With more than 9.2 quintillion possible NCAA tournament brackets, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not, Insider is here to help. We've asked our experienced group of gambling experts, including Dave Tuley, Ted Sevransky, PJ Walsh, Geoff Kulesa and Sal Selvaggio what they're looking at when handicapping the bracket and picking tourney games.
What this guide contains:
" Picks for every NCAA tourney game on Friday
" Title value bets from Ted Sevransky and Vegas handicappers
" Dave Tuley's Vegas Rankings of all 68 NCAA tournament teams
" Vegas handicappers' best ATS bets, upset picks and over/under bets
" The best system bets from PJ Walsh of Sports Insights
" Top 10 public teams according to Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hotel
" What the bracket should look like according to CBB handicapper Alan Boston
Enjoy and good luck.
Friday ATS picks
Best bets noted with an asterisk.
No. 5 VCU Rams versus No. 12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
LVH line: VCU minus-6.5
PickCenter consensus pick: 60 percent picked VCU
We all know about VCU's defense and its overall NCAA tournament success under head coach Shaka Smart. But here's the thing: Stephen F. Austin (I know a lot of you are saying "who?") plays the same way with pressure defense and could be in position to pull one of those 12 vs. 5 upsets that everyone looks for. Every year, there's always that game (at least one) where I pick a team ATS but just don't have the confidence to predict the outright upset and end up kicking myself later (this could be that game this year). SFA has won 28 straight games, but my main reservation is their strength of schedule since their biggest win is against Towson. Can we really trust them to handle the big step up in class? I think they have enough to cover the number here.
ATS pick: Stephen F. Austin
No. 4 UCLA Bruins versus No. 13 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
LVH line: UCLA minus-9
PickCenter consensus pick: 52 percent picked Tulsa