/Gonzaga leads three best bets for tonight’s NCAA conference tournament championship games
Gonzaga leads three best bets for tonight's NCAA conference tournament championship games

Gonzaga leads three best bets for tonight’s NCAA conference tournament championship games

Hello, and Happy Tuesday! I come to you today with a personal question, as I woke up this morning and faced a bit of crisis. Well, actually, I woke up this morning, showered and did all the standard morning stuff before walking the dog, and then when I got home, I went on the internet for the first time, and that’s when I had the crisis.

That’s when I learned that Kansas had fired Les Miles on Monday night. Or, excuse me, Kansas and Les Miles mutually agreed to part ways. The crisis has nothing to do with Miles or Kansas, but the fact that Kansas waited until roughly 11 p.m. ET to dump the news, and I was already in bed when it happened. In the Central time zone.

What I need to know is, how washed is somebody who was asleep before 10 p.m. on a Monday? I don’t have kids as an excuse to fall back on, but I will say that yesterday was a pretty busy day. Not only did I write the newsletter, but I recorded a couple of different podcasts, and I wrote two columns (including my latest NFL mock draft that will go up on Wednesday). Plus, you know, I was watching sports I’d bet on all day.

So I was pretty tired! Still, I was asleep before 10 p.m. on a Monday and not in the “passed out on the couch” way. It was the deliberately went to bed way.

Is it all downhill from here?

All right, now let’s give Dak Prescott some picks to bet all that new contract money on.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. BYU, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 155.5 (-110)
: First of all, shout out to Gonzaga for that easy cover against St. Mary’s last night. We never even had to break a sweat, as Gonzaga was covering by halftime (which played a role in my decision to go to bed!) and never relented in the second half. We could all use a comfortable win from time to time. Last night’s game does not impact how I feel about tonight’s game, though. In fact, if I were interested in betting the spread, I’d probably take BYU +14, but I’m not betting the spread. I’m betting the total.

And if you read yesterday’s newsletter, you would know why I’m betting the under. This is the final of the West Coast Conference Tournament, and in this newsletter, we blindly bet the under of conference finals. The teams playing in them are typically playing their third game in three days, and there’s a lot on the line. That’s not the case here, however. Both Gonzaga and BYU are playing their second game in two days, and both are going to the NCAA Tournament no matter what.

Jonathan Coachman is joined by Mike McClure, Zack Cimini and Larry Hartstein to dish out the best bets for Tuesday. Download and subscribe to The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Still, the under is more appealing to me for another reason. These teams played twice during the regular season, with Gonzaga winning both games. The first came by 17 at home, and the second by 11 at BYU. Both games finished below 155.5 points.

Key Trend: The under is 2-0 when these teams have played this season.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: It’s the biggest game on tonight’s college basketball slate, so you know the Advanced Computer Model has been cooking up all the simulations.

💰The Picks

🏀 College Basketball


Drexel vs. Elon, 7 p.m | TV: CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Under 129.5 (-110) —
Ladies and gentlemen, March Madness has already begun in the Colonial Athletic Association. The conference is considered a one-bid conference already, but you can rest assured neither of these teams would reach the NCAA Tournament without a Cinderella story. Drexel is only 11-7 on the season and came into this tournament as the No. 6 seed. Elon is 10-8 and is the No. 8 seed. Drexel had to knock off No. 3 Charleston and No. 2 Northeastern to get here. Elon’s road was more difficult. It began with a win over No. 9 Towson and was followed by a one-point win over No. 1 James Madison and a blowout victory over No. 4 Hofstra. This is precisely the kind of matchup we target in conference final unders. Two tired teams playing for the NCAA dream. Drexel’s playing its third game in three days, and Elon’s playing its fourth in four. There’s a good chance it’s ugly, and there’s a 100% chance it ends in tears for both teams. This game is what March is all about.

Key Trend: The under is 8-2 in Elon’s last 6 neutral site games, and 7-2 in Drexel’s last nine.

Cleveland State vs. Oakland, 7 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 140 (-110) —
OK, so the Horizon League Tournament hasn’t been as unpredictable as the CAA Tournament. Cleveland State went 16-4 in conference play this season and entered as the No. 1 seed. Oakland was only 10-10, but that was good enough to earn the No. 3 seed. Both of these teams are playing their third game in three days, as Cleveland State has had a couple of close calls against Purdue Fort Wayne and Milwaukee. Oakland needed OT to get past Youngstown State but beat Northern Kentucky by nine yesterday. Cleveland State has no shot at an at-large, so it’s all on the line. It’s all here. Everything we look for in a conference final under play.

Key Trend: The under is 16-5-1 in Oakland’s last 22 neutral site games and 4-1 in Cleveland State’s last five.

⚽ Champions League

Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig, Wednesday, 3 p.m | TV: Paramount+
The Pick: Liverpool (+140) —
I can hear you from here. “Tom, how in the hell can you pick Liverpool right now? This is a team that’s lost six straight at home, and just lost to freaking Fulham over the weekend!” Believe me, I hear you. Liverpool are an absolute mess, and they’re well out of the Premier League race and probably won’t even qualify for next year’s Champions League. But you know what? Liverpool were a mess before the first leg of this series too.

Liverpool had lost three straight, including a 1-0 loss to Brighton, before beating Leipzig 2-0 in the first leg. Leipzig, on the other hand, entered that match having won four straight and five of six. Now Liverpool enter this week’s match having lost three straight, including a 1-0 loss to a relegation-threatened Fulham. Leipzig, on the other hand, have won four straight and eight of nine! Any of this sound familiar? I’m not saying Liverpool will run away with this match or that they’re light years ahead of Leipzig, but it’s still a team with plenty of talent. At this price, we can’t afford to pass it up.

Key Trend: Despite Liverpool’s struggles in the Premier League, it has won five of its seven Champions League matches this season, allowing only three goals.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Uncanny golf handicapper Rick Gehman releases his best bets for this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, including a huge long shot to win and props that will cash in.

⚽ Wednesday Soccer Parlay

There’s more than just Champions League soccer on Wednesday. Here’s a quick two-team money line parlay for some additional sweat while watching. It pays +113.

  • Manchester City -550
  • Atletico Madrid -125