NCAAB
March 18, 2022

Corrigan's Gambling Corner: March Madness, Round Of 64: Evening Slate Best Bets - March 18, 2022

Welcome back to the gambling corner. We are back with some best bets for the evening slate of the second full day of March Madness

If the morning slate did not go your way, we have got you covered with the best bets for tonight's games. The first day was full of upsets, great games, and although I had a losing record, I ended up one unit, so I am feeling good right now. 

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff, let's get straight into the picks. 

We would love you to tail our picks, but we would especially love you to make a lot of money. As a sign of courtesy, we included the parlay odds for all three of our picks. We just ask that you always remember to gamble responsibly.

Here are tonight's plays.

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Chattanooga Mocs vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

While Chattanooga has one of the more fun backcourts in Malachi Smith and David Jean-Baptiste, the Illini have the advantage of having a dominating big man. Even though the Mocs are one of the more intriguing bets in the first round of the tournament, I have a hard time believing they are going to have an answer for Kofi Cockburn. 

On the season, Cockburn is putting up 21.1 points and 10.6 boards on 59.8% shooting from the field. Illinois also has a very good, and experience backcourt in Alfonso Plummer and Trent Frazier. Both players are averaging over 12 points per game, and they are regarded as a quality defensive backcourt. 

The Mocs are holding teams to just 65.8 points per game, but Illinois is ranked 23rd in KenPom offensive efficiency rating, and while they come into this game only covering once in their last five games, the Illini are putting up big numbers against quality defenses. There is no reason to believe they will not put up a big number against an inferior opponent. 

Pick: Illinois -7.5 (-110)

Iowa State Cyclones vs. LSU Tigers

The Cyclones won two games last season and went 0-18 in Big 12 play. This season, Iowa State finished with 20 wins, and they have one of the best defenses in the country. On the season, the Cyclones defense is ranked 22nd in scoring (63.0), and 18th in made field goals per game. However, teams are shooting 42.8% from the field against Iowa State, and the Cyclones are ranked 108th in effective field goal percentage (48.4%) and 127th in shooting efficiency (1.044).

Although LSU is dealing with some program issues when they fired Will Wade after the NCAA announced they are looking into allegations surrounding the LSU athletic program, the Tigers are no joke. LSU is ranked fifth in KenPom defensive efficiency rating, and while the offense can be lackluster at times, LSU still has a fairly solid unit. 

Both teams have been profitable this season, but LSU is only 5-10 ATS in their last 15 coming into this game, and they have failed to cover in three-straight games. I do think LSU is the better team in this game, but with everything surrounding the program, and with their cold streak heading into the tournament, I will take Iowa State and the points. 

Pick: Iowa State +3.5 (-110)

UAB Blazers vs. Houston Cougars

I feel bad for any living being that did not experience, or bet on UAB during the C-USA tournament. The greatest player I think I have ever seen, Jordan "Jelly" Walker, led the Blazers to a C-USA championship by averaging 31 points on 40% shooting from the field, and from deep. Walker is the best scoring threat for a UAB offense that is ranked 11th in scoring (79.4), eighth in three-point shooting percentage (38.3%), and 38th in shooting percentage (48.6%). 

UAB is on a hot streak, especially Walker, but they have a tough first-round matchup against a Houston team that has the potential to be a surprise champion. The Cougars are 7-1 ATS over their last eight games and they are ranked inside the top 10 for both KenPom offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. Houston is more of a defensive-minded team, only allowing teams to score 58.9 points per game, but the offense is ranked 40th in scoring (75.8), 33rd in effective field goal percentage (53.6%), and 88th in shooting efficiency (1.103).

Although UAB's explosive offense will go up against arguably the best defense in the country, this is the tournament, and the way the first day unfolded, I am going to expect a lot of points scored in this one. 

Pick: Over 137.5 (-110)

PARLAY ODDS: (+595) 1 UNIT TO WIN 5.95 UNITS

Photo: Getty Images