It's March Madness Sweet 16 and Godzilla's Got You Covered!
RICHMOND, Virginia--Welcome to Godzilla Madness, your guide to money-making selections for March Madness! It's Sweet 16 Time! Brought to you by DraftKings (and the promo code GODZILLA!) -- DraftKings is an official betting partner of MARCH MADNESS!!
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Sweet 16 -This Separates Pretenders from Contenders
As stated earlier, I’m not a big proponent of picking too many early March Madness games. Not the same for the Sweet 16- this is big time. And in order to be the Godzilla of Wins, we have to have to make big-time picks on the big stage. We have started off 2-2, hoping to run the table over the next two days, at 8-0.
Remember, I’m the only one who picks against the spread (ATS) and publishes all selections! My competitors hide like babies behind paywalls. Bring it on! Signal, not noise! Let’s roll!
Lines provided by Draft Kings as of 2:00 PM, March 24, 2022
Arkansas Vs. Gonzaga -9.5
Sluggish starts have haunted the highly regarded Gonzaga Bulldogs throughout this tournament. They are reading their own press clippings. The ‘Dogs have only covered one of their last five games, and they’ve given up an average of 66.1 points over the season, but it’s spiked to 73.2 over the last four games. If you add 9.5 points to that total, Gonzaga would have to score 83 points to cover. Arkansas is better than that. While Gonzaga is everybody’s bracket favorite, the Razorbacks are on a roll.
They average 76.2 points per game. The key here is their guard play. AR can’t match the Dogs' bigs in the paint, but they can shoot. They’ll need a big game from their senior floor leader, JD Notae. I love this kid in big games. See Auburn upset. Take the points. Pick: Arkansas +9.5
Michigan Vs. Villanova -5
Michigan’s upset of Tennessee, one of the top all-around fundamentally sound teams in the country got my attention. Tennessee scored eight points in the last eight minutes. This sophomore center 7’1” Hunter Dickinson is a one-man wrecking crew for Michigan. He schools you in paint – then backs off and drains a trey. Wow.
Villanova is steady-Eddie. Nothing flashy, they just go out and win games with the precision of carving up a Thanksgiving turkey. They are hard to bet against. Well coached, few turnovers, never get in foul trouble, never miss a free throw.
But this isn’t the Big East. It’s the dance. And the Wolverines on a hot run they are not the Fighting Blue Hens.
Michigan’s veteran senior guards showed their poise Saturday against the Vols and made key shots when the chips were down with the pressure on. Before the tourney, the Wolverines had not won two straight games since February. Logic says to bet on the Cats.
Logic doesn’t win basketball games. Heart and grit play into the analysis. This isn’t games by Abacus.
This line is inflated, there is value with Michigan- the game should be even, and we are getting +5. Thanks for the gift! I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Pick: Michigan +5
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Duke Vs. Texas Tech - Even
Like your father says, defense wins championships. And Sweet 16 tournament games. Check this out: Duke averages a national best blistering 80.3 points per game. Texas Tech gives up 60 points a game, top five in the nation. Something has to give. Good defense doesn’t always beat good offense in basketball. The offensive player knows his next move. The defense reacts. Putting aside X’s and O’s, this Red Raiders bunch is scrappy and hungry. They aren’t playing for Coach K, they are playing for themselves. Most of their starters magically appeared out of the transfer portal. This is a trap game with everybody slobbering all over themselves to bet Duke because, well it's Duke and Coach K’s farewell tour and all that. I’ll slobber my way to the winner’s circle. No time for sentiment here. Cash the ticket. Show me the money. Pick: Texas Tech Even
Houston Vs. Arizona -2
Earth to Houston: shoot the ball! When I coached basketball, I had a simple philosophy: shoot the ball. I wanted to double my opponents’ shots on goal. If we did that, we win every time. If we shoot 30 percent, then they have to shoot 60 percent to beat us. Plus they get in foul trouble. That’s Houston’s strength. They have an under-rated top 10 offense and they play very good defense. They average 79 points a game while yielding only 59, albeit that’s in a weaker American Athletic Conference.
Arizona is maybe the best team in the tournament. So this is a tough test for the ‘Cougs. Over its last five games, Houston is 5-0 ATS and straight up. The knock-on them all season is their creepy schedule. But they proved the naysayers wrong in whitewashing Memphis, UAB, and The Illini.
Do you like experience? Houston is the oldest veteran team in the Sweet 16, while the Wildcats are the youngest. Of course, that didn’t help five seniors on Seton Hall lose to the FAB 5 freshman of Michigan whenever that was. I’m not going to look it up. 1980’s something. I bet Seton Hall. I’ll take the vets. Pick: Houston +2
Saint Peters Vs. Purdue -12.5
It’s over. For everybody’s Cinderella team: they turn into a proverbial pumpkin at midnight.
NO doubt Saint Peters earned its way to this coveted position and I’m banking on Purdue not being dumb enough to take this possessed Peacocks team for granted.
Saint Peters will try to increase the offensive frustration level of the Boilermakers as they did against Kentucky and Murray State to get here. As long as Purdue plays its game and stays focused it’s a blowout. They should dominate wire to wire. It’s a matter of how many points they win by. I’d say 20. Easy one, folks. The Purdue athletes are too good. It’s the Jersey City blues. Pick: Purdue -12.5
Providence Vs. Kansas -7.5
YIKES! Check this out: The Friars are 7-0 ATS as underdogs on the road this season! Providence has gutted out a bunch of close games this season, and they are a tightly knit group of savvy gunslinger veterans who are clutch shooters. They just hang around games they should lose and then pounce on your butt at the end.
Kansas is the chalk of the tournament. Kansas this and Kansas that, blah blah blah. I don’t think they are a very smart team. They struggled mightily to dispatch half a Creighton team.
Providence has gone toe to toe with powerhouses Xavier, Villanova, Wisconsin, and others. They are always in it with the clock running down. They are scrappy and loose! Pick: Providence + 7.5
North Carolina Vs. UCLA -2.5
Truth be told: I love the Tar Heels here. They are playing inspired basketball with a chip on their shoulder- with nothing to lose and no pressure. Check out this quote after their near-collapse in the last 8 minutes and then overtime win over defending champion Baylor by star player Armando Bacot: “All year we've just been hearing different things about us, how we're a soft team, how we don't like to fight. Today, I think we really showed that we can fight. To persevere in a moment like that and just come together, I'm just so proud of everyone." That about sums it up. While UCLA has shown grit and had a superior game plan against St. Mary’s last weekend, this is not a UNC team anybody wants to play right now.
The Heels have taken down some giants of late, and they have no fear. This is a great spot to take the points – UNC wins the game outright. Pick: UNC + 2.5
Iowa State Vs. Miami -2.5
Wow! How did the ‘Canes get here? Only by busting through and solid USC team and then taking apart second seed Auburn, that’s how. A tough road! Their backcourt is dynamic with veteran Charlie Moore and Soph sensation Isiah Wong. They shoot your lights out.
Iowa State won two games last season and went through a rebuild to get here. How? Defense. Defense. And more defense. The Cyclones can’t score a watermelon in a county fair, and they are yet to break 60 points in a single tournament game! But they win games by suffocating you! It’s old school at its finest. D-up young men! Wreak havoc! This defense is elite, holding teams to 51.2 points and 33.4 percent shooting.
I’ll go with these Cyclone crazies to choke the Miami offense. Pick: Iowa State +2.5