• 2017 Final Four: Top 2 Expert Picks

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    March Madness comes to its final leg as the Final Four takes center stage this weekend in Phoenix, with North Carolina set to face Oregon, and Gonzaga matching up with South Carolina.

    Get this – only 657 on approximately 19 million bracket entries on ESPN predicted this Final Four grouping. Of course South Carolina is the biggest surprise in terms of seeding, but it’s tough to look past the public notion that Gonzaga was expected to be out by now. Either way, this is what we have and there are plenty of wagering opportunities.

    Let’s take a closer look:

    No. 3 Oregon vs No. 1 UNC

    North Carolina, in the Final Four again. Can’t say we’re surprised they’re still playing in April for the 11th time since 1991. Oregon, on the other hand, has very little experience on such a large stage, last reaching and winning in 1939.

    Despite the lack of experience, the Ducks roster has pieces that can give the opponent some issues. Junior Jordan Bell has been playing above his growth line and potential in this tournament, averaging close to 13 points and 13 rebounds. You might also remember his 8 blocks against Kansas.

    Bell will go up against Kennedy Meeks and just might have the slight edge. Meeks had 17 rebounds against Kentucky. Given how competitive this game projects to be, the winner of this matchup inside just might dictate the outcome.

    Betting Trends
    · Oregon is 6-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven NCAA tourney games as an underdog.
    · Oregon is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5 points.

    No. 7 South Carolina vs No. 1 Gonzaga

    On the other side of the bracket we have a pair of teams -- despite the difference in seeding -- very few expected to make it this far.

    This game really comes down to one matchup: Przemek Karnowski and Gonzaga's offense in the paint against South Carolina's defense.

    South Carolina is one of the best in the nation pressuring opponent's guards. Gonzaga, however, does everything inside-out and this difference of styles should give us a fun matchup.

    Betting Trends
    Gonzaga is 8-1 straight up (SU) in its last nine games against SEC opponents.
    · The total has gone UNDER in 21 of the last 30 South Carolina games in which they’re listed as an underdog.

    Analyst’s Top 2 FINAL FOUR Picks

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    Analyst’s Picks

    1. Bell wins the matchup against Meeks and Oregon’s hot shooting continues to possibly upset the No. 1 seed. I’ll take Oregon and the points (+5).

    2. The near-week layoff makes wagering on this matchup interesting. South Carolina’s ability to hound ball-handlers should make it a struggle for Gonzaga to get the ball in the paint. Their scoring other than that has been largely inconsistent. I’ll take defense over offense at this stage of the tournament. Sindarius Thornwell will be the best player on the floor, keeping South Carolina at least within striking distance. I’ll take the points (+7.0).
    NOTE: AccuScore is picking Gonzaga to cover -7.0, but the computer has been 0-4 in picking against the spread in games involving South Carolina during the tournament. This is one case where AccuScore's own trends suggest betting the opposite.

    AccuScore has Moneyline, Against the Spread & Totals picks for both Final Four games, including player projections:
    NCAA Final Four Picks

  • GUIDE: College Basketball and NBA Picks

    Understanding AccuScore’s Basketball Picks

    Here's a simple guide to help you understand how to read AccuScore's picks for college basketball and NBA

    First of all, AccuScore offers two views to see picks: The Graph View and the Grid View.
    The Graph View is the default for all NBA picks because there are only a maximum of 15 games per night. The grid view is the default setting for college basketball because it's easier to search games and the sheer volume of college basketball games that can be held on a single day. At any point, you can switch between views using by clicking on the little button at the top of the picks, as displayed by the red arrow in the image below:


    The Grid View Explained

    To help explain the Grid View, let's start left to right in the image below

    Grid View

    First, the date and team names are listed. In order to see the full forecast with player projections, click on the team names.

    Then, we see a title of "Acc Sim%" which is the AccuScore simulation percentage. In this case, 33.6% of simulations had GA Tech Winning, while Boston College won 66.3% of simulations. So, BC is the moneyline pick since it won the majority of simulations.

