March Madness Previews, Picks, and Predictions for Wednesday, March 16

March Madness Previews, Picks, and Predictions for Wednesday, March 16
© USA Today

We break down the March Madness First Four round and give you betting advice on tonight’s games.

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(16) Bryant vs. (16) Wright State

  • First Four Game 3
  • University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
  • 6:40 p.m. ET

Bryant University takes on Wright State as the No. 16-seed play-in game, with the winner getting a date against No. 1 seed Arizona.

This is a matchup of teams with little or no NCAA Tournament experience and achieving this level of play will make their respective programs better in seasons to come.

Wright State went 21-13 straight and 16-13-1 against the spread and will be making its fourth NCAA appearance.

The Raiders are winless in three previous trips, with the latest being a 73-47 first-round straight-up loss and against the spread to Tennessee as a No. 14 seed in 2018.

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This is the first tournament appearance for Bryant. The only other time the program has been in a national tournament was in 2008, when it was a Division II program.

The Bulldogs are led by Peter Kiss, who led the nation in scoring at 25.1 points per game. The team led the Horizon League by averaging 77.9 points.

Show Us the Trends and Angles

The current situational trends and angles help any sports bettor identify a potential best bet.

Wright State is 0-9 against the spread when facing solid defensive teams that allow 42% or lower opponent shooting this season.

Bryant is 12-3 ATS when facing solid ball-handling teams averaging 14 or fewer turnovers per game, after the 15th game in the current season. It is 12-3 ATS after playing two consecutive conference games priced as the favorite.

Bryant coach Jared Grasso is 13-4-1 ATS away from home and coming off a home win (installed as the home team on a neutral court included).

This matchup points toward a bet on Bryant.

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(11) Notre Dame vs. (11) Rutgers

  • First Four Game 4
  • University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
  • 9:10 p.m. ET

Notre Dame and Rutgers will face off in the last “Play-In” game played before the March Madness insanity begins on Thursday.

Rutgers won two of their last three games. After winning five consecutive games from Feb. 2-16, the Irish went just 3-3 straight-up, but a decent 4-2 against the spread including a 5-0-1 Over-Under record.

How is the Betting Market Pricing This Game?

The market opened pricing Rutgers as a 1-point favorite. Despite having 56% of the bets placed on Rutgers, the bigger money has been on Notre Dame and the result has shifted to making Notre Dame a 1-point favorite. The sharp money is on Notre Dame.

The Total opened at 131.5 points and the Over wager has seen the big money bets. The current total is at 132 points and 52% of tickets placed are on the Under, but 63% of the money bet is on the Over. So, this type of betting market situation points us to following the money and the Over.

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The Matchup: Big-10 vs. ACC

This pair of former Big East Conference rivals earned two of the last four at-large bids. The winner will earn a No. 11 seed and play sixth-seeded Alabama on Friday.

Looking ahead, Alabama will send either of these teams packing. The Tide will be favored by six-seven points over Rutgers and 4.5 to 5.5 over Notre Dame. The Tide played the toughest schedule in the nation.

The Big-12 was head and shoulders the best conference among the 32. The ACC had a significant regression this season and ranks sixth-best behind the Big-12, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, and the PAC-12.

Notre Dame's strength of schedule ranked 73. Rutgers’ ranked 58.

The Trends and Angles are Revealing

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is a money-burning 10-28 against the spread when playing in a neutral court setting and in a game with total between 130 and 139.5 points. He is 4-15 against the spread in a neutral court setting and with a total between 130 and 135.

Notre Dame is on an 0-7 against the spread losing streak when playing on a neutral court spanning the last two seasons. Rutgers is a solid 12-3-1 against the spread when taking on an opponent that is outscoring their opponents by four or more-points per game this season.

I am going to the window with a 3% (3,4,5% MAX bet) on Rutgers.

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