When putting together a bracket and making your picks during March Madness, it can be easy to simply pick the higher seed without giving it too much thought. While seeing a #5 go against a #12 might seem like an obvious play, the fact is that these games tend to be closer than many people expect. You need only look at the odds to get an idea of what the bookies think, and in the case of this opening round matchup between a #5 and a #12, the bookies have it as a close one, putting the Saint Mary’s Gaels in as a modest 3-point favorite. I’m not sure about you guys, but these are the types of games I tend to watch once the odds are released. The bookies also seem to think that this one will be a low-scoring affair, as they have the point total set at 126 ½. That said, let’s take a look at both teams and how they arrive in this Indiana vs Saint Mary’s matchup so you can bet against their March Madness Odds.
March Madness First Round Betting Preview for Indiana Hoosiers vs Saint Mary’s Gaels
#12 Indiana versus #5 Saint Mary’s Match Info
- When: Thursday, March 17 at 7:20 PM EST
- Where: Moda Center, Portland
- TV: TBS
Why bet on the Indiana Hoosiers
There is a certain level of pressure that every team faces heading into the tournament, but the advantage that the Indiana Hoosiers have here is that they have already tasted that pressure. They were forced into the First Four to face Wyoming, coming away with the 66-58 win. While it is a longer path to take, there is something to be said for going into a pressure-packed situation and coming away with the win That might well be enough to make the Hoosiers a dangerous proposition in this game. There is a lot to like about them against the spread, starting with the fact that they have covered in each of their last 5 and are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games versus teams with a win percentage over .600. In terms of the point total, the UNDER has hit in 5 of the last 7 games that Indiana has played in a neutral venue.
Why bet on the Saint Mary’s Gaels
Saint Mary’s had themselves a very decent season, more than earning their #5 seed in the tournament. That said, they are going to need to shake off the memory of their blowout loss to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Championship Game. One thing that bettors are sure to like is that the St. Mary’s Gaels are an impressive 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games immediately following a straight-up loss. That is not the most convincing stat on their resume, though, as they have also covered the spread in 10 of their last 11 games played on a Thursday. Where things get dicey is that they are just 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games. While the Gaels have seen the OVER hit in their last 5 games after a loss, the UNDER has hit in 7 of their last 8 tournament games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is one of those games that is something of a coin flip across the board, as there are very good arguments to be made for both teams. I am taking Saint Mary’s to win in a close one, and I might even be willing to risk a few bucks on the Hoosiers covering.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Indiana Hoosiers 57 Saint Mary’s Gaels 59
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