Best Bets for This Weekend - Mar. 20-21, 2021

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

It’s the weekend many bettors have been waiting for. The NCAA tournament is finally back and that means it’s time for upsets. There could be several as the first round of March Madness starts on Friday. 

There’s also plenty of NBA and NHL action to keep bettors busy. Here are the best bets for this weekend. But before we get going, check out our best bets for last Sunday. 

NCAAB: UCSB vs. Creighton 

Ah, the NCAA tournament. It’s finally here and, more than anything, people love the upsets that are sure to happen. One of those could very well be UC-Santa Barbara against an ailing Creighton. 

The Bluejays lost three of their last six games, including a disappointing blowout defeat at the hands of Georgetown in the Big East championship game. Still, Creighton is favored by 7.5 to beat the 12th-seeded Gauchos.  

UCSB ranks 31st in defensive efficiency and No. 12 seeds have a long history of pulling upsets over No. 5 seeds. At the very least, the Gauchos keep this one close. UCSB is 14-10 ATS this season. 

Take the Gauchos to cover. 

NCAAB: Abilene Christian vs. Texas 

It’s not very often a No. 14 seed beats a No. 3 in the NCAA tournament, but Saturday’s ACU-Texas matchup could be one. It’s just another crazy fact in a year that has seen COVID-19 impacting the NCAA Tournament. 

While Texas has played well all season in a very difficult Big 12 conference, they might meet their match in Abilene Christian. The Wildcats just might be the best defensive team in the country. 

ACU ranks No. 1 in defensive efficiency and 10th in scoring defense allowing just 61.7 points per game. The Wildcats are also No. 1 in the nation in forcing turnovers - 19.1 per game to be exact.  

Texas is favored by nine points in this one, which offers bettors plenty of value in backing Abilene Christian -9. 

NHL: Boston @ Buffalo 

The Sabres just fired head coach Ralph Krueger after their losing streak hit 12 games. Buffalo has the fewest points in the NHL and they are last in the East Division. 

On Saturday, they will host Boston (15-8-4). It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams, since their previous two-game series was postponed. The Bruins have one of the better lines in hockey with David Pastrnak (13 G) and Brad Marchand (33 pts).  

Buffalo struggles to score. Only once in their current losing streak have the Sabres scored more than twice in a game. Buffalo’s scoring will struggle on Saturday as they face a Bruins team that holds opponents to 2.33 goals per game. That is No. 2 in the NHL. 

With the total likely to be set at 5.5, play the Under, which has hit in two of the last three Sabres games and six straight Bruins games. You can also watch the NHL puck lines over the weekend, and find a nice number for a 2-goal Bruins win. 

NBA: Dallas @ Portland 

Portland welcomed C.J. McCollum back to the lineup earlier in the week and responded with a win over New Orleans. McCollum scored just 10 points, but that was because his backcourt mate Damian Lillard was going off for 50. 

The Trail Blazers are seventh in the league in scoring, putting up just over 115 points per game. They will host Dallas on Sunday.  

The two teams have met just once this season. The Trail Blazers won 121-118 back in February. The total for that game was 235.5, which went Over.  

Portland trends to the Over (22-17) and four of their last five games have gone Over the posted total. Expect a similar number on Sunday as Dallas plays at a slower pace. 

That should keep the total around 235 and that means you should play the Over once again.

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