TomBox Sports Betting Algorithm Picks For Tonight’s NCAA Tournament Action For Saturday 3/20/2021
After a wild, action-packed first day of the NCAA Tournament, you may be tired and need a quick rest. But everyone who has had a hangover knows that the best cure is to just keep drinking. But you know who isn’t tired? Our TomBox AI algorithm, which believes in Ws, not Zs.
Let’s get right into the best bets of the day:
Best Moneyline Picks
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos @ Creighton Bluejays: Creighton ML (-286)
The Gauchos may be a trendy 12/5 pick, but that doesn’t make it the right pick. You know what else used to be trendy? Rompers for men.
The TomBox algorithm gives Creighton a 74.9% chance to avoid the upset in the West Region by shooting a projected 48.6% from the field, committing 9.9 turnovers, and hitting 9.4 threes. Those are all better than the expected numbers from UCSB, and the Blue Jays are slated to come away with a 75.8-66.3 win.
Ohio Bobcats @ Virginia Cavaliers: Virginia ML (-295)
It hasn’t been smooth sailing lately for UVA, still the defending national champions. They barely scraped by Syracuse at the bubble in the ACC tournament and then had to withdraw against Georgia Tech after a COVID scare. But once the Cavaliers get on the court, they’re pretty tough to beat. Ohio’s 29th-ranked KenPom offense and high shooting percentage should keep them in the game. But the Bobcats’ defensive deficiencies will hold them back here.
The TomBox algorithm gives the Cavaliers a 74.1% chance of coming away with the win and the cover, with a projected 72.2-62.7 margin.
Best Spread Picks
VCU Rams @ Oregon Ducks: VCU +5.5 (-110)
Though Oregon has a 59.1% chance to win the moneyline, VCU is going to do just enough to hang in this game. They won’t have a higher shooting percentage or hit more three-pointers. But the Rams will have a very slight edge in rebounds and turnovers. And the TomBox algorithm expects this to give the Ducks a 67.8-65.2 win, enough for VCU to cover the spread. We’re giving the cover a 60.1% chance of happening.
Missouri Tigers @ Oklahoma Sooners: Missouri -0.5 (-110)
We sure love pick’em games when betting against the spread when we have an algorithm telling us that the Missouri Tigers have a 59% chance of winning outright in this 8/9 matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners. In this battle of old Big 12 rivals, we expect Mizzou to shoot 47.5% to Oklahoma’s 44.9%, win the rebounding battle by 2.8, and make 8.7 three-pointers to Oklahoma’s 8.1. That should be enough for the Tigers to eke out a 73.5-70.5 win and have the chance to get destroyed by Gonzaga on Monday.
Grand Canyon Antelopes @ Iowa Hawkeyes: Iowa -14.5 (+110)
Luka Garza and Iowa are expected to shoot the Antelopes out of their first-ever tournament appearance. The Hawkeyes are not only expected to shoot 52.5% from the field but hit 9.6 three-pointers on 47.1% shooting to GCU’s 4.3 threes. That differential alone will be enough for Iowa to cover the spread, which the TomBox algorithm gives it a 58% chance of doing. Your final expected score: 81.7-64.8 in favor of the West’s 2-seed.
Best Over/Under Picks
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos @ Creighton Bluejays: Over 138 (-112)
Neither team plays particularly quickly, both below 100 in KenPom tempo. But we expect each team to not only shoot well enough but also commit few turnovers. The aforementioned 75.8-66.3 scoreline puts the game over. UCSB has gone over in 10 of its 16 games, while Creighton has hit the over in 14 of 25. We give the over a 56.6% chance of happening here.
Iona Gaels @ Alabama Crimson Tide: Over 147.5 (+100)
Alabama has the 2nd-best adjusted defense in the nation but plays at the 9th-fastest tempo. If you’re a team like Rick Pitino’s Iona, you’re going to have to play at the Tides’ terms to have a chance here. The Gaels don’t have a chance to win here, but they’ll score enough to not make this game a blowout. The TomBox sports betting algorithm projects Alabama to win 82.7-68.7, enough to hit the over. We give this one a 57.8% chance of hitting the over.