Frank Sawyer Frank Sawyer
Frank Sawyer is on a 7 of 10 (70%) CBB TOTALS TEAR which has continued his 41 of 60 (68%) CBB Totals run! Frank's 25* CBB NCAA Tourney Round of 64 Total of the Year tips off this afternoon!
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YESTERDAY'S PLAYS
Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 21, 2019
St. Mary's vs Villanova
Villanova
-4 -107 at pinnacle
Tie
Play Type: Premium

At 7:20 PM ET on Thursday, we will be playing the Villanova Wildcats (758) minus the points versus the Saint Mary’s Gaels (757). THE SITUATION: Villanova (25-9) followed up their Big East regular season championship by winning the Big East tournament with their 74-72 win over Seton Hall last Saturday as a 4-point favorite. Saint Mary’s (22-11) won the West Coast Conference tournament back on March 12th with their 60-47 upset win over Gonzaga as a 14.5-point underdog. The Wildcats enjoy a geographical edge with this game being played on a neutral court in Hartford.

REASONS TO TAKE VILLANOVA MINUS THE POINTS: This play is primarily a bet against the Gaels who are only 2-6 straight-up against NCAA Tournament teams. After getting blown out by Gonzaga by a combined 62 points in their first two meetings with that team, they slayed their dragon by playing their best game of the season. But I expect a big emotional letdown for this team who would have likely not made the NCAA Tournament without that upset victory. As it is, the Gaels have failed to cover the point spread in 6 of their last 8 games after an upset victory by double-digits. Saint Mary’s is also just 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games after not allowing more than 50 points in their last contest. And while the Gaels have covered the point spread in four of their last five games, they have then failed to cover the point spread in 8 of their last 9 games on the road after covering the point spread in four or five of their last six games. This team is really well-coached by Randy Bennett — but this is rebuilding year after losing five of their top seven players from last year’s team. And this group has one glaring characteristic that is different than past Bennett teams at Saint Mary’s: they do not share the basketball. After finishing 8th in the nation two seasons ago in assist rate, this group averages under 11 Assists-Per-Game while ranking 271st in the nation by assisting on only 37.9% of their opponent’s possessions. Villanova lost four starters from last year’s National Championship team — but after hitting rock bottom with a 27-point rematch against Michigan and then a shocking upset loss to (a good) Furman team, head coach Jay Wright rallied his team to win the Big East. The Wildcats are playing their best basketball right now as they have won three straight games as well as five of their last six contests. That bodes well for them now as they have covered the point spread in 13 of their last 14 games after a win where they failed to cover the point spread — and they have covered the point spread in 7 of their last 8 games after winning three straight games against conference opponents. Villanova launches tons of 3s — they rank 4th in then nation with 53.5% of their shots coming from downtown. The Gaels’ defend the 3-ball well — but what is under appreciated about the Wildcats’ approach is that all these 3-point attempts are enhanced by their high shot volume rate. Villanova ranks 12th in the nation in Shot Volume because they only turn the ball over in 15.1% of their possessions while pulling down 29.1% of the missed shots. I also expect the Wildcats’ 2-3 zone and 1-2-2 press defensive looks to wreak havoc with this Saint Mary’s team that faces a zone defense in only 78 possessions all season! Wright’s embrace of position-less basketball also allows his team to easily switch on defense. There is a reason his teams have covered the point spread in 13 of their last 16 games in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova has also covered the point spread in 17 of their last 21 games played on a neutral court — and they have covered the point spread in a decisive 35 of their last 51 games against teams with a winning percentage over 60%.

FINAL TAKE: This is a strange situation because many of the analytics projections predict Villanova winning by as low as one point which is wildly disparate from oddsmakers that have this line as high as 6 points for the Wildcats. I do not think this is because the defending champions are a public team. The Gaels play at a slow pace but so too does Villanova so they will be comfortable. I think the oddsmakers have identified a fundamental mismatch that I happen to agree with. 20* CBB Saint Mary’s-Villanova TBS-TV Special with the Villanova Wildcats (758) minus the points versus the Saint Mary’s Gaels (757). Best of luck for us — Frank.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 21, 2019
Bradley vs Michigan State
UNDER 134½ -104 Lost
$104.0
Play Type: Premium

At 2:45 PM ET on Thursday, we will be playing Under the Total in the game between the Bradley Braves (775) and the Michigan State Spartans (776). THE SITUATION: Bradley (20-14) won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with their 57-54 win over Northern Iowa as a 2-point favorite back on March 10th. Michigan State (28-6) has won five straight games after they won the Big Ten tournament last Sunday with their 65-60 upset win over Michigan as a 1-point underdog. This Eastern regional game is being played on a neutral court in Des Moines.

