2018 March Madness Odds and Trends: Round of 64 Betting Outlook

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The Kentucky Wildcats have their requisite NBA-bound freshman in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but the NCAA Tournament selection committee has stuck them with an opponent that thrives at grinding down the pace.

As 2018 NCAA Tournament tips off, Kentucky is listed as a 5.5-point favorites against Davidson with a 143-point total on the March Madness odds in a Thursday matchup set for Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Kentucky is 7-1 straight-up and against the spread over its last eight games and the total has gone OVER in seven of those matchups, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. However, Davidson is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 Thursday games and has also kept the total under in its last seven games when it had at least three days off prior to playing.

Elsewhere, the Rhode Island Rams are two-point favorites against the Oklahoma Sooners with a 158 total in a Thursday matchup in Pittsburgh. The total has gone UNDER in five of Rhode Island’s last six games. Oklahoma is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games against the Atlantic 10, but it is also 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games.

The Virginia Tech Hokies are two-point favorites against the Alabama Crimson Tide with a 142 total in Pittsburgh. The total has gone UNDER in Virginia Tech’s last nine games. Virginia Tech is 4-10 SU in its last 14 games against the SEC. The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Alabama’s last 20 games.

The Houston Cougars are four-point favorites against the San Diego State Aztecs with a 143 total in Wichita, Kansas. Houston is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games. San Diego State is 7-0 SU and ATS in its last seven games against teams with winning records.

The Seton Hall Pirates are 2.5-point favorites against the North Carolina State Wolfpack with a 156 total in Wichita. The total has gone OVER in eight of Seton Hall’s last 10 games. North Carolina State is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven games.

The Miami Hurricanes are 1.5-point favorites against the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers with a 134 total in Dallas. Miami is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite. Loyola of Chicago is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games as an underdog of 2.5 or more.

Switching to Friday’s matchups, the Texas A&M Aggies are 3.5-point betting favorites against the Providence Friars with a 138 total in Charlotte, N.C. Texas A&M is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games as a favorite of 3.5 or less. Providence is 5-0 SU in its last five games on a Friday.

The Wichita State Shockers are 12-point favorites against the Marshall Thundering Herd with a 166 total in San Diego. Marshall is 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog of 12.0 or more. Wichita State is 0-6 ATS in its last six games.

The Butler Bulldogs are 1.5-point favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks with a 152 total in Detroit. Butler is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven games against the SEC. Arkansas is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games against the Big East.

The Creighton Bluejays are two-point favorites against the Kansas State Wildcats with a 144 total in Charlotte. Creighton is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a favorite. The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Creighton’s last 12 games as a favorite. Kansas State is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in March.

The Florida State Seminoles are one-point favorites against the Missouri Tigers with a 148 total in Nashville. Florida State is 0-8 ATS in its last eight tournament games as the favorite. Missouri is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the ACC.

And the tournament begins with the First Four play-in games in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Radford Highlanders are 4.5-point favorites against the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds, while the UCLA Bruins are 3.5-point favorites against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in Tuesday’s betting matchups.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NIL and NCAA: What to know about the new policy and how NBC Sports can help

NCAA College World Series
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As of July 1, 2021, a new NCAA policy has been in effect allowing student-athletes from all three divisions to monetize their name, image, and likeness (often referred to as NIL). As long as the activities are “consistent with the law of the state where the school is located,” athletes now have the opportunity to accept endorsements from brands, monetize their social media presences, and work with professional firms to coordinate deals.

Click here for additional information and guidelines regarding NCAA NIL policies and keep reading to find answers to questions such as how NIL works as well as how NBC Sports can help.

What is NIL and NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

NBC Sports Athlete Direct is coming to a school near you. The program enables college student-athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) through a unique marketplace that connects athletes with advertisers. NBC Sports Athlete Direct will work to provide equal opportunities to all student-athletes, regardless of which team you play on or any statistical performance.

How will the NIL Marketplace work?

Advertisers will use NBC Sports Athlete Direct to make NIL offers available to college student-athletes. College student-athletes will then have the option to participate in the NIL offer. Those who decide to participate and complete the advertiser’s campaign requirements will be compensated based on a predetermined rate.

How much money can athletes make participating in NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

Compensation will vary by advertiser campaign.

When will NBC Sports Athlete Direct launch and how can I sign up?

NBC Sports Athlete Direct will officially launch in the Fall of 2022 but prior to that, we will be launching a pilot program soon, exclusively for Temple and Vanderbilt student-athletes.

In the meantime, click here to fill out a student-athlete interest form and once it is available at your school, we will notify you and provide you with additional information on how to sign up.

If I participate in NIL offers from NBC Sports Athlete Direct, do I still have the freedom to do other NIL deals that are not related to NBC Sports Athlete Direct?

Yes, this program is non-exclusive so our student-athletes will have the freedom to participate in other NIL deals that are not related to NBC Sports Athlete Direct.

What are the rules or restrictions for participating in this program?

Unfortunately, international students and students under the age of 18 are not eligible to participate in the pilot program at this time.

Kentucky to allow college athletes to earn off likeness

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Thursday allowing the state’s college athletes – including players on the nationally renowned Kentucky and Louisville men’s basketball teams – to make money through the use of their name, image or likeness.

The Democratic governor said he took the action as a matter of fairness for college athletes. It will spare Kentucky’s colleges from being at a competitive disadvantage with rivals in other states that will have laws enabling athletes to profit off their name, image or likeness, he said.

“This is important to our student-athletes, who for decades, others – whether it’s companies or institutions – have profited on,” Beshear told reporters. “These athletes deserve to be a part of that.”

Beshear said his executive order takes effect July 1, when similar legislation passed in several other states will become law. His office said he was the first governor to make the change by executive order.

The governor’s action won praise from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. UK plays in the Southeastern Conference and UofL competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Bringing the state of Kentucky into competitive balance with other states across the country and, more specifically, the Atlantic Coast Conference is critical,” Vince Tyra, U of L’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, said in a release issued by the governor’s office.

UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the governor’s action “provides us the flexibility we need at this time to further develop policies around name, image and likeness.”

“We are appreciative of that support, as it is a bridge until such time as state and/or federal laws are enacted,” Barnhart said in the same release from Beshear’s office. “The landscape of college sports is now in the midst of dramatic and historic change – perhaps the biggest set of shifts and changes since scholarships were first awarded decades ago.”

In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, laws go into effect July 1 that make it impermissible for the NCAA and members schools to prevent athletes from being paid by third parties for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.

The NCAA had hoped for a national law from Congress that has not come, and its own rule-making has been bogged down for months. College sports leaders are instead moving toward the type of patchwork regulation they have been warning against for months.