The Creighton Bluejays are almost two-touchdown favorites over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns in their No. 3 vs. No. 14 matchup in the West Region on Friday.
But that shouldn't discourage potential Bluejays backers, as Creighton is 10-4 against the spread as a double-digit favorite this season.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Bluejays opened as 13.5-point favorites; the total was 157. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Louisiana-Lafayette to cover the spread
The Cajuns returned all five starters this season from a team that went 13-20 last year. Louisiana finished third in the Sun Belt at 11-7 and then upset the top two seeds to win the conference tournament, earning its first invitation to the Big Dance since 2005.
The 14th-seeded Cajuns were only 12-9 heading into February but won 11 of their last 13 games. And the two losses in that span came by a total of six points. Louisiana-Lafayette is averaging 81 points per game this season and shooting 47 percent from the floor as a team.
Why pick Creighton to cover the spread
With four starters back from a team that won 28 games last year, the Bluejays started 10-2 this year with wins over St. Joseph's, Tulsa, Arizona State and Nebraska and losses to San Diego State and George Washington.
The Jays then went 14-4 to finish second in the new Big East and made it to the conference tournament championship game. So Creighton is in the NCAA tournament for the third straight season—this time, with a No. 3 seed.
The Jays start four seniors, led by coach's kid Doug McDermott, who's averaging 26 PPG on 53 percent shooting this season.
Smart betting pick
As a team, Creighton ranks fourth in the country in shooting at 50 percent and first from three-point range at 42 percent. Meanwhile, defense isn't exactly Louisiana's strong point, as the team has allowed 75 PPG this year.
The Bluejays battled through a pretty good schedule this year, going 9-5 against teams that made the tournament. And while 14 points might seem like a lot, the Cajuns are only 1-3 ATS as double-digit dogs this season. Give the points and go with Creighton to extend the Cajuns’ tournament winless skid to four games.
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns: No. 23
Creighton Bluejays: No. 70 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Creighton 3-9 SU in the tournament since 1999
- Creighton 10-3 ATS as double-digit chalk since December
- Ragin Cajuns 0-3 SU in tournament games since 1995, all UNDERs
- Ragin Cajuns ended year on 11-2 SU run