March Madness Picks
Date/Time: Thursday March 21, 4:10 pm EST
College Basketball Odds from Bookmaker
Point Spread: Gonzaga -21.5
Basketball Betting Game Trends
- Southern is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- Southern is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Gonzaga is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Gonzaga is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Gonzaga is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record
- Gonzaga is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win
- Gonzaga is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- Gonzaga is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games
- Under is 8-0 in Gonzaga’s last 8 games following a ATS win
- Under is 5-1 in Gonzaga’s last 6 Thursday games
- Under is 5-1 in Gonzaga’s last 6 neutral site games
The top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (31-2 straight-up, 17-12-2 against the spread) are looking to complete a dream season by advancing to the first Final Four in school history followed by winning the national championship. But there is plenty of work to do before then for the Bulldogs, who will have targets on their backs throughout the NCAA Tournament because of their top seeding in the West Region and status as a mid-major college basketball program.
Gonzaga will begin its quest against the 16th-seeded Southern University Jaguars (23-9 SU, 5-1 ATS) in second-round action on Thursday at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The West Coast Conference Champions opened as 22-point favorites vs. Southern, a team that finished second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference yet earned the top seed and had to beat two opponents with a combined record of 26-39 to get into the Big Dance as automatic qualifiers. Texas Southern was the top team in the SWAC during the regular season with a 16-2 mark but finished 17-14 overall and was ineligible for the conference tournament due to a one-year ban from postseason play.
The Jaguars edged a 19-loss Prairie View A&M team 45-44 in the SWAC tourney title game behind a team-high 13 points from senior guard Derick Beltran, Southern’s lone player to score in double figures. Yes, the same Prairie View that once lost 80 straight football games between 1989 and 1998. Beltran is the team’s leading scorer with 15.9 points per game followed by fellow guard Malcolm Miller with 15.8 ppg. The Jaguars also have senior center Madut Bol, the son of former NBA player Manute Bol. However, the 6-foot-9, 200-pound Bol is merely a role player, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game.
The Bulldogs should have no problems overpowering Southern thanks to junior center Kelly Olynyk, who won WCC Player of the Year honors after averaging 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The 7-foot native of Canada is coming off a redshirt year and averaged 4.8 ppg combined over his first two years at the school. He scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 65-51 win over St. Mary’s in the WCC tournament championship game on March 11.
Gonzaga has won 14 in a row overall since falling 64-63 at Butler on January 19. Surprisingly, the Bulldogs have covered the spread in consecutive games just once during their winning streak. Coach Mark Few’s crew only suffered one other setback this season against Illinois, 85-74 back on December 8, 2012. But the UNDER is also a remarkable 14-1-1 in the team’s last 16 games.
Look for another low-scoring game here with Gonzaga getting the easy win and the total going UNDER again as well…
Pick: Gonzaga 73, Southern 48
"Vegas" Matty Simo is the owner of Content Champs Consulting, offering clients over 20 years experience with winning content development & online marketing solutions and specializing in sportswriting. Matty began writing about sports gambling in 1996 with Computer Sports World, which later became DBC Sports and Vegas Insider. He was named Senior Editor of DBC Sports in 1997 and worked alongside legendary oddsmaker Michael “Roxy” Roxborough on a nationally syndicated column called Sports Book Insider. He later founded Content Champs to continue his passion for sports, betting and writing.