NCAA Tournament preview in today’s conference title games: Best Bets for Sunday (March 12)

Alabama players react on the sideline during the second half against Missouri in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 72-61.

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Sunday, March 12:


The play: NCAA men’s basketball money line parlay, Alabama over Texas A&M and Houston over Memphis

The odds/bet: +110 ($30 to win $33)

The book: DraftKings

Time/TV: SEC game at 1 p.m. (CBS); American Conference game at 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: We have said throughout the past couple of weeks in college basketball, we are going to lean toward the teams that NEED it most. And all likelihood, Alabama must win to get a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA men’s tournament. Houston doesn’t want to leave anything to decide in the hands of the committee.

The Crimson Tide, despite all their off-the-field troubles, have seemed focused on basketball when they’re on the court. And don’t think for one moment that loss to the Aggies in the regular-season finale isn’t ever-present on their minds. That should help spur them, especially if it’s tight in the final moments.

For the Cougars, winners of 13 in a row, the have two tight victories over the Tigers, and one can expect they will be playing this one like it’s their opener in the tournament – and might be the best competition they get until the Elite Eight or so. Houston has rolled through the American Athletic Conference tournament, and despite how well Memphis has played, should finish it off in style.


The play: XFL, money line parlay, St. Louis over Arlington and DC over Vegas

The odds/bet: +110 ($10 to win $11)

The book: FanDuel

Time/TV: St. Louis at 4 p.m.; DC at 7 p.m. (both on ESPN2)

Our take: We went with the favorites in a money line parlay in college basketball, and we’re going to the well with our second pick here.

If you haven’t been following the XFL, the favorites have been money, especially on the money line. In this case, it’s as much about the opponents as it is the favorites. Neither Arlington nor Vegas have appeared to be worthy of the upper-tier teams in the league thus far, and both are on the road here.

Also, both the Battlehawks and Defenders have had solid quarterback play, and we expect that continue on this XFL Sunday.


Saturday’s best bets

Big Ten basketball tournament: Ohio State +7 over Purdue (LOST $33)

Big Ten basketball tournament: Indiana -2.5 over Penn State (LOST $11)

Saturday’s profit/loss: -$43 (0-2)

Total for the week: +$3 (5-6, 1 pending)

Total for March: +$99 (12-9, 1 pending)

Total for 2023: -$32.50 (44-49, 1 pending)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).


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