    Next, we have "Odds%" which is AccuScore taking Vegas odds and converting them to a percentage so that we can determine side value. In this case, GA Tech's odds are at 42.92% which means there is not side value on picking GA Tech because AccuScore thinks those odds should be even lower at 33.6%. Alternatively, BC's odds are 59.84% when AccuScore calculates them to be at 66.3%. There is a little over 6% side value here, so this would be the side value pick.

    Next, we have "PS/ACC PS." Simply, "PS" is the current point spread line: BC -3.0. "Acc PS" is where AccuScore calculates the point spread line to sit, which is BC -5.5 in this case. Since the line should be BC giving up 5.5 point and they're only giving up 3.0 points, the Point Spread pick BC-3.0. Looking a couple columns ahead, that's a 4-star trends pick. The star rating is based solely on historical trends involving teams, conferences, sports and lines. Four stars is the highest trends pick.

    Finally, we have "OU/ACC OU." Similar to point spread, OU refers to Over Under line. In this case, Vegas has set the over/under line at 141.0. Below that, AccuScore's over/under line is 138. Since AccuScore's line is lower than the Vegas line, the pick is the Under. Looking at the column marked "Total," we see this is a 4-star pick.

    Note: The "search" bar at the top right allows this version to be easier to find games. Also, members can search games by star ratings in this view

    The Graph View Explained

    Graph example

    TOTALS: Let's start at the bottom left: "Under" is AccuScore's pick for this game on the Totals. Below that pick is a star rating for the pick: two stars. This star rating is based on historical trends involving the teams, conferences, sports, lines, etc. Below the stars are two numbers: 135.5 and 52.8%. The "135.5" is the Totals line, so AccuScore's pick is UNDER 135.5. The 52.8% is the percentage of AccuScore's simulations that resulted in the Under.

    Point Spread: If we go to the bottom right of the box, we see a section labeled "Point Spread." Again, there is a star, so this a one-star trends pick. Below that, we see "Pitt +17.0" and "57.0%." This means that AccuScore's pick against the spread is Pittsburgh +17.0 and that Pitt either won or lost by fewer than 17 points 57% of the time. Alternatively, if the pick was Notre Dame -17.0, this section would read "ND -17.0"

    Moneyline/Side Value: In this case, Notre Dame is a heavy favorite at 83.9% to win, which can be seen under the school's logo and is also represented by the blue shading on the outside circle. Clearly this is the moneyline pick.

    The inner circle represents the current Vegas odds, and the dark blue area on the inner circle represents Side Value. Side Value is the value based on odds being inflated. In this case, Pittsburgh's odds of winning provide 8% value.

    Adjusting Spreads/Totals

    If you're receiving spreads or totals lines that don't line up with AccuScore's listed spreads and totals lines, you can adjust them! Simply go into the detailed forecast by clicking "view more" in the Graph view and clicking the team names in the Grid view. There, you will be able to adjust lines as shown in the images below:

    Graph example
    Graph example

    Now that you understand the system, check out the picks:

    NBA picks
    College Basketball Picks

  • Kentucky vs. UCLA: Sweet 16 Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Kentucky vs UCLA: Sweet 16 Picks

    2017 NCAA Tournament - Kentucky vs UCLA
    Top Trend: All Totals Picks entering Sweet 16 - 33-15, 69% + 1650

    If there's one thing we're sure to get in Friday's marquee UCLA-Kentucky matchup, it's offense and plenty of it. Both teams will get up and down the floor, with UCLA and Kentucky rankings as the No. 1 and No. 8 best scoring offenses in the nation, respectively. On the other side, neither are even in the top-100 in scoring defense.

    At the time of publication, the line's moving back-and-forth between a pick 'em and the Bruins as a one-point favorite. The Bruins are getting the majority of the public bets, hovering around 65 percent. Also, bettors are saying this game will stay UNDER the posted total line of 168, with 52 percent of the public taking the UNDER.

