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Merry Christmas again. See, in this world, we get back-to-back days of Christmas. Let’s dive right in and see what Santa has in store for us on Friday. In today’s NCAA Tournament betting guide, we will cover every game on Friday, looking at key matchups and metrics, along with trends and our favorite bets from our crew of experts (Stuckey, Jordan Majewski, Bryan Mears and Ken Barkley — aka @LockyLockerson).

Be sure to check back here up until game time for insight into last-minute sharp action, significant line moves and any other betting market info.

Let’s get to it!

All spreads as of Thursday morning. 

#10 Providence vs. #7 Texas A&M -2 | O/U: 138.5

Charlotte, NC | 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS

No. 1 thing I’ll be watching: Can Providence keep Texas A&M off the glass?

Providence isn’t a terrible rebounding team (its metrics are ever so slightly below average), but it hasn’t seen a front line such as Texas A&M’s this season. The Aggies rank 23rd in offensive rebounding percentage (some of that was accumulated with star forward Robert Williams out). A reasonable amount of their offense comes from simply bullying other teams underneath.

Providence, meanwhile, is built more to stop the opposing team from shooting 3s (which helps explain why it plays Villanova competitively). However, that is an area in which the Aggies don’t excel. The Friars seem ill-equipped to deal with the physicality and height that the Aggies will bring to this game. — Ken Barkley

Did You Know?

The Aggies shot under 40% from the field in each their final three games before the tournament. Since the 2006 tourney, teams entering the Big Dance on a streak of three or more games of shooting under 40% from the field are 15-3-1 against the spread (83.3%). That includes Radford’s win and cover against LIU-Brooklyn Tuesday night. (Auburn also enters March Madness in this situation). — Evan Abrams

Betting Market

Providence is attracting heavy public action (70% of tickets), which has forced oddsmakers to drop the line from +4 down to +3. Hello there trendy dog! — PJ Walsh

My Favorite Bet

Stuck: Looking for Texas A&M live if it gets down 6 or more
Mears: Texas A&M -2
Ken: Texas A&M -2



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