Daily public money update: Boiler up in the first round!

Purdue Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams (50) yells in excitement during the Big Ten tournament, Friday, March 12, 2021 at Lucas Oil Stadium
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

March Madness is officially here, with the First Four having come and gone in dramatic fashion and the first round now underway. Let’s take a look at where the public money is going so far on Friday.

Winthrop +6.5 over Villanova

Per Draft Kings, bettors are all over the Winthrop Eagles as they go up against the Villanova Wildcats. A total of 67 percent of the handle and 72 percent of the bets are backing Winthrop against the spread. The Eagles (-235) are also the play on the money line, albeit by a smaller margin; 59 percent of the money and 54 percent of the bets are going in that direction. Winthrop, which dominated the Big South Conference, has lost only one game all season long. Villanova, meanwhile, is without star point guard Collin Gillespie. Could a 12-vs.-5 upset be brewing in the South Region?

Purdue ML over North Texas

Punters are also hammering the Purdue Boilermakers in their game against the North Texas Mean Green. With 91 percent of the bets taking Purdue on the money line (-286), 81 percent of the handle is heading the same way. The public is also willing to give the seven points; 77 percent of the money and 78 percent of the bets are going with the Boilermakers against the spread. This team has battle-tested in the Big Ten, which basically everyone agrees is the best conference in college basketball.

Quincy Guerrier Under 7.5 rebounds

One of the most popular player prop bets on Friday is Guerrier to grab fewer than 7.5 rebounds (-143) when the No. 11 seed Syracuse Orange face the No. 6 seed San Diego State Aztecs in the Midwest Region. Guerrer is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game, but he has corralled six or fewer in three of the past five contests. Moreover, San Diego State is a solid rebounding team and plays at a slow pace. Fewer possessions mean fewer attempts and therefore fewer missed shots.

Illinois to win the Midwest Region

Midwest Region action begins on Thursday and bettors have note jumped off the Illinois Fighting Illini bandwagon at any point. At +150 to reach the Final Four, Illinois is getting 61 percent of the money and 53 percent of the wagers on the Midwest Region outright win. Houston (13 percent handle, 13 percent bets) and Oklahoma State (12 percent handle, 16 percent bets) are next. We certainly like the Illinois play, as well; after all, the Illini are one of our favorite futures picks to win the entire tournament.

Ayo Dosunmu of the Illinois Fighting Illini

Oklahoma State to reach the Sweet 16

The Oklahoma State Cowboys got a terrible draw, settling for a No. 4 seed and facing Liberty in the first round. Cade Cunningham and company could run into Illinois in the Sweet 16, too. If nothing else, bettors at least like the Cowboys to make it that far. Even though you can get them at -167 to fall short prior to that stage, the public is not biting. A total of 94 percent of the handle and 99 percent of the wagers are picking Oklahoma State to advance at least two rounds; that leaves six percent of the handle and one percent of the wagers saying no.

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