Multiple times each week, FTN Bets’ resident college basketball junkie, Brad Evans, will attempt to posterize the ‘books with his favorite selections, whether sides, totals, teasers or parlays. As always, fade or follow Brad’s picks — fading is encouraged — that’s up to you.
2-leg alternative line parlay play: Michigan (ML), Minnesota (-1.5) (Tipico Sportsbook)
Leg 1: Iowa at Michigan (ML)
Just a few short weeks ago, Iowa was in the midst of an identity crisis. Losers in four of five games including a pair against Bubbleville resident Indiana, the Hawkeyes’ unusual scoring droughts and permeable zone had them sputtering. However, winners in four straight thanks in large part to not only their elite offensive execution (1.290 pts/poss), but also a sudden commitment to guarding (0.890 pts/poss allowed), they’re back on track. How far they’ve come, though, will be pushed to the limit by the Wolverines. As witnessed in its masterful showing at Ohio St., Michigan is 20-year McCallan smooth in their offensive sets. Similar to Iowa, its floor spacing, willingness to share the basketball and three-point marksmanship (40.1% in B1G) is otherworldly. Also unyielding on defense (No. 11 in adjusted D efficiency), Juwan Howard’s club is a national title contender for a reason. Luka Garza versus Hunter Dickinson alone is worth your undivided attention, but how well complementary pieces Joe Weiskamp (Iowa), CJ Frederick (Iowa), Isaiah Livers (Michigan), Eli Brooks (Michigan) and others perform will ultimately determine the outcome. Due to Iowa’s erratic D, the Maize and Blue has an advantage. If the visitors bring even a ‘B’ level defensive effort, UM wins by double figures.
Leg 2: Northwestern at Minnesota (-1.5)
“Trolling the bar for a snuggle buddy at 1 a.m.”-desperate is Minnesota. Currently projected as this balding bracketologist’s final at-large team IN the projected NCAA Tournament field, it has zero margin for error. The criticalness of every game from here on out is accentuated. Win, and they stay afloat. Lose, and they’re banished to the seedy side of Bubbleville. Without key starter Gabe Kalscheur, freshman Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Both Gatch must elevate their play. Big man Liam Robbins, who’s fought through a swollen ankle scoring just eight points in his last three games, must also deliver the goods. The Wildcats, statistically speaking, are one of the worst rebounding teams in the conference. Robbins and Brandon Johnson need to wax the glass and convert on chip-shot opportunities (NW No. 13 in B1G in 2PT% D). Command the post, push defensively to the perimeter — over 40% of Northwestern’s shots come from three — and generate space for premier scorer Marcus Carr to create, and the Golden Gophers should temporarily stave off internal N-I-T thoughts. Most importantly, Northwestern has covered the full spread just three times in its past 13 games.
Known as "The Big Noise", Brad Evans, a FSWA Hall of Fame inductee in 2017, is the most decorated writer in fantasy sports history, one of the most accomplished NCAA basketball bracket predictors around and arguably the lousiest bettor you'll ever encounter. Previously the lead fantasy/betting voice at Yahoo Sports, he also offered expertise on NBC Sports Network ("Pro Football Talk," "Fantasy Football Live") "Football Night in America" on NBC, YES Network, The Weather Channel, Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports Radio and "The Dan Patrick Show." He created, co-stars and co-produces "The Fantasy Football Hour" seen weekly in 75 million households on regional sports networks. You can also hear his booming voice every M-F on his SiriusXM Fantasy Channel show "Fade The Noise." As owner/operator of TEAM HUEVOS, he relishes making bold predictions. Fade or follow his profitless picks on Twitter @NoisyHuevos.