REASONS TO TAKE UNDER THE TOTAL: The Braves eked out this game despite scoring a mere 4 points in the last ten minutes of the first half against the Panthers. Bradley has scored only 15 and 25 points in the first half of their last two games — and they have then played 8 of their last 9 games Under the Total after not scoring more than 30 points in the first half in two straight games. The Braves are in the bottom third in the nation in Offensive Efficiency as their Adjusted Offensive Efficiency ranks 244th in the nation. While they did finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference in offensive rebounding, they only pulled down 26.3% of their missed shots. They also rank 300th in the nation by making only 46.7% of their shots inside the arc. This spells huge trouble against a Spartans team that is third in the nation by limiting their opponents to just a 41.3% shooting percentage inside the arc. Bradley is not likely to have much success shooting from outside either as Sparty limited their Big Ten opponents to just a 30.5% mark from behind the arc. Over their last five games, the Braves scored only 61.2 PPG. But this Bradley team plays solid defense as they ranked fourth in the MVC in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency — and they led the conference with an opponent’s effective field goal percentage of 47.7%. The Braves held their last five opponents to just a 38.7% shooting clip with their last three opponents scoring no more than 58 points. Bradley has played 6 straight games Under the Total after not allowing more than 60 points in at least two straight games. Overall, the Braves have an opponent’s field goal percentage of 41.1% — and Michigan State has played 15 of their last 18 games Under the Total on the road against teams that do not allow their opponents to make more than 42% of their shots. Bradley has played 14 of their last 18 games Under the Total after 15 games into the season against teams with a winning percentage over 80%. The Braves have also played 24 of their last 32 games Under the Total — and this includes the playing nine of their last ten games Under the Total on a neutral court. Michigan State has seen the Under go 25-9-1 in their last 35 games after a straight-up win — and the Under is also 18-7-1 in their last 26 games after a point spread victory. Furthermore, the Spartans have played 10 of their last 13 games Under the Total after not allowing more than 60 points in their last game. This Michigan State team ranks 8th in the nation in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. And while the Spartans also score 78.8 PPG, Bradley has played 11 of their last 12 games Under the Total against teams who score at least 77 PPG. The Spartans have also played 4 of their last 5 games Under the Total when playing on a neutral court.

FINAL TAKE: I lean to Michigan State to win in this game but I consider it Fool’s Gold to lay close to 20 points — especially in the NCAA Tournament. The Under is the far better play in this situation. A big challenge Tom Izzo now has is managing his thin bench after the season-ending injury to Kyle Ahrens in the Big Ten championship game leaving the team with only two reliable bench players. Don’t be surprised when Izzo has his team take their foot off the gas pedal to conserve energy for their next game on Saturday. 20* CBB Bradley-Michigan State CBS-TV O/U Special with Under the Total in the game between the Bradley Braves (775) and the Michigan State Spartans (776). Best of luck for us — Frank.

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 21, 2019
Minnesota vs Louisville
Minnesota
+6 -110 at Bovada
Won
$100
Play Type: Free

Take the Minnesota Golden Gophers plus the points versus the Louisville Cardinals. Minnesota (21-13) looks to bounce-back from a 76-49 loss to Michigan in the Semifinals of the Big Ten tournament last Saturday. The Golden Gophers have covered the point spread in 4 of their last 5 games after a straight-up loss. Minnesota has also covered the point spread in 9 of their last 13 games after failing to score at least 50 points in their last game. Louisville (20-13) lost to North Carolina last Thursday by an 83-70 score as a 7-point underdog. But the Cardinals have failed to cover the point spread in 7 of their last 10 games played on a neutral court. And they have also failed to cover the point spread in 4 of their last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage over 60%. Take Minnesota plus the points. Best of luck — Frank.

Frank Sawyer’s Hollywood Sports begins Thursday on a 7 of 10 (70%) CBB TOTALS TEAR that has improved his longer-term 41 of 60 (68%) CBB Totals run which is RIGHT IN LINE with his deeper 76 of 114 (67%) CBB Totals mark! Now Frank spots an OUTSTANDING O/U OPPORTUNITY for afternoon action in the NCAA Tourney — for his 25* CBB NCAA Tourney Round of 64 Total of the Year and his FIRST HIGHEST-RATED 25* PLAY for his busy day! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!

