College Basketball Parlay Picks for Friday, March 17, 2023

By Betmaker Team

The second day of the first round of the NCAA Tournament falls on St. Patrick’s Day, so millions of gamblers across the United States are hoping to have the ‘Luck of the Irish’ on their side. Notre Dame isn’t in action, but 32 other teams are in one of the most action packed days of sports betting of the calendar year. Millions of brackets will go up in smoke today too as there is almost always an upset that no one expects. Along those lines, don’t be surprised if the No. 14 Kennesaw State Owls knock off the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers in early afternoon action. That is my third favorite play of the day, but I’m going chalk with my two favorite picks on Friday, March 17.


College Basketball Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook


Baylor Bears (-10.5) vs. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos


There’s currently a lot of value in the Baylor Bears in the college basketball futures odds. The 2021 national champions were a No. 1 seed last year, but they had to settle for a No. 3 seed this season after ending the season with four losses in their last six games. That has led to people jumping off the Baylor bandwagon, but this team has one of the highest ceilings in the country now that Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is healthy again. The 6’8 forward for Cameroon is their best interior defender, and that has been the biggest problem for Baylor this season.


Baylor has the second-best offense in the country according to Ken Pomeroy. The Bears have a freshman guard that is a projected lottery pick in Keyonte George, and he can do a little bit of everything. George leads the Bears with 15.8 PPG, and he does a good job helping on the offensive glass too.


Fellow guards Adam Flagler and L.J. Cryer were on the title winning team two years ago, and they are excellent perimeter shooters. Flagler is averaging 15.5 PPG and making 40.3% of his threes, while Cryer is averaging 14.5 PPG and making 42.6% of his treys. Baylor hits its free throws too and plays solid perimeter defense.


Bet-Rivers-Banner-Sep-29-2022-03-57-25-53-PM-4This is a very tough opponent for UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos are making their seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament, and they are 1-5 in the first round. Although they went 27-7, they didn’t play a quality non-conference opponent and lost to teams like Northern Arizona and Duquesne. UCSB does have size in the interior with Miles Norris and Andre Kelly and ranks in the top 25 in two-point field goal percentage, but they have not faced a team with near the same athleticism as Baylor.


UConn Huskies (-9) vs. Iona Gaels


If you follow Ken Pomeroy, you know how high his metrics have been on the Connecticut Huskies all year. UConn was the No. 1 ranked team in the land for a good chunk of the season after getting out to a 14-0 start with wins over Oregon, Alabama, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Florida in non-conference play. The Huskies tripped up in the middle of the season with six losses in eight games at one point, but they righted the ship before the end of the year.


UConn ranks sixth in offensive efficiency per Pomeroy, and they rank first in offensive rebounding percentage, even outshining Purdue in this department. Adama Sanogo is a real force to be reckoned with down low, and Jordan Hawkins can light up the scoreboard. Hawkins’ overall shooting numbers aren’t great, but he has excellent touch and can consistently create his own shot.


The Huskies rank 11th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and they block a lot of shots thanks to Sanogo and freshman Donovan Clingan. They send opponents to the free throw line too often, but that’s the only major concern with the Huskies on defense.


Some people will jump at the chance to take a Rick Pitino coached team in Iona to pull off the upset. Pitino is a great collegiate coach, and he has made the Gaels the best program in the MAAC. They have a good amount of size for a small school, and Walter Clayton is the second-best free throw shooter in the country. However, Iona lost to the three best teams it played in the regular season (Hofstra, Santa Clara, and New Mexico), and UConn is miles better than those three programs.