day: The Projection Model’s favorite tournament game of the night is also the game between Texas A&M and Penn State, but it’s not a totals game.

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