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Kansas (+2.5) at Texas
The Kansas Jayhawks are getting hot at the right time, while Texas is going cold at the wrong time. The Jayhawks are winners of their last six-of-seven games and five straight, while Texas has lost five of the past eight games.
Over Texas' last eight games, four losses came to ranked opponents at the time, but five if you count Oklahoma, who is ranked now. Texas' last three wins have come against Kansas State twice (82-67, 80-77) and TCU (70-55). Not very impressive.
Texas is 2-8 ATS (20%) in the last 10 games but 5-5 SU (50%). Kansas is 5-0 ATS and SU (100%) the previous five games and 7-3 SU (70%) in the last 10. Kansas also has a few underwhelming victories in their last six wins, beating Iowa State twice (97-64, 64-50), Kansas State twice (74-51, 59-41), Oklahoma State (78-66) and Texas Tech (67-61).
Kansas is 13-2 SU (86.6%) in the last 15 games versus Texas dating back to 2013-14. In Austin, Texas, Kansas is 5-1 SU (83.3%) over the previous six trips. In this matchup, the road team is 12-2 ATS (85.7%) in the last 14 meetings. NBC Edge's top trend for Kansas is ATS. The Jayhawks are 21-10 ATS (67.7%) in its last 31 games versus Big 12 Conference teams.
The Jayhawks have held six of their last seven opponents to 66 points or fewer. Kansas ranks first in the Big 12 defending inside the three with 44.5% against the two. Texas' bread and butter have been their interior scoring, hitting 51.9% of their two-point attempts. The Longhorns also hit the three well, 36.2% in conference play (3rd) and Kansas holds opponents to 33.9% from deep (5th) in the Big 12.
Across the nation, Kansas ranks 12th with a 90.6 adjusted defensive efficiency and second in the Big 12 (94.6), trailing only Baylor (91.2). Texas ranks third in the conference with a 106.8 adjusted offensive efficiency, Kansas is sixth (104.2). This should be a tight contest, and I expect Kansas to limit some of Texas's success from two and force the Longhorns into more triples.
It is Texas' last home game of the year, so expect them to play hard for the win. However, 12 wins in the last 15 meetings, including five of the last six on Texas' home court cannot be ignored. Rock Chalk Jayhawk for the cover.
Game Pick: Kansas +3 (1u)
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Florida at Auburn (-1)
Auburn has a postseason ban, so entering their last three games versus Florida, Tennesee and Alabama, I question where the motivation is?
Florida enters 7-5 in SEC play and in need of some resume-building wins or wins in general. Most bracketology predictions peg the Gators as a No. 7, 8 or 9 seed.
Auburn has allowed 82 and 104 points in the last two games and 82 or more in five-of-six conference home games. At home in SEC play, Auburn is allowing 84.8 points per game. Florida, on the road, is averaging 78.6 points per game and scored 71 or more in four-of-six games and 69 or more in five.
Florida ranks 3rd in SEC with 52.5% from two-point range, 3rd in effective field goal percentage (51.8%) and 4th in adjusted offensive efficiency (104.5). Defensively, Auburn ranks 8th, 10th and 11th in those categories and allows opponents to hit 34.4% from three, 9th in the conference.
Auburn has the advantage on the offensive glass, ranking 2nd in the SEC with 33.4%. Florida ranks 10th with 32.7% in defensive rebounding percentage, so Auburn could stay in this game by second-chance points. Both squads also turn the ball over at an alarming rate in conference play. Florida ranks 9th and Auburn 11th, both offensively and defensively in turnover percentage.
NBC's Top Trends point towards the Over. Both teams are more than capable of scoring and allowing second-chance points and possessions in what should be a competitive game.
The Over is 19-8 (70.4%) in Florida's last 27 games following a win. The Over is 14-5 (73.7%) in Auburn's last 19 games against teams with a winning ML record versus SEC teams. The Over is 7-1 (87.5%) in the Gators' last eight road games and 7-1 (87.5%) in the Tigers' last eight overall. Auburn is 5-1 (83.3%) to the Over in the last six home games.
