By Tim Birkmeyer This. Is. March. Well, although it is March, it’s not March, right? We are in the final weekend of the regular season for college basketball with sprinkles of conference tournaments happening. Tickets will be punched, one has been punched because North Alabama is ineligible, and bubbles will burst all within the next week. This is when we need to be as sharp as possible, so let’s look at the board. I haven’t been doing much gambling myself, but I can still provide you with some picks. Actually, when I wrote last time, I parlayed the first four picks instead of doing each individual bet because I did not want to wager that much. And, of course, it was one team that won one of my least favorite gambling games: Guess Who Ruined the Parlay? It was UVA. Stupid UVA. Never liked you, never will, and you couldn’t beat Duke? Anyways, there are some decent matchups today, a top 10 matchup, and some conference tournaments to enjoy today. As always, I will provide you with five plays I like, so let’s hop into the picks! *Note/Disclaimer: I am not a gambling genius. Please take my picks with a side of caution, and please bet responsibly. Also, these are lines from the day before, so they might be a bit different.* PROVIDENCE ML (+165) vs. VILLANOVA Starting off the day with a little underdog action as we are taking the Friars to beat the Wildcats. Providence is always that team who pulls off a couple of upsets right around now, make a somewhat deep run in the conference tournament, then is the sexy 10-seed team when it is time to fill out your brackets. Happens almost every year and my brackets get busted because I fall in the trap. But, Villanova lost a key player to injury, Connor Gillespie, recently and have lost 3-straight road games. Villanova knows they will either be a 3 or 4-seed, so there’s not too much for them to gain from winning today, likely since they will win the conference tournament pretty easily. So let’s go Friars! ILLINOIS (+2.5) at OHIO STATE (-107) Illinois is getting hot at the right time, and they are doing it the last few games without star player Ayo Dosunmu. They went on the road at Michigan the other night and won by 23 points in a dominating performance, and will continue their win streak against ranked opponents this afternoon in Columbus. Ohio State is trending in the wrong direction, losing 3-straight games (granted, two of them were Michigan and Iowa, but still). I do not think Ohio St. can bounce back today and Illinois can now see the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament starting in the next few days. A-10 SEMIFINALS PARLAY: ST. Louis ML and VCU (-1) (+230) The good news is the A-10 has the top 4 teams playing in the conference semifinals, and none of them are likely good enough for an at-large bid, so there will not be any snipes coming out of this conference. The first game is St. Louis (4) and St. Bonaventure (1), and I like the Billikens to pull off the upset. They took down the Bonnies in their only matchup this season and are a little bit more consistent offensively while the Bonnies’ scoring is a rollercoaster. In the second game, it is Davidson (3) and VCU (2), but VCU is the best team in the conference, they just played one less game than the Bonnies. Just last week, Davidson beat the Rams, so I’m going with the revenge and the “we will beat you when it matters” mentality for VCU. DUKE and UNC OVER 150.5 Points (-107) Both of these teams are on the bubble and having down years, but the good news is they can still score a bunch of points. Also, usually when these two teams play, the over smashes. Their first matchup was 91-87. This is the only game each team really wants to win, so of course they make almost every shot possible. Both of these teams are averaging around 75 points per game, which would be right here at the over, but one team will score more than 80 for sure, and I don’t see the other fully collapsing and scoring less than 70, I think this is a safe pick. THIS GAME MIGHT TIP OFF AFTER MIDNIGHT PICK: PEPPERDINE TT OVER 77 (-115) The West Coast Conference tournament is underway in Las Vegas, and this is the last game of the night. Tip is scheduled for 11:59, but you know that anything is possible with tournaments. One game takes a little longer and/or goes into OT and it delays the tip off. This game could legit tip off around 1:00 AM EST, so we have to put a play on it, and Pepperdine scoring over 77 points is the play. The Waves are averaging 76 points per game this season and we are not betting an under this late. We’re going to be stuffed with beverages and pizza and on the couch, the last thing we want to do is bet an under. And that will do it for this week’s College Basketball Gambling Guide! Who are some of your picks? Will you ride with me or fade my plays? Do you have a LOCK for today? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter and let’s have some fun, bet responsibly, and let’s make some money!

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