March Madness Picks: Vermont vs Arkansas, San Francisco vs Murray St, Akron vs UCLA, Texas Southern vs Kansas

March Madness picks for the nightcap on Thursday from our guy, John Hyslop.
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March Madness Picks: Vermont vs Arkansas, San Francisco vs Murray St, Akron vs UCLA, Texas Southern vs Kansas

We did it. We made it to Quad Four of Thursday night. By now we've caught our second wind and we're looking for even more action. This is where the live bets can really get out of control. We've all been there. It's the definition of living the dream. Since we know things can get a little wild during this quad, we should probably have some bets already down. You know, like ones that we actually thought about before Thursday at 9:00 pm. It just feels like the responsible thing to do. Lucky for us, I went through each matchup with a fine-toothed comb just looking for an edge here and there. I really didn't find anything good but there are a few that are bettable.

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9:20 pm ET - Vermont Team Total Over 70.5 (+146) (Bet $100 to win $146)

This feels kind of crazy since these kids could get run out of the gym but I'm doing it anyway. Pace is the reason. The Arkansas Razorbacks play stupid fast. We're talking 28th fastest in the country according to KenPom. Meanwhile, the kids at Vermont play much slower (289th fastest). While the Catamounts can get away with it in their conference, I doubt it will fly against Arkansas. If the Razorbacks get out to a lead, Vermont will simply have to play faster. Once that happens, their 44th most efficient offense may be able to score some points. We just need 71. That's not that crazy.

9:40 pm ET - San Francisco/Murray State Over 138 (+105)(Bet $100 to win $105)

This could be the most fun game of the day. San Francisco likes to go fast so we have a pace up spot for Murray State which is a good thing. I know San Francisco plays defense but I don't believe in three-point defense and that's where the Dons hang their hats. They rank ninth in the nation in the metric. The thing is, Murray State shoots 35.3% as a team from behind the arc. If they're on, defense doesn't matter. To make things better, Murray State also claims to have a good three-point defense. As fate would have it, San Francisco can drain threes (35.4%). I bet this is an undercover up and down thriller type game that goes over 138.

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9:50 pm ET - Ali Ali Over 13.5 Points (+110) (Bet $100 to win $110)

I may be crazy but I think the Akron Zips might give the UCLA Bruins a game. I'm not going to bet that but it could happen. The Akron kids play slow enough that they could keep things respectable for a minute or two. Even if they don't, I think I may have figured this whole game out. Like all of it. All we have to do is take Ali Ali over 13.5 points and we'll cash. First off, this kid will be on the floor the whole time. Even if the Zips get waxed. He led the team in field goal attempts on the season and is highly likely to do so again in this game. We're talking upwards of 15 shots in this one. Throw in the fact that he's a 41% three-point shooter and now we're cooking with grease. He's gone over this number in seven of his last nine games with the only two times he missed being nights where he dropped 13 and 12. I think we're good here.

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9:57 pm ET - Texas Southern/Kansas Under 143.5 (+105) (Bet $100 to win $105)

Of course, I don't want to end the day with an under but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I don't make the rules. I was given this world, I didn't make it (Tupac). The last thing we want to do is watch Texas Southern clank every three-pointer they try while they are attempting to catch up. That feels like a bad time. If we're being honest, we're lucky we get to watch Ali Ali do his thing while this game is going on. It feels like it's going to be one of those 80-55 type games that started out really promising but didn't deliver in the end. You just hate to see it happen.

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John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it. His work has appeared on Rotogrinders and he has been a regular on sports talk radio stations across the country. Based in the US, John operates a blog & podcast, Sports Bets Beers, which covers betting angles in the NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL.

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