    Betting Trends

    • Kentucky is on a 13-game winning streak but has covered just 5 spreads in that span.
    • UCLA is 12-1 overall in its 13 games, but has covered just 5 spreads in that span.
    • Kentucky is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games against the Pac-12.
    • The total has gone OVER in 6 of UCLA’s last 8 Friday games These two sides met earlier in the season when the Bruins ended the Wildcats' 42-game home winning streak with a 97-92 performance that saw UCLA guard Lonzo Ball finish with 14 points and seven assists. Big man TJ Leaf chipped in with 17 points and 13 rebounds as UCLA shot 53 percent from the field.

    AccuScore has a four-star picks against the spread and sees SIGNIFICANT value on the moneyline odds in this game. See AccuScore’s Picks for UCLA vs Kentucky

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    Final Word

    The fact of the matter is that UK won't miss another nine free throws like it did last time around. Calipari will have his team ready to stay within a possession, at the worst, in what's largely a revenge game.

    Either way, there's very little chance the total score doesn't get pushed up. The safest bet might be the OVER.

  • March Madness: Free Friday Pick - Arkansas vs Butler

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    Arizona is out, the Pac-12 is in ruins and day two of the madness promises more upsets and shockers. There are a few games in particular that AccuScore thinks are worth keeping an eye on because the computer simply doesn’t agree with Vegas.

    Friday’s Free Pick: Arkansas over Butler – Moneyline

    Arkansas is the no. 7 seed, while the Butler Bulldogs are 1.5 point favorites as the no. 12 seed according to Las Vegas. Well, this is one case where AccuScore thinks Vegas is wrong. Vegas says that Arkansas only has a 46.5% chance of winning, while the computer thinks that number should be closer to 55.3%, so there is 8.8% side value on picking the Razorbacks to justify their seeding. Likewise, the computer calculates Arkansas wins outright or loses by 1 in 58.9% of simulations.

    AccuScore has expert picks against the spread and totals for every single tournament game: College Basketball Picks

    The play here, though, is to take Arkansas on the moneyline at +114.

    In addition, this game also has a hot trends 4-star pick on the Totals. With the line at 151.5, the computer thinks this game will go over, with 54% of AccuScore’s 10,000 simulations going OVER

    Members Only: Two more picks

    Members: Log in at the top right to reveal two more Analyst Picks for Friday
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    1: Nevada over Texas on the Moneyline: Again, Vegas believes in the lower seed, while AccuScore thinks the selection committee got the seeding correct. AccuScore calculates that Nevada is 55.3% to win straight up, while the odds suggest Nevada is 48.5% to win. There’s value on the moneyline here.

  • South Region: NCAA Tournament Bracketology 2017

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology: South Region

    Odds to Win South Region

    North Carolina 5/4
    Kentucky 11/4
    UCLA 5/1
    Butler 10/1
    Wichita State 10/1
    Cincinnati 14/1
    Dayton 28/1
    Minnesota U 28/1
    Middle Tennessee St 40/1
    Arkansas 50/1
    Seton Hall 50/1
    Wake Forest 75/1
    Kansas State 100/1
    Kent State 200/1
    Northern Kentucky 200/1
    Texas Southern 200/1
    Winthrop 200/1

    2017 NCAA Tournament  - South Region
    Click on the image above to simulate your own bracket

    AccuScore has award winning expert picks against the spread, on Totals & on the moneyline for every NCAA Tournament game...AccuScore’s College Basketball Game Picks

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    Deserving of the Nod?

    Not everyone agrees on UNC getting the No. 1 seed, having lost to Duke two-of-three times this season. With 11 top-50 wins this season tho, it was tough for voters to shy away.

    If you don't agree with AccuScore's upset pick of Middle Tenn. over UNC in the Elite 8, the Tar Heels just might deserve a lot more Final Four-related discussion than the sim data suggests.

