Bryan Power Bryan Power
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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 24, 2019
Ohio State vs Houston
Ohio State
+6½ -115 at Bovada
Lost
$115.0
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Ohio State (8:40 ET): Ohio State rewarded my faith in them by pulling a minor upset in Round 1, 62-59 over Iowa State as five-point pups. That was my biggest play of the Round of 64 and I came away even more impressed w/ the Buckeyes than I was going in. They do need to feed big man Kaleb Wesson more and I suspect that will happen here. Though OSU needed to stave off a potential game-winner from the Cyclones, they led virtually the whole way and only trailed briefly in the second half. Few will give the Buckeyes a chance here, but I'm taking the points. 

Houston is the second round opponent for Ohio State. The regular season champs from the American Conference looked very impressive in Round 1, beating Georgia State by 29 as 12.5-point chalk. It was the third time in the last four games that the Cougars, a very good defensive team, held their opponent to 30.0% shooting or worse. But the competition hasn't been that strong as the other two times came against Memphis and UConn. UH did lose the American Tournament Final to Cincinnati, a team Ohio State has beaten this year. I get the Cougars have been beaten all of three times this season, but they're laying too many points. 

I said this in the writeup for Ohio State in the last round, but the return of Wesson makes all the difference in the world w/ this team. A three-game losing streak at the end of the regular season coincided w/ Wesson being suspended, but he led the way w/ 21 points against Iowa State. The team is 3-0 ATS since he returned to the lineup, losing only once and that was to Michigan State in the Big 10 Tournament, by only seven points. Ohio State is undervalued right now, bottom line. The Big 10 is playing too well as a whole not to grab this many points. 8* Ohio State 

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 24, 2019
UCF vs Duke
UCF
+13½ -110 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Central Florida (5:15 ET): The expectation is for top seed Duke to roll here. But we'll take advantage of that and grab an inflated number w/ a UCF team that really surprised me in dominating a good VCU team 48 hours ago. Yes, VCU's leading scorer was hampered with an injury. But the Golden Knights building up a lead as big as 21 points is still impressive. They're getting double digits here, because after all "Duke is Duke," but given the Blue Devils' slow start vs. North Dakota State, I wouldn't be rushing to the betting window to lay the points here. In fact, I'll do just the opposite. 

Duke did get off to a slow start in Round 1. They trailed 16-seed North Dakota State (Carson Wentz's alma mater) early and were up only four at the break. Eventually, they did win rather easily, 85-62, but failed to cover the lofty 27.5-point spread. Coming into this year's NCAA Tournament as the prohibitive betting favorite (best odds to cut down the nets since 2015 Kentucky), the Blue Devils are definitely overvalued. They've covered only 3 of their last 12 games. UCF's defense can and is likely to keep them within the generous spread here. 

The Knights give up just 64.1 PPG on the year w/ opponents shooting 39.2%. They held VCU to 31.1% shooting. UCF did turn in a poor effort in the regular season finale vs. Temple (lost 67-62) and then ran into the host team in the American Tourney, Memphis, and lost badly. But other than those two games, the Golden Knights have covered every game dating back to February 10th. That's a 9-2 ATS run entering Sunday. They're 8-3 SU in that same stretch w/ two of the losses coming by five points. They've suffered only one loss by double digits all season and that was in the conference tournament at Memphis. UCF has the tallest player in the country on its roster (the 7'6" Tacko Fall), so look out Zion Williamson! Also, their HC (Johnny Dawkins) is a former Coach K assistant, so his former boss isn't going to look to embarrass him. 8* Central Florida

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 24, 2019
Buffalo vs Texas Tech
Buffalo
+4 -109 at GTBets
Lost
$109.0
Play Type: Top Premium

10* Buffalo (6:10 ET): We're looking at a tournament almost bereft of major upsets. Entering play on Sunday, there's still a chance that every team seeded 3rd or higher could advance to the Sweet 16. That simply doesn't happen very often. Here, we have one of the few teams seeded 3rd or higher yet to make its way onto the Sweet 16, that being Texas Tech. The Red Raiders didn't have much problem w/ Northern Kentucky on Friday, winning 72-57 as 13-point chalk. They do own the nation's top defensive efficiency rating (per KenPom), but will be severely tested here by a Buffalo team that just put up 91 points in Round 1 and averages 85.1 PPG. Take the points. 

Buffalo, the two-time reigning MAC Champs, are in the second round of the Tournament for a second straight year. Last year, they came in as a relative unknown and pulled an upset of Arizona as a 13-seed before running into Kentucky. This year, things are much different. They were the favorite in Round 1 and played like it, completely dominating Arizona State. They're a dog in Round 2 yet again, but this time only as a 6-seed and w/ a real legit shot of advancing to the school's first ever Sweet 16. Tip your cap to the job done here by HC Nate Oats, whose team is 32-3 SU this season. That's tied w/ Houston for the best win percentage (.914) in all of D-I. 

Normally, I would side w/ a team that has the defensive efficiency Texas Tech does. But Buffalo is not often an underdog and is a legit Top 20 team in the country. This will be just the fourth time the Bulls have gotten points all season. They have scored 82 or more points in six consecutive games and were 5th in the regular season in points per game. This is also a veteran team. Their 1st round effort vs. Arizona State was as impressive as any turned in during the Round of 64. 10* Buffalo

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 24, 2019
Iowa vs Tennessee
Iowa
+8½ -110 at YouWager
Won
$100
Play Type: Top Premium

8* Iowa (12:10 ET): The Big 10 has performed so admirably in this Tournament that how can you NOT consider Iowa plus the points here? The conference has only lost (straight up) twice so far and one of those was because Minnesota and Michigan State played one another (Wisconsin was the other). The Hawkeyes really impressed me in coming back from an early hole to defeat Cincinnati 79-72 as 4-pt dogs in the 1st Round. They were down 18-5 early, but from that point on, it was all Hawkeyes. In the second round, they'll be facing a Tennessee team that is NOT as strong as Cincinnati was defensively. I expect Iowa to score in this game and that makes taking the points the way to go. Also the game is in Columbus, a venue they regularly visit as Big 10 rivals of Ohio State. 

Tennessee did not cover its 1st round game vs. Colgate. The Vols won 77-70 as 17.5-pt chalk as they were outscored in the 2nd half. With 14 minutes remaining, the game was actually tied as Tennessee could not protect a 14-point lead. Like I said earlier, I expect Iowa to have plenty of success offensively in this game. They shoot 36.6% from three-point range and average 78.3 PPG overall. Even though it was season-high (15) three pointers allowed by Tennessee against Colgate, defending the three-point line has been an issue all year for the Vols. They let opponents shoot 38.7% from behind the arc outside of Knoxville for the year. If Colgate was able to have that kind of success, just imagine what the Hawkeyes can do. 

I'm not sure why Iowa isn't being given the respect it deserves here. Maybe it's their poor defensive efficiency rating, which normally would scare me off. But UT is no "great shakes" either defensively as they allow 77.8 PPG away from home and that's a big reason why I've never totally "bought in" on their success this season. Though still only 2-9 ATS the L11 games, Iowa is 5-1 SU/ATS at neutral sites in 2018-19 and rarely is getting this many points. 8* Iowa

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