The First Four begins tonight. Here are your picks for the next two nights of action.
LIU Brooklyn vs Radford (-5)
The first No. 16 seed play-in game is here!
Ken Pom says: Radford 72-67
Joes vs. Pros: It looks like the sharps are on Radford in this one. The line opened Radford -4 and has now shot up to 5/5.5 with the public currently split at 50%/50%.
ATS Pick: Radford -5
The Sharps and I are both on Radford! They have a stud point guard in Carlick Jones, who hit the buzzer beater for them in the conference championship game. Radford plays a pressing style defense, and has the 14th best scoring defense, giving up only 64.4 ppg.
St. Bonaventure vs UCLA (-3)
538 Win Prob: UCLA 54%
Ken Pom says: UCLA 80-78
Joes vs. Pros: The public is on UCLA at a 68% clip, and the pros are split on this game. Some did take the Bonnies early, moving the line from +3.5 to +3. The Bonnies are playing on an A-10 court, so they are familiar with the rims. UCLA is also traveling cross-country.
ATS Pick: UCLA -3
I know this is a public bet, but I am going with my own eye test. UCLA has been there before, has an experienced coach, and UCLA’s Aaron Holiday is a flat out stud. UCLA’s size in Thomas Welsh (7′) , GG Goloman (6’11), and Kris Wilkes (6’8) and athleticism puts them over the top. The Bruins have too much firepower.
TEXAS SOUTHERN (-5) VS. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
538 Win Prob: TXSO 58%
Ken Pom says: TXSO 76-72
Joes vs. Pros: The public is pretty split on this, but the sharps took Texas Southern early. The line opened at -4, and is now -5 in most books.
ATS Pick: Texas Southern -5
TXSO comes into this game red-hot winners of seven straight. This is the Tigers fourth time in the tourney in the last five years. This is a team that already played Gonzaga, Washington State, Ohio State, Syracuse, Kansas, Clemson, Oregon, Baylor, TCU, and BYU this year! Granted they lost all of those games, but that shows me they are not scared to play tough non-conference games, and are battle-tested.
SYRACUSE VS. ARIZONA STATE (-1)
538 Win Prob: Syracuse 59%
Ken Pom says: ASU 71-70
Joes vs. Pros: This game has reverse line moment, or RLM as I like to call it. The public is on Syracuse, but the sharps are on Arizona State. The line started at Syracuse -1, but is now at Arizona State -1/ 1.5 in most books.
ATS Pick: Arizona State -1
Having to pick between these two teams upsets me, as USC should be in over both of these squads! That being said, I have to go with Arizona State. Arizona State has one of the best offenses in the country (17 AdjO), will limit their turnovers, and I love RLM.