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John Hyslop shares his favorite picks for Friday's Sweet 16 matchups. He's looking at the early games between St. Peter's vs Purdue and Providence vs Kansas.

Friday March Madness Early Picks: St. Peter's vs Purdue, Providence vs Kansas

Any fighter will tell you, the best part of getting into a fight is getting punched in the face (probably). I'm not a big fight guy so I'll have to take their word for it. People, we got punched in the face last night (metaphorically). It felt good. I wish I could actually go back and do it again but I can't. That's just not how time works. You have to realize, without a night like last night, tonight would not be as sweet. How the hell could we get revenge if last night never happened? Lucky for us, the people that scheduled this tournament put all of the best games for revenge purposes on Friday night. I don't know how they did it, but they did. It's our turn to punch back tonight and the bloodshed begins at 7:09 pm ET.

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Saint Peters Team Total Over 60.5 (-105) (Bet $105 to Win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

I couldn't find this line on FanDuel but if it pops up later you may be able to get down on a chunky plus money price for 63.5. I think these Peacocks can do it. For starters, they've done it in both games of the tourney so far. Not just barely either, we're talking 70+ in both games. That's pretty legit.

Coming into the tourney, the Peacocks were one of the top teams in terms of the percentage of shots at the basket. I don't even know what the exact stat was but basically it said they get a lot of shots near the rim. I know stats are for losers but this one works in our favor so it should be considered. That's just due diligence right in the haters' faces. Point is, shots closer to the basket have a better chance of going in and we only need 60.5 points.

I get that Purdue has the 7'4" kid but he could get into foul trouble in this game. He gets handsy sometimes and if Saint Peter's is attacking the rim, watch out tall kid. On top of that, we can't act like Purdue is this defensive juggernaut. They've allowed this many points in 10 of their last 11 games. Even if the Peacocks get their asses kicked, it could still be an 85-62 type beating. And if they win, it's hard to imagine they do it without breaking 61. This bet could be fun.

If EITHER TEAM hits a 3-Pointer in St. Peter's vs Purdue, you'll win $200

Providence +5 (+125) (Bet $100 to Win $125)

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

You have to be lucky to win the NCAA Tournament and Providence is the luckiest team I've ever seen in my life. In fact, according to KenPom they are the luckiest team in college hoops this season. I don't even know how you calculate something like that but it feels right to me. I know luck when I see it.

The thing about Providence is they are actually good at basketball too. Not just luck. The haters are going to say that they lost to Villanova twice. We already know that. But both of those games were decided by five points or less. Plus the Wildcats are still alive so they are a good team. No shame in losing to them.

Kansas is good so that could be a problem. With the way they ran through the Big 12, it's easy to see why this line is where it is. They beat Texas Tech this season but so did our Providence team so that doesn't really matter now. The Jayhawks looked a little vulnerable against Creighton and if they come out like that again, they could lose this game straight up.

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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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