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John Hyslop shares his favorite picks for the Sweet 16. He's taking a look at the late games in this one, Texas Tech vs. Duke and Houston vs. Arizona.

Thursday March Madness Late Picks: Texas Tech vs. Duke, Houston vs. Arizona

By the time these games come on, my bowling team, The Shockers, and I will be right in the middle of wrapping up our most successful campaign in the extremely exclusive Rails Up League at Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Most of our success is due to the fact that for the first time in the history of the league, we've got a Triple Crown winner (me) and he's on our team (not bragging). Hard to lose when you've got a guy on your team pumping literally every bowler in the entire league. That's just how bowling works. So naturally on a night like tonight, if you're me, you'd want to watch only the finest of bets go down. Honestly people, CBS has our backs because at approximately 9:39 pm ET, they're showing Texas Tech and Duke. This could honestly be the best game we've ever seen. And if it isn't, it will be because the Houston vs Arizona game on TBS tonight at 9:59 pm ET is better. We need action on both just to save our souls and I have the perfect way to get down.

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Texas Tech/Duke Over 140 (+125) (Bet $100 to win $125)

Here's the thing. I think Texas Tech will roll these Duke kids tonight. We could get the Red Raiders -2 at +105 but +105 is pretty weak for a Thursday night. We need to pump it up a little. It's just how Thursday nights work. Luckily for us, the over is just sitting there on a silver platter for us.

I'll say something positive about Duke. They can score. KenPom says they're the fourth-best offense in college hoops this season. I trust that guy. But what people don't understand is, Texas Tech can score too. They just haven't had to in some of their games this season because their defense is so good. We're talking best in the country according to that same KenPom guy that we trust. Something has to give here.

I think what will give is the pace. Duke likes to try to run a little and Texas Tech is definitely player faster than they did last season. They'll put on their track shoes if they have to. They dropped 97 points on Montana State in the first round. I know it's Montana State but still. The other thing we have in our pockets is we could see free throws at the end so the late game scenarios all play. At the end of the day, 140 points is not a lot for these two teams.

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Houston/Arizona Over 151.5 (+172) (Bet $100 to win $172)

Before you tell me what a beast I am for betting this, you should know that if I had any stones whatsoever, I'd be all over the over 154.5 +235. That's just how stones work. Still, I think just taking the +172 and calling it a night is the way to go. We should make sure these books are still solvent for the weekend.

I wish I had actual analysis for this game but I don't. I'm just using the eyeball test. Arizona will run, run and run some more and those teams have given the Cougars problems. Look at Memphis, they dropped 75 on Houston one time this season. SMU roped them off for 85 one night. Now neither one of those teams have the offensive skill that Arizona has so we should see the Wildcats get theirs on offense. Those guys haven't scored less than 82 points in any game in the month of March. That's crazy.

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On the flip side, Houston should play to Arizona's pace. We saw them do it against Alabama, SMU and Memphis already this season. Why would they stop now? On top of that, it's not like Arizona is some defensive juggernaut. KenPom says they're good but they gave up 80 points to TCU and Stanford this month. I'm not saying they're bad defensively but I will say they can be had. Especially by a team like Houston that seems to get an extra shot on every possession because of offensive rebounds. This feels like a game where both teams flirt with the 80s.

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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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