The West Bracket is one of those regions where I actually prefer most – if not all – of the favorites in terms of betting picks. There’s always one region where normalcy reigns supreme and this is that quadrant of the 2014 NCAA Tournament where I think things shake out as expected. Then again, I could just love the fact that this sector is packed with so many senior players.
Thursday’s Round of 64 West Bracket Betting Picks for the 2014 NCAA Tournament
#2 Wisconsin Badgers -13.5 over #15 American University (12:40pm EST)
Hey look, it’s another team that has no rightful place in the 2014 NCAA Tournament! American University may have won their conference and gone 3-0 SU and ATS to get it, but they’re in for a beating the likes of which we’ve never seen against a grizzled Wisconsin Badgers team. This is a big number, but in West Bracket betting picks, the Badgers are the better take.
#7 Oregon Ducks -5.0 over #10 BYU Cougars (3:10pm EST)
People love the BYU Cougars, but more people adore the Oregon Ducks and rightfully so. A loss to UCLA shouldn’t be held against Oregon, and the fact that the Cougars can’t play defense will give the Ducks new life.
#5 Oklahoma Sooners -4.0 over #12 North Dakota State (7:27pm EST)
Most people love targeting this 5-vs-12 matchup because it has the most historical upsets but I would be shocked if North Dakota State posted a victory here. Oklahoma won’t take anything for granted here after being ousted in the Big 12 Tournament against Baylor and they’re still a strong 7-3 ATS so side with them in your own West Bracket betting picks. Oklahoma is a cagey five seed to push in the 2014 NCAA Tournament overall.
#4 San Diego State Aztecs -7.0 over #13 New Mexico State (9:57pm EST)
This is a rough spread to against but I like San Diego overall and they went a promising 18-12 ATS over the course of the season against competition that’s on par with New Mexico State. I’m a little scared of Daniel Mullings ability to take over a game, but I think the Aztecs’ depth and overall consistency saves them here. San Diego State is always undersold for their defensive abilities and if they can shut down Mullings, they’ll run away with this game. And yes, that’s exactly what I expect to happen.
Friday’s Round of 64 West Bracket Betting Picks for the 2014 NCAA Tournament
#6 Baylor Bears -3.5 over #11 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12:40pm EST)
Baylor muscled their way in to the 2014 NCAA Tournament on pure gumption, and Cory Jefferson has plenty to make up for after a woeful 5 point performance in the Big 12 final. Nebraska and Terran Petteway have been a spread busting dynamo through the season and finished with an 8-2 ATS run but they don’t respond well to overall pressure. Baylor has found a semblance of a winning formula and can at least use that momentum to survive the opening round of the West Bracket in betting picks.
#3 Creighton Bluejays -14.0 over #14 ULL Cajuns (3:10pm EST)
Creighton knows what failed them in the Big East and understand that putting the pedal to the metal at all times is what’s going to keep them alive. This is a big tournament for Doug McDermott and he won’t let a terrible program like Louisiana-Lafayette deter him in the opening round. It’s a big number for Creighton overall, but I still prefer them in my West Bracket betting picks. I actually like Creighton as an Elite Eight team as well.
#16 Weber State Wildcats -19.5 over #1 Arizona Wildcats (2:10pm EST)
A bevy of seniors and a great head coach will keep Weber State in this game more than people expect. I usually just prefer the 16 seeds as underdogs in betting picks of the NCAA Tournament against the top seeds. Of course I don’t expect Weber to win, but they can absolutely stay within this massive margin. It’s nearly twenty points! Come on…
#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs +2.0 over #9 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4:40pm EST)
It’s been a long and trying season for the Cowboys and while they’re a pretty solid team, Gonzaga is being sold up the river in most West Bracket betting picks. Kevin Pangos and Sam Dower will have something to say about this matchup and lead Gonzaga in to a quasi-upset as straight up winners in a very close game. Oklahoma State hardly ever survives tight matchups, which is why I’m not encouraged by their overall chances in the NCAA Tournament or in West Bracket betting picks.