Daily Underdog Picks: Oklahoma State will give Baylor a run for its money
March Madness is upon us and who doesn't love a good underdog story?
Today's underdog picks include an eagerly anticipated NCAA conference tournament showdown as well as intriguing games from the NBA and NHL.
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor
Fri, March 12 2021, 11:30 PM
March is here and we’ve seen some madness already in the conference championships.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys know all about that, having defeated West Virginia in thrilling fashion to advance to the semifinals of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. Oklahoma State was a three-point underdog Thursday and it didn’t faze them one bit. The challenge is even greater tonight, as they face Baylor as a nine-point underdog.
Over the last month, Oklahoma State has knocked off Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma twice and West Virginia twice – all teams ranked inside the AP Top 25. The Cowboys now have the sixth best odds to win the national championship.
They lost earlier this month to Baylor, the No. 2 team in the nation, by nine points. Baylor was able to pull ahead in the first half, and Oklahoma State was unable to close the gap. Both teams each scored 39 points in the second half of that meeting. A four-minute stretch in the first half proved costly for the Cowboys.
On Thursday, the Cowboys were down eight points in the second half to West Virginia, and came back to win.
And if we’ve learned anything from the past, it’s that college basketball in March tends to provide some memorable moments for the underdogs. Expect Oklahoma State to keep this one close enough to get the cover.
Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz
Sat, March 13 2021, 3:10 AM
Houston, we have a problem.
Fresh off the All-Star break, the Rockets lost by 20 points in Sacramento on Thursday, and the losing streak has now moved to 14 games. The Rockets are among the worst teams in the NBA against the spread, and will face a formidable opponent tonight in the Utah Jazz. The Rockets were, as of Friday afternoon, 17-point underdogs against the best team in the NBA’s overall standings.
The Rockets have covered just once since this losing streak began, and now veteran forward P.J. Tucker is reportedly being held out of the lineup while trade speculation swirls around him.
The loss of Christian Wood to injury has made things even worse. It’s ugly for the Rockets right now.
At what point do you have enough, though, and show at least a little fight? Just to keep a game competitive?
The Rockets aren’t winning tonight, and it likely won’t be close, no matter how much fight Houston shows. But needing to win by 18 or more points is a big ask for Jazz right now. They may jump out to a big lead by the fourth quarter and decide to take their foot off the gas, allowing Houston an opportunity to close the gap, perhaps enough to cover.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild
Sat, March 13 2021, 1:00 AM
The Arizona Coyotes aren’t the biggest underdog on the NHL menu tonight, but they’re an intriguing option for bettors looking at a potential upset.
The Coyotes are in a tight race in the NHL’s West Division, currently on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. But they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked in their matchup with the Minnesota Wild tonight.
The Coyotes are 5-3-1 on the road, including two wins in their last three games away from home. They are also 1-1 against the Wild, with their first victory so far in the season series coming last weekend. Arizona got off to a slow start, but came back to score five unanswered goals to defeat the Wild.
The Coyotes don’t have the greatest five-on-five metrics on the road. In controlling possession, expected goals-for and against, and scoring chances, the Coyotes are below 50% in all three categories at five-on-five. The Wild are the better team at five-on-five, especially on home ice, but the Coyotes have been able to score some big wins on the road already this season against good teams like Colorado and St. Louis.
If they keep this close through two periods, there may be a chance to pull through in the third period and get the win.