Buffalo Bulls vs. Arizona Wildcats: Odds, Analysis, March Madness Betting Pick

Buffalo Bulls vs. Arizona Wildcats: Odds, Analysis, March Madness Betting Pick

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Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

The Arizona Wildcats are a No. 4 seed for the NCAA tournament but probably deserved better. Then again, they might enjoy playing a bit under the radar.

Is Arizona underrated as a single-digit favorite for Thursday night’s opener against Buffalo in Boise, Idaho?

          

March Madness point spread: The Wildcats opened as eight-point favorites; the total is at 157.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

March Madness betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 78.5-71.1, Wildcats (March Madness picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news. As well, download your printable March Madness bracket at OddsShark.

              

Why Buffalo can cover the spread

The Bulls started 7-5 this season, with each of the five losses coming against teams that eventually made the NCAA tournament (Cincinnati, South Dakota State, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse and Texas A&M).

Buffalo then won nine games in a row and later finished with three straight victories to clinch the MAC East at 15-3. The Bulls then won three games in three days, all by double digits, to win the MAC tournament and make the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last four seasons.

The Bulls are also 5-1 ATS over their last six games and 3-1 ATS this season as underdogs. They easily covered at plus-16 against the Bearcats, who are a No. 2 seed for this NCAA tournament, and at plus-10 against the Orange.

Also, while results from past tournaments aren’t the greatest indicators of future events, Buffalo has given quality opponents good games in its two most recent NCAA tournament appearances. Three years ago, the Bulls lost to No. 5-seeded West Virginia 68-62 and fell to No. 3-seeded Miami 79-72 in 2016.

Why Arizona can cover the spread

The Wildcats only started 3-3 this season, losing three in a row to North Carolina State, SMU and Purdue in November. But they then won 16 of their next 17 games, knocking off the likes of Texas A&M, Alabama and Arizona State along the way.

Arizona then hit a bit of turbulence on and off the court, but it finished with consecutive victories to win the Pac-12 regular-season title at 14-4. The Wildcats then won three games in three days to win the Pac-12 tournament, sealing it with a 75-61 victory over USC.

So Arizona appears to have set its issues aside, at least for the moment, going 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS over its last nine games.

The Wildcats probably have the best player in the nation right now in forward DeAndre Ayton, who just popped off for 64 points and 32 rebounds in those last two games of the Pac-12 tournament. And from here on out, he’ll probably play like every game will be his last as a collegian.

              

Smart betting pick

Buffalo can score from deep, but Arizona will dominate inside. And the Wildcats are shooting 76 percent from the free-throw line, which comes in handy when trying to cover spreads down the stretch. Smart money here plays Arizona.

               

March Madness betting trends

The total has gone under in eight of Arizona’s last 10 games.

Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last five games after an ATS win.

Buffalo is 9-2 SU and 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games in March.

All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

March 14, 2018 at 08:49AM

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