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Top Seeds Prevail in Thursday College Hoops Three-Teamer

Conference Tournament Betting Picks for March 11

We’re deep into the conference tournament portion of the college basketball season. The NCAA March Madness is just days away. Understated is how these tournaments have its fair share of upsets. Let’s dodge some landmines and pick three conference tournament parlay matchups that should be upset-proof per our  college basketball betting this Thursday.

UCSB Dumps Long Beach St. (Big West)

Let’s start off in the Big West, where the conference heavyweight, the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (19-4; 15-3) look to move on in the tournament by handling the Long Beach St. Beach (6-11; 4-8). UCSB has not lost to a team outside of “UC” since December 12. They’ve won 15 of their last 16.

Kyle Boswell #10 of the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos is congratulated as he comes out of the game. Read our Conference tournament parlay preview
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Beach have only won three of their last ten games, although they’ve covered on six of these occasions. These guys play one of the fastest tempos in the nation but are also one of the sloppiest. Their 16.3 turnovers per game is in the top 20.

UCSB, on the other hand, is in the top-100 in both offense and defense per KenPom metrics. They’re shooting the rock at 47.5 percent and averaged 16.1 assists versus 11.3 turnovers, making them one of the conference’s most efficient teams.

Thanks to having flunked from covering the spread in four of their last six, they get a “smaller” spread here when it should be close to 20. That’s free points for the top-seeded Gauchos who should blow away the Beach with no problems.

Pick: UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos to win and cover

Buffalo Charges Through RedHawks (MAC)

In the MAC, the second-seeded Bulls should handle business against the RedHawks of Miami-Ohio (12-10; 9-8). Buffalo (14-7; 12-5) has been money against conference rivals with an 11-6 spread record including 11-3 as a favorite. M-OH is 3-8 as an underdog.

The Bulls have one of the best defenses among the mid-major conferences ranking in the top-50 for KenPom. They limit opponents to just 27.7 three-point percent and force 13.6 turnovers. More importantly, they crash the boards hard with 44(!) a game. They’ll be hot underdog NCAAB pick per BetUS’s March Mayhem contest.

M-OH has an offense you can’t sneeze at. They hit close to nine threes per game at a 36.6 percent clip. Any teams caught sleeping will get lit up.

Unfortunately for the RedHawks, the Bulls are the type of opponent that can give them nightmares. Even if Buffalo can get into dry shooting spells, their defense should keep neutralizing M-OH. Bulls plow through.

Pick: Buffalo Bulls to win and cover

Rebels Take Out Gamecocks (SEC)

Our only major conference game in this parlay involves six-seed Mississippi (15-10; 10-8) taking on South Carolina (6-14; 4-12), the 11-seed. The Rebels are a shaky beat against the spread. They’re only 1-3 in their last four when favored by over seven points, but this is a solid matchup for them to win.

The Rebels’ slow-paced grinding defense can clamp down on an already offensively challenged squad in the Gamecocks. SCAR is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation hitting just 41.7 percent of their attempts. They play a high tempo and are error-prone.

Mississippi, led by their guards, will choke SCAR’s ball movement and force them into taking bad shots or turnovers. Although the Rebels can have trouble with their own shooting, they’ll be able to score more effectively inside the arc.

I like for the Rebels to edge SCAR here. It can get hairy at times, but Mississippi should win this one.

Pick: Mississippi Rebels to win

Conference Tournament Parlay

UCSB to cover, Buffalo to cover, and Mississippi to win

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