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John Hyslop shares his picks for the mid-afternoon slate of Thursday's March Madness games for Longwood vs Tennessee, Richmond vs Iowa, Georgia State vs Gonzaga, Marquette vs UNC.

March Madness Thursday Picks: Longwood vs Tennessee, Richmond vs Iowa, Georgia St vs Gonzaga, Marquette vs UNC

By now we're in it. Games are going on, live bets are flowing, we're probably drinking. This is afternoon basketball on the first day of the tournament. It really doesn't get better than this. I'm serious. There's nothing better. The thing is, we have to pace ourselves in this quad. We can really do damage to our mental outlook if we're not careful. There's a good chance we can be 0-4 on the day going into this part of the slate. I've seen it happen. I've actually seen it happen to a guy that ended up 8-4 on the day so we have to keep our composure. This isn't for the weak. Not everyone can bet on every game. Lucky for us, we can, and here is where I'm headed with Quad Two of Day 1.

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2:45pm ET - Longwood/Tennessee Under 130 (+115) (Bet $100 to Win $115)

*Odds available at DraftKings Alt-Line at time of publishing*

I hate taking an under but I think we have to with this one. Everyone knows unders suck but do you know what else sucks? Watching two teams dominate defensively when you have the over. I seriously think this game could stay under 120. We all saw what the Volunteers did to Texas A&M in the SEC Championship Game. That was pretty sick. They have a chip on their shoulders and that is a bad thing for a team like Longwood. The Lancers look like the kind of team that prides themselves on defense too which works in our favor here. This looks like a 75-50 type game if I've ever seen one.

3:10pm ET - Iowa/Richmond Over 151.5 (+100) (Bet $100 to Win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings Alt-Line at time of publishing*

This one is pretty straightforward. Iowa plays very fast and they are very efficient on offense. Sure Richmond isn't a slouch on defense but the Hawkeyes are elite offensively. They can score on anyone. Even the Spiders. The thing we have going for us is the fact that Richmond can score too. They were 69th in the country in adjusted offense according to KenPom. My theory is they didn't have to play very fast against teams in their conference. That won't be the case Thursday. They will have to at least try to keep up with Iowa and I don't think they can do it. I do think they can get us over this number though.

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4:15pm ET - Gonzaga -26.5 (+126) (Bet $100 to Win $126)

*Odds available at FanDuel Alt-Line 3 at time of publishing*

I feel like this one is going to be an absolute beating. It's always hard to lay 27 points in a basketball game but we're talking Gonzaga here. I remember last year when they were 33-point favorites in their first game against Norfolk State. They beat them by 43 points. This year's version of the Bulldogs is good. Really good. While it's cool that Georgia State made the dance, they legit have no chance of making this a game. Gonzaga should win by 30+.

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4:30pm ET - Armando Bacot Over 16.5 Points (-125) (Bet $125 to Win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

It's very important to get something good on this game since it will be acting as a bridge from day to night. The next game starts at 6:50pm ET so this is our only real chance of having action until then. We almost want this one to start late. Nobody wants to be sitting around doing nothing at 6:30 waiting for a tip. The best thing to do is take this kid's points over. He should be on the floor for most of the game and if he isn't it could be because he scored a ton and the game is a blowout. Marquette doesn't have anyone to match up with him and he's gone over this number in four of his last five games. This feels like a good bet.

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Article Author


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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