27 Mar

2024 NCAA Tournament picks, March Madness bets by proven model

The No. 3 seed Creighton Bluejays and the No. 14 seed Akron Zips battle in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The Zips have won three straight en route to a 62-61 win over Kent State to secure the MAC Championship. Meanwhile, Creighton was upset in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. On March 14, Providence beat the Bluejays 78-73.

Tipoff from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh is set for 1:30 p.m. ET. The Bluejays are 12-point favorites in the latest Akron vs. Creighton odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 142.5. Before making any Creighton vs. Akron picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven model.

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Creighton vs. Akron. You can head to SportsLine now to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Akron vs. Creighton:

Creighton vs. Akron spread: Bluejays -12
Creighton vs. Akron over/under: 142.5 points
Creighton vs. Akron money line: Bluejays -794, Zips +535
AKR: Akron has hit the team total Under in 12 of its last 19 games
CREI: Creighton has hit the team total Over in 19 of its last 35 games
Creighton vs. Akron picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Creighton can cover
Senior guard Baylor Scheierman is a smooth scorer who owns a reliable perimeter shot and has the range for step-back jumpers. The Nebraska native averages a team-high 18.4 points with nine rebounds and four assists per game. On March 2, Scheierman tallied 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Senior center Ryan Kalkbrenner is a lengthy and effective player in the paint. Kalkbrenner has a soft touch around the rim and in the mid-range area. He logged 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while knocking down 65% of his shots from the field. In the loss to Providence, Kalkbrenner stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

Why Akron can cover
Senior forward Enrique Freeman is an explosive playmaker in the frontcourt. Freeman soars high for easy dunks and piles up rebounds. The Ohio native leads the team in points (18.6), rebounds (12.9) and blocks (1.8) per game. On March 15 against Ohio, Freeman finished with 24 points, 21 boards and seven blocks.

Senior guard Ali Ali is an additional scoring threat. Ali owns the speed and finesse to get around the basket consistently. He is putting up 15.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. Ali racked up 18 points, five rebounds and five assists in his last outing. He’s scored at least 17 points in three of the last six games. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

How to make Akron vs. Creighton picks
The model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 138 points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 70% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

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