Staff Best Bets: Free NCAA Tournament Expert Picks For Today (3/17/23)
Our ScoresAndOdds experts offer a variety of free picks for today’s NCAAB games! Today’s Staff Best Bets are presented by DFS Accounting! Hit them up for all of your sports betting tax needs!
What an exciting opening round of the men’s basketball tournament! If Friday is half as exciting as yesterday, we’re in for a real treat this weekend.
Our ScoresAndOdds staff is a whopping 349-312 (+16.97u) overall in NCAAB picks this season.
Let’s cut to the chase and check out some free analysis for today.
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Free Expert Best Bets For Friday
Creighton Bluejays -5.5
- Current Odds: -105 on FanDuel
Creighton was one of my favorite teams prior to the season, but they’ve had a really up-and-down year. However, this is just a great matchup for them. Terq Smith has shot the Pack out of games constantly down the stretch, and he’s going to have to hit jumpers and floaters here with Kalkbrenner protecting the paint in the drop coverage, while taking away DJ Burns in the post with his length and rim protection. They take away the 3-point line (ninth-fewest 3-point attempts allowed) and force you into the midrange, which Smith and Jarkel Joiner certainly have the ability to take advantage of, but they lack the consistency (especially Smith) and take a TON of tough shots.
Meanwhile, NC St.’s defense is totally exploitable, especially if playing Burns, who is totally immobile and offers no rim protection. Honestly not sure how NC St. is a tourney team, especially one that avoided the first four, given that they haven’t beaten anyone other than January wins over Miami and Duke. – Erik Beimfohr
Kansas State vs. Montana State Over 139.5
- Current Odds: -110 on PointsBet
I think this one has the potential to go way over the total. Not only do you have two pretty good offenses, both of these teams foul on defense and like to get to the free throw line on offense. This game could also be sped up a bit with Kansas playing at a pretty fast tempo. The guards for both sides are extremely talented in RaeQuan Battle for Montana State and Markquis Nowell for K-State. This should be a fun one in Greensboro. – Micah Bedard
Memphis Tigers Moneyline
- Current Odds: -130 on WynnBet
This FAU team is certainly good, but I have my doubts as to them being a top 20 team in the nation. On the other hand, I think people are under-appreciating this Memphis squad that is playing some incredible basketball right now. They’ve gone from around 40th in the nation to 19th according to KenPom, and have beaten teams like Auburn and Texas A&M handily. They are big, athletic, and are going to cause some major issues for this FAU team with their size. Not to mention a stud PG in Kendric Davis, an elite interior scorer in DeAndre Williams and the ability to turn you over and create extra possessions. – Jon Schiller
Grand Canyon vs. Gonzaga Over 153 Points
- Current Odds: -110 on Caesars
It’s never fun picking on Gonzaga, so let’s take a look at the over. We know the Zags can score on anyone. We don’t really need to get into that. As for GCU, despite playing fairly slow, they should be playing from behind – meaning the Zags should force a faster pace. When targeting overs, I like fast teams that are favored by a decent margin – and we have that here. However, Gonzaga’s defense isn’t elite, yielding the country’s 246th-best eFG%, while ranking well outside the top 200 in both two and three-point percentages.
GCU loves to launch 3’s, ranking in top-100 in 3-point attempt percentage (via KenPom), while shooting them at the 23rd-best percentage in the country. Sometimes shots just don’t fall, I understand that. But a sharp-shooting underdog who is likely forced to play faster is a good combination. GCU also likes to get handsy and foul at a decent rate. The Zags don’t actually score a ton from the line, but that is more opportunity for points to be on the board in literally the only way they usually don’t post them. After watching Princeton knock off Zona yesterday, I’m also (very lightly, responsibly) sprinkling the money line. – Justin Carlucci
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