Auburn could play hard for the upset factor or a few players with NBA aspirations, while Florida needs the win for their resume. Points should not be hard to come by in this meeting.
Game Pick: Over 154.5 (1u)
Moneyline Parlay: (+111)
St. Louis (-3.5) at VCU
VCU opened as -2.5 favorites, but the news of leading scorer Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland (19.2 ppg) being out for this matchup with a foot injury made St. Louis the favorite. The Billikens did receive Yuri Collins back from injury in their previous game. Although he did not make much of an impact, Collins should see more playing time and an increased usage even off the bench.
St. Louis' two main contributors, Jordan Goodwin and Javonte Perkins, had terrible shooting performances in the loss to Dayton. The two combined for 14 points on 5-of-30 (16.6%) from the field and 2-of-12 from deep (16.6%). I highly doubt both players suffer two games straight, and the addition of Collins will help if he trust his shot a little more in his second game.
Hyland being out puts St. Louis in a favorable position following their last performance. Both squads are 4-1 SU (80%) over the previous five games, but VCU is 3-6-1 ATS (30%) in the last 10 overall.
NBC Edge's top trend for St. Louis is their ATS spread over the last 20 games against teams with a winning ATS record. The Billikens are 15-5 ATS (75.0%) in those 20 games. Following a SU loss of 20 points or more, St. Louis is 5-0 ATS (100%) in the next game.
St. Louis won last season's only meeting, 80-62, snapping an eight-game losing streak to VCU. The Rams hold the all-time record 10-4. St. Louis' 22-point win was the second-largest victory between the two teams.
VCU defensively ranks top three in the A-10 regarding effective field goal percentage, adjusted efficiency, two-point percentage, three-point percentage and turnover percentage. St. Louis ranks fourth in defensive efficiency and adjusted efficiency in conference play, not as impressive overall matched up against VCU. Offensively, St. Louis gets the advantage in this matchup with Hyland out and a trio of scorers together (Goodwin, Collins, Perkins).
St. Louis needs a resume-building win for March Madness and versus VCU is a unique opportunity to do so. Hyland scored 20 or more points in five of his last seven games and attempted 13.5 field goal attempts in that span. That will be a lot of offense for VCU to make up for a team that has failed to score 70 points in regulation over the past three games. He should be sorely missed in this matchup versus a hungry St. Louis squad.
Bowling Green (-7) at Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan (EMU) has lost five straight games and six of the last seven entering this matchup. EMU ruined my -14 play on Kent State by losing by 13 a few days ago, but it is all good because Bowling Green is set up for a nice win here. EMU's season is practically over, sitting at 1-8 in conference play, while Bowling Green is 8-7 with four games remaining, including this one.
This will be the third road game of a four-game road trip for Bowling Green. They are 2-0 SU and ATS (100%) in the first two road games at Toledo and Ball State. Bowling Green has won four straight games versus EMU and won the last three in Michigan. Bowling Green has won six of the previous eight meetings with EMU and has had off since Tuesday, Feb 16, to prepare for this matchup.
EMU kept the first half close with Toledo, going into halftime tied at 23. The fatigue factor or rust crept up with EMU as they were outscored 41-28 in the second half. This is the second to last home game for EMU and the second of their final six games to end the season post the COVID break. The motivation factor lands on the Bowling Green's sideline and the history/trends in this matchup too, making this a safe Moneyline wager.
NBC Edge's top trend for this matchup points to Bowling Green ATS. Bowling Green is 8-1-1 (88.9%) ATS in its last 10 games on the road against teams with a winning record for the Over among Mid-American Conference teams.
Back Bowling Green to get a SU win, and if you want to dabble on the -7 spread, I will not talk you out of it.
Game Pick: St. Louis ML and Bowling Green ML Parlay (1u)