March Madness Betting: Underdog Teams Still Have Fighting Chance in Midwest Region


Gambling PicksThe NCAA Men’s Championship tournament has reached the Sweet 16, and while there is potential for the March Madness to provide some more upsets in both the South and West regions, the underdog spotlight is shining brightest on the Midwest region. The tournament’s two lowest remaining seeds each reside in the Midwest, where they will have to get through the highest two seeds in their bracket in order to extend their Cinderella runs.

(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (13) Ohio Bobcats

Friday, 7:47 PM ET

The Tar Heels were among the March Madness betting favorites even before the year began as preseason No. 1’s, and leading up to the tournament were recognized as having the best chance at beating Kentucky should the two meet in New Orleans. North Carolina has lived up to that billing through its first two wins, beating Vermont and Creighton by a combined average of 16.5 points. The Tar Heels have been bumped down a notch after losing Kendall Marshall to a fractured wrist, but after undergoing successful wrist surgery on Monday, there is still a chance he can play in the tournament if they make it past the Sweet 16. Ohio is the first 13-seed to make it to the Sweet 16 since Bradley did it in 2006, and while they may not seem like a realistic pick to knock off UNC even if the Tar Heels don’t have Marshall, the Bobcats do deserve credit for getting this far. DJ Cooper and his boys overcame a South Florida defense that dominated Temple in the first round, and with nothing to lose they should give North Carolina a good run. Look for Ohio to keep this game close until the end, when the Tar Heels’ depth and skill will prove too much for the Bobcats to keep up with.

March Madness Betting Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels

(2) Kansas Jayhawks vs. (11) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Friday, 10:17 PM ET

One of the big-time bubble teams that barely made it in, the Wolfpack have played this tournament with a chip on their shoulder, and a burning desire to prove that they belong. With a per head chance to get a shot at state-rivals UNC in the Elite Eight, North Carolina State will be as hungry as ever when they step on the floor, with talented forward CJ Leslie leading the way. Whether or not Kansas has enough left in the tank to match that intensity following a close win over Purdue only time will tell. Thomas Robinson is one of the most talented players in the nation and despite their critics the Jayhawks just keep rolling, which makes it somewhat surprising that they are still considered an overrated team by some. Even with all their talent though, Kansas has already survived a close call, and if they struggle to match North Carolina State’s intensity early on, they will have a hard time pulling this one out late against a team capable of being this year’s sports betting Cinderella.

March Madness Betting Picks : North Carolina State Wolfpack

NHL Game Preview for Sunday March 25, 2012: Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks


Hockey Free PicksSports Betting Overview

The Nashville Predators do not get enough credit for putting together a team that will challenge for the Stanley Cup in the playoffs. If Nashville was in any other division besides the Central Division, then it would either be in first place or only one point out of first. But chasing the red hot St. .Louis Blues has not been easy for any team in the Central Division. But Nashville has been able to stay neck and neck with the Detroit Red Wings for second place in the division and fourth place in the Western Conference. Nashville has more wins in regulation than the Red Wings and that is what is keeping the Predators in fourth place in the conference.

In Chicago, the March Madness spreads are getting some interest and the NBA trade deadline 2012 has come and gone without much fanfare. The Chicago Bulls may not need upgrades at the trade deadline, but the Chicago Blackhawks could have used just a little more help on defense. One of the things that has helped the Blackhawks is the return of goaltender Corey Crawford. After being injured in late February, Crawford has returned to put together a three-game winning streak which includes one shutout. It is the kind of boost the Blackhawks needed as the team gets ready to roll into the playoffs to try and see if it can create the same excitement it created two years ago when Chicago won the Stanley Cup.

Nashville Predators

Last year’s Predators’ team was seen as a strong team that was designed to do well in the playoffs. For the first time in team history, the Predators got to the second round of the playoffs last year. But the Predators have made so many good personnel moves since then that anything less than a Conference Finals appearance is going to feel like a failure. The betting sports news experts have seen how much depth the Predators have created in its roster and are wondering if maybe the Predators will not be challenging for the Stanley Cup this year. This is a strong team that is getting world-class goaltending from Pekka Rinne. This is going to be a hard team to beat.

Chicago Blackhawks

It is normal for a team to struggle without its starting goaltender, especially this late in the season. But a sportsbook review of the Blackhawks without Corey Crawford shows a team that is lost without its starting goalie. The Blackhawks just do not play strong defense and it tries to compensate with fast-paced offense. That tactic works on a lot of teams in the NHL. But it is not going to be nearly as effective against the Nashville Predators.

The Bottom Line

The Predators have the speed and power to catch and punish the smaller Blackhawks. This is not going to be a lopsided mismatch, but it is going to show how Nashville is prepared for the playoffs and Chicago is not.

Gambling Advisor blog Pick: Nashville Predators


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