March Madness Picks
Date/Time: Thursday March 21, 1:40 pm EST
College Basketball Odds from Bookmaker
Point Spread: Pittsburgh -4.5
Basketball Betting Game Trends
Wichita State Shockers
- Wichita State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss
- Wichita State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Wichita State is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games
- Under is 6-0 in Wichita State’s last 6 Thursday games
- Over is 4-0 in Wichita State’s last 4 games following a S.U. loss
- Over is 4-1 in Wichita State’s last 5 games following a ATS loss
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss
- Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss
- Under is 4-0 in Pittsburgh’s last 4 games following a S.U. loss
- Over is 4-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 5 NCAA Tournament games
The eighth-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers (24-8 straight-up, 12-13 against the spread) meet the ninth-seeded Wichita State Shockers (24-8 SU, 15-14-2 ATS) on Thursday in second-round West Regional action of the NCAA Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is arguably the most intriguing of the matchups between No. 8 and 9 seeds, with the latter holding a slight 58-54 edge SU all-time. The bad news is the winner must face top-ranked Gonzaga, but the good news is the Bulldogs are the weakest of the No. 1 seeds in the tourney field.
The Panthers are coming off a 62-59 loss to Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the Big East Conference Tournament last Thursday, falling behind 40-27 at halftime and seeing their late rally fall just short. Pitt finished fourth in the Big East during the regular season at 12-6, ahead of both the Orange and Notre Dame. Prior to their most recent loss at Madison Square Garden, the Panthers won four straight and seven of nine, with the two losses during that stretch coming against Marquette and the Fighting Irish.
Pitt is a very balanced offensive team with 10 players averaging at least 4.2 points in a minimum of nearly 12 minutes per game. Guards Tray Woodall, Lamar Patterson and James Robinson are the only ones who average more than 26 minutes of playing time, and they total an average of almost 28 points per game between them.
Wichita State had an identical league mark at 12-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, finishing one game behind Creighton for the regular-season title and losing to the Blue Jays 68-65 in the tournament title game. The Shockers were 7-6 down the stretch after getting off to a 19-2 start, including a three-game losing streak and 2-3 finish within that period. This team lost four starters from last year’s 27-win squad that was upset by VCU in the second round as a No. 5 seed.
Senior guard Demetric Williams is the only returning starter for Wichita, and he struggled vs. Creighton in the MWC tourney title game and in the team’s last NCAA Tournament appearance. Williams failed to score in either game and missed all seven shots he took from the field, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range. Malcolm Armstead was the star in the MWC championship, scoring a game-high 28 points.
The Panthers are a much hungrier team in this spot after failing to make it to the Big Dance last year and winning the CBI Championship Series instead. They will cherish this opportunity to make some noise in the NCAA Tournament and use their veteran leadership to beat Wichita State here and advance…
Pick: Pittsburgh 65, Wichita State 55
"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.