    Upset Alert, or Not

    When the bracket was set, there was some notable action on No. 13 Winthrop taking it over No. 4 Butler. It's the highest the Bulldogs have ever been seeded and the public seems to disagree. AccuScore sim data, however, would go with the seeded-favorite in this first-round matchup.

    Players to Watch

    With UCLA in the field, we already know Lonzo Ball will garner more than enough attention. At 6'6", the freshman guard has made a name for himself and will look to catapult that legacy to the pro level with his play in the tourney.

    Beyond the hype, though, most hoops fans know not to overlook Kentucky's Malik Monk in this region. Averaging nearly 21 points per game, watch for Monk to try and lead his No. 2-seeded UK squad to the Final Four.

    Value Pick & Final Word

    If you're scowering the bracket looking for value picks -- either to reach the Final Four or win the tourney -- look no further than the South region.

    At 40:1 odds, Middle Tennessee provides some hidden value -- a lot for a little. What's hidden though is the fact that while it has a 40:1 chance to win the region, it -- by far -- has the best odds for a No. 12 seed to win the tourney at 250:1. Nevada and Princeton are at 500:1, while NC Wilmington is at 1000:1.

    AccuScore data has Middle Tennessee reaching the Elite 8 for a matchup against the UCLA Bruins.

    AccuScore’s Bracketology Previews
    West Region
    Midwest Region

  • West Region: NCAA Tournament Bracketology 2017

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology: West Region

    Let's just say the West region will garner some extra attention -- and wagering opportunities -- with No. 1 Gonzaga atop the standings. Having net made the Final Four, the Bulldogs are already being picked as an upset-victim by the third round.

    2017 NCAA Tournament - West Region
    Click on the image above to simulate your own bracket

    AccuScore has award winning expert picks against the spread, on Totals & on the moneyline for every NCAA Tournament game...AccuScore’s College Basketball Game Picks

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    What does AccuScore data have to say? Let's take a close look at the West region.

    Just how Good is Gonzaga?

    Look, you don't win 29 straight games without being that good. They had some big wins over the likes of Florida, Iowa St., and Arizona. And even further, they beat a good Saint Mary's team three times.

    Make sure to take a deeper look at AccuScore's bracketcaster. Both Gonzaga and St. Mary's have something to say in the sims when it comes to which team represents the West region in the Final Four. Value-pick alert!

    What to Watch

    If there's one first round matchup you watch, make it the 8-9 seed game with Northwestern and Vanderbilt. Vandy has depth of shooters at every position - keep an eye on the three-point attempts.

    Causing Trouble

    While offense tends to get the highlights, it's a team's defensive consistency that often determines their tourney run. No. 4 West Virginia was No. 1 in the nation in forcing turnovers in the regular season, boasting an average turnover margin of +8.2 TOs.

    West Region Odds to Win

    Gonzaga 8/5
    Arizona 2/1
    West Virginia 11/2
    Florida State 8/1
    St. Mary's CA 10/1
    Notre Dame 14/1
    Maryland 22/1
    Northwestern 50/1
    Vanderbilt 50/1
    VCU 50/1
    Xavier 50/1
    Florida Gulf Coast 100/1
    Princeton 125/1
    Bucknell 150/1
    North Dakota 200/1
    South Dakota State 200/1

    Value Pick

    AccuScore sim data would suggest a wager on Saint Mary's. There's a good chance they reach the Elite 8 - why not take them to win the region?

    In terms of No. 6 seeds, SMU has the best odds to win the tourney at 40:1. Cincinnati and Maryland are at 100:1, while Creighton is at 150:1. What that means is that SMU has a much better chance -- relatively to other teams at their seed -- to reach the Final Four.

    Final Word

    It's no South region, but Gonzaga does have a fairly tough path to the Final Four. Their biggest hurdle -- somewhat early on -- should come against West Virginia. At least that's what most would have you think.

    AccuScore data does have Notre Dame showing the kind of production to put up a fight against both WVU and Gonzaga, but it's the Bulldogs that reach the FInal Four at the end.

    AccuScore’s Bracketology Previews
    South Region
    Midwest Region