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College Basketball Gambling Primer: Feb. 25, We're So Close To March

YTD: 108-112-5 (finally, finally a great day Saturday. Need to follow that up to get ready for March)

Picks

TCU +3

Xavier -7

Georgia Tech -2.5

Oklahoma +2.5

Ohio PK

Note: It's kind of crazy that we're this close to March. Honestly feels like we got here out of nowhere. Most teams have about 4 games left in the regular season before we get to conference tournament. It also means we're about at the time of the year where that are even more spot plays for teams that are on the bubble, seeds, etc. Giddy up. 

TCU at Iowa State (-3/134.5) 

I know this game is at Hilton, which typically is a blind take Iowa State. But, uh, this isn't typical Iowa State - not with Tyrese Haliburton done for the year. Yeah, I know they beat Texas without him, but they also lost by 30 at home to Texas Tech. TCU is actually a top-50 team in the country at forcing turnovers. I think that's the difference in the game here without Haliburton to be a lead guard. Just force pressure and let Desmond Bane be the best player on the floor. We'll take the points. 

Pick: TCU +3

DePaul at Xavier (-7/137) 

Xavier was completely lifeless against Villanova, but we're gonna go ahead and chalk that up to Xavier playing Nova. DePaul seems to have quit on Dave Letiao. I don't even care that they just beat Georgetown, this doesn't look remotely close to the same team from the nonconference. Xavier needs this win to stay on the right side of the bubble. In the game in Chicago they shot fairly similar to each other but X can just outrebound DePaul and create extra free points. Going to play the spot here that X desperately needs this win for NCAA Tournament reasons. 

Pick: Xavier -7

Clemson at Georgia Tech (-2.5/127.5) 

This actually is a game that's a good matchup for Georgia Tech and they get them in their weird arena where I swear it's always half full but loud as hell. The reason why? Clemson wants to beat you from the 3pt line. They are 15th in the country in 3PA/FGA and then attack the rim based on that. Georgia Tech is actually great defensively at taking you off the 3pt line. So if the threat to shoot is lacking, it then clogs up the ability to attack the lane. 

Pick: Georgia Tech -2.5

Texas Tech vs Oklahoma (in OKC...+2.5/138) 

This game is being played where the Thunder play. Honestly, I hate that decision if I'm an OU guy. I want as much of a homecourt advantage as possible, especially this late in the season. Play this game in like January, but that's just me. Texas Tech's defense is predicated on splitting the floor in half, forcing you baseline and attacking there. Oklahoma actually can beat that with their unique mismatches in guys like Christian Doolittle and Brady Manek. They can run some pick and pops to help create space. Throw in that Oklahoma's defense is actually respectable and Tech can get stagnant on offense I'll take the 'home' team. 

Pick: Oklahoma +2.5

Buffalo at Ohio (PK/151.5) 

Let's get a little MACtion in honor of Tuesday's here. I actually really like Jason Preston - the lead guard for Ohio, who is one of the best passers in the country. But the main reason I want to take OU here - Buffalo wants to attack the offensive glass. They are the 10th best offensive rebounding team in the country. Ohio meanwhile is a top-70 defensive rebounding team. Ohio is the best defensive rebounding team in the conference and that can give Buffalo fits. 

Pick: Ohio PK