Midwest Regional Madness: Top Three Round One Games and Potential Upsets

The Midwest region is absolute dynamite this year, and with such a topsy turvy season all around the college basketball world, crazy amounts of upsets seem nigh. Here are my top three potential upsets in the first round of play in the Midwest region.

No. 4 St. Louis (27-6) vs. No. 13 New Mexico State (24-10), March 21, 2:10 p.m., TNT

The St. Louis BIllikens may not be the most offensively explosive team in the country, but they downright get it done on the defensive end of the floor. However, they could be in serious trouble if their shooting goes c old against the New Mexico State Aggies, who average almost five more rebounds per game than the Billikens. Indeed, St. Louis lives and dies by the three-pointer, and if they’re not falling they could be in trouble. Either way, the Aggies are nine point underdogs here; I absolutely love them to cover.

Here are some other betting trends for both teams heading into the game, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

New Mexico State Aggies Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
After playing Texas-Arlington are 4-2
After a win are 8-2

Saint Louis Billikens Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
After playing Virginia Commonwealth are 1-1
After a win are 9-1

A few Aggies at Billikens trends to consider:
Saint Louis is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Saint Louis’s last 5 games

No. 5 Oklahoma State (24-8) vs. No. 12 Oregon (26-8), March 21, 4:40 p.m., TNT

The Ducks are three point underdogs in this one, but most computer models have them losing by a point, if not winning outright. They won the Pac-12, and are completely underrated right now. There is perhaps no team more vulnerable in the entire first round than the Cowboys; take the Ducks to cover their three point spread, at least.

Here are some other betting trends for both squads, per OddsShark.com:

Oregon Ducks Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
After playing UCLA are 5-5
After a win are 7-3

Oklahoma State Cowboys Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
After playing Kansas State are 6-4
After a loss are 8-2

A few Ducks at Cowboys trends to consider:
Oklahoma State is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma State’s last 5 games
Oklahoma State is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games

No. 7 Creighton (27-7) vs. No. 10 Cincinnati (22-11), March 22, 2:45 p.m., CBS

This game has upset special written all over it. The Creighton Blue Jays are three-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bearcats right now, and I absolutely love Cincinnati at that value. They’re one of the stoutest defensive teams in the country, averaging 40 rebounds per game, good for the eighth-overall m ark in the country. The Creighton Blue Jays, on the other hand, are a dynamic offensive team, led by superstar scorer Doug McDermott. They’re first in Division I basketball in field goal percentage, making almost 51 percent of their attempts from the floor, and they’re also fifth-overall in assists (in other words, it isn’t just McDermott that’s creating his buckets for himself).

However, they’re pretty dismal defensively and on the glass. This one should truly be a clash in styles, and while the up-tempo offense frequently wins the day, the Bearcats have had a tougher schedule and should be prepared to physically handle a Creighton team that hasn’t played anyone as tough as them. I’m taking the Bearcats to cover the spread and win outright.

Here are some other betting trends for both teams, per OddsShark.com:

Cincinnati Bearcats Trends:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
After playing Georgetown are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

Creighton Bluejays Trends:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
After playing Wichita State are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

A few Bearcats at Bluejays trends to consider:
Creighton is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Creighton is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Creighton’s last 12 games
Creighton is 5-11-1 ATS in its last 17 games

 

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