Matchup Selection W/L
NCAA-B  |  Mar 21, 2019
Minnesota vs Louisville
UNDER 137 +100 Lost
$100.0
Play Type: Top Premium

At 12:15 PM ET on Thursday, we will be playing Under the Total in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers (773) and the Louisville Cardinals (774). THE SITUATION: Minnesota (21-13) enters the NCAA Tournament looking to bounce-back from a 76-49 loss to Michigan in the Semifinals of the Big Ten tournament last Saturday as a 9-point underdog. Louisville (20-13) has lost two of their last three games with their 83-70 loss to North Carolina last Thursday as a 7-point underdog. This East regional game is being played in Des Moines, Iowa.

REASONS TO TAKE UNDER THE TOTAL: Head coach Rick Pitino should have his team play tough defense after they allowed the Wolverines to make 51.6% of their shots which was the worst defensive effort in their last ten games. The Golden Gophers have played 5 of their last 7 games Under the Total after a straight-up loss — and they have played 6 of their last 7 games Under the Total after a point spread loss. Additionally, Minnesota has played 5 straight games Under the Total after a loss by at least 20 points. And while that game with Michigan finished below the 131 point total, the Golden Gophers have played 15 of their last 21 games Under the Total on the road after a game that finished Under the Total. Pitino has this team playing better defense to close out the regular season (despite getting stung by Michigan). They have held their last five opponents to just a 42.9% field goal percentage — and those last five opponents made just 32.8% of their shots from behind the arc. Overall, Minnesota has the 40th best Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in the nation. But this team can struggle to score points especially on the road where they make only 40.7% of their shots which translates into just 63.6 PPG which is over 7 PPG below their season average. The Golden Gophers have played 6 of their last 8 games Under the Total against teams with a winning percentage below 60% — and they have played 13 of their last 19 games Under the Total as an underdog. Louisville has played 7 of their last 8 games Under the Total after a loss to a conference rival — and they have played 5 straight games Under the Total after a point spread loss. First-year head coach Chris Miller has this team playing a tough pack-line defense that has the Cardinals ranked 16th in the nation in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Louisville will be protecting the rim in this game and daring this Gophers team that makes just 32.1% of their 3-pointers (285th in the nation) to shooting from the outside. The Cardinals have held their last five opponents to just a 37.5% shooting percentage. But Louisville is only making 40.3% of their shots over that span. This team can struggle versus zone defenses that Pitino may have his team deploy at times. The Cardinals rely heavily on 3-point shooting as 43.7% of their shots from the field come from downtown (55th in the nation). But Minnesota defense the perimeter well as they ranked 27th in the nation by limiting their opponents to taking just 33.7% of their shots from behind the arc (27th in the nation) — and only 29.1% of their opponent's points come from 3s. Furthermore, Louisville has played 6 of their last 7 games Under the Total against teams outside the ACC.

FINAL TAKE: These two teams play a little slower than the national average of 17.5 seconds per possession. Look for Minnesota to play very physical against this Louisville team that is small and can be a bit soft. This should be a grinding low-scoring game to open the Round of 64. 25* CBB NCAA Tournament Round of 64 Total of the Year with Under the Total in the game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers (773) and the Louisville Cardinals (774). Best of luck for us — Frank.

SERVICE BIO

Frank Sawyer has been the handicapper for the stars ever since he started working in the film industry over 20 years ago. In 1997, Frank decided to make his personal bets available to the public and his Hollywood Sports was born. His service has been ranked #1 by the Sports Monitor in Oklahoma City. Frank's style combines his veteran handicapping instincts with cutting edge statistical metric analysis to make him one of the most distinct, diverse and reliable handicappers in the business. One look at his Game Reports illustrates the difference he brings to the betting window. Frank bets football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and horse racing (he has been a professional racehorse owner). He ranks his plays with a simple 10*, 20* and 25* rating system that serves as a money management guide: 10* plays warrant a standard bet; 20* plays are strong enough to warrant a doubling of a standard bet; 25* plays are Frank's highest rated play and it is recommended to invest 2.5 to 3 times a standard bet. Frank's signature play is his *A-List* release which is reserved for only the most rare and elite betting situations. You can follow his daily sports trials and tribulations (with few jokes thrown in) on Twitter: FrankSawyer_HS