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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 day ago #502234

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Monday 3/18/19
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 22 hours ago #502242

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NCAA Tournament Future Analysis

by Kyle Markus

The March Madness bracket has been set, and the best teams in the country are ready to gear up for a deep NCAA Tournament run. There was no dominant team head and shoulders above the rest of the field this season, but the oddsmakers have a clear favorite in mind to win the national championship.

The Duke Blue Devils struggled a bit when superstar forward Zion Williamson was out with a knee injury, but he has returned to the fold and has made his team the clear favorite to win it all. There is some murkiness after that as the oddsmakers believe a wide variety of other teams could be in contention.

Will Duke live up to the billing and win the championship, or will another team steal the show? Check below to see all of the NCAA Tournament odds to help decide which group to ride in March Madness betting.

The NCAA Tournament will be held from March 19th through April 8th, 2019. The NCAA Tournament championship game will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota and nationally televised on CBS.

We'll have NCAA basketball odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2019 NCAA basketball season.

Odds Analysis

Duke finished the year in style by claiming the ACC championship. The Blue Devils pulled off a thrilling win over North Carolina in the semifinals and then beat Florida State for the conference tournament title. Duke is the clear favorite in March Madness with odds listed at +225.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were stunned by the Saint Mary’s Gaels in their conference tournament, and there will always be a faction of bettors that don’t believe they can make a true national championship run after playing in a mid-major conference. However, the oddsmakers are high on Gonzaga as it has the second-best odds in the country at +600.

The Virginia Cavaliers were upset earlier than expected in the ACC Tournament, but their body of work is still impressive. Virginia was shocked in the first round a year ago but has hopes of winning the title this year. The Cavaliers’ defense is very good and that type of skill shows up this time of year. Virginia is listed at +800 to win the championship.

The Michigan Wolverines are another team with lockdown defense. They were up and down in conference play but have some big wins on the season. Michigan is listed at +1000 to win the title, which, somewhat surprisingly, is the best odds among any Big Ten team.

The Michigan State Spartans aren’t that far behind, as they come in at +1200 odds to claim the title. Michigan State has a super talented team but it got some bad luck by being placed in the same bracket as Duke, and would be the underdogs in a projected Elite Eight matchup between the teams.

The Kentucky Wildcats are also listed at +1200 odds. They didn’t win the SEC this year but picked up a pretty solid draw with Houston the No. 3 seed and North Carolina the No. 1 in their bracket. The Wildcats could be the favorite to come out of it and make it to the Final Four.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are also listed at +1200 so the oddsmakers feel like that bracket is a toss-up. North Carolina has played Duke tough all year but also has a handful of losses, so this team is a little tough to peg.

Others that are listed among the contenders for the national championship include the Tennessee Volunteers at +1400, the Auburn Tigers at +2000 and the Houston Cougars, Purdue Boilermakers, Nevada Wolfpack and Texas Tech Red Raiders all at +2500. It will be interesting to see if any of the smaller programs can come away with the title.

Some longshot choices include the Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, Iowa State Cyclones and Villanova Wildcats at +5300.

Free NCAA Basketball ATS Picks

Duke may be the best team in the country, but these odds are too tough to take the Blue Devils to win the title. The Virginia Cavaliers have a very winnable bracket and wouldn’t have to see Duke until the championship game.

Virginia was stunned early in March Madness a season ago and it’s going to completely make up for that by winning the national title in NCAA men’s basketball gambling.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia Cavaliers to win NCAA men’s basketball tournament at +800 odds
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 1 hour ago #502266

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By Joe Nelson

While the focus in the aftermath of Selection Sunday is often on seeds and the matchups, many coaches might prioritize the venue draw in those announcements as the programs scramble to make travel arrangements and hope to get fan support thrown into often random location assignments. The committee allegedly only makes location concessions for the top handful of seeds but certainly there were winners and losers in the location assignments.

Hartford, Connecticut (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Villanova: Playing just over 200 miles away the Big East champions have a great location draw in Hartford to easily calm any hostility regarding being a surprising #6 seed, especially with the Marquette team they topped for the Big East title being a #5 seed. Saint Mary’s is playing nearly 3,000 miles away from home for this contest though the Gaels at least avoided being handed a daytime slot. Villanova should have the bulk of the audience in this pod as by far the closest of the top seeded teams in this grouping while also getting the primetime time slot Thursday night.

Loser – Purdue: A Purdue squad that was the regular season co-champion of one of the top conferences in the nation didn’t land either of the two Midwestern sites in Des Moines or Columbus. They also pull a late night time slot and will deal with a Big East heavy crowd following up the Villanova contest Thursday night. Norfolk isn’t exactly close to Hartford but #14 seed Old Dominion has a much shorter trip to this site as Purdue certainly could have had a better draw in this pod. Staring at the defending national champions for a potential Round of 32 Saturday matchup is also daunting particularly given how the makeup of the crowd will likely look. A Florida State squad that was in the ACC title game also failed to land a preferable spot in Jacksonville or Columbia.

Jacksonville, Florida (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Maryland: Jacksonville is a 10 hour drive from College Park but Maryland has to feel good about this draw, landing a #6 seed despite a late season slide. Teams that win the First Four games can often be dangerous but that Tuesday victor is going to go from playing a late night game in Dayton to facing an early afternoon game Thursday in Jacksonville for a difficult turnaround. This pod also lacks a local favorite with Florida State and the other ACC powers sent elsewhere. Kentucky fans will dominate the stands but all things considered Maryland landed in a decent spot.

Loser – LSU: The Tigers, not the Wildcats were the SEC regular season champions yet LSU will share this venue with the rabid Kentucky fanbase. Baton Rouge is technically a bit closer to Jacksonville than Lexington but while Kentucky gets the Thursday night primetime billing, LSU has a very early start game vs. Yale on Thursday with the Ivy League teams being very dangerous in recent years. Kentucky will be almost three times as big of a favorite as LSU in the opening round despite these teams only being one seed apart.

Des Moines, Iowa (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Michigan: Much is being made of Michigan getting the more favorable bracket draw than Michigan State and both of those teams will land in Des Moines for the opening rounds. Ultimately the committee likely locked in their choices when Michigan had a double-digit lead in the second half of the Big Ten championship. Both teams are heavy favorites Thursday but while Michigan State plays an under seeded Bradley team that is less than four hours away from Des Moines, Michigan draws an injury depleted Montana squad that makes a long trip. Michigan would have a bigger location edge Saturday in a potential round of 32 game vs. Florida or Nevada as well while Michigan State would draw Louisville or Minnesota who both have reasonable trips to Des Moines.

Loser – Louisville: The Cardinals had a much closer option in Columbus in its sights and despite the selection committee handing out three #1 seeds to the ACC, Louisville was dropped to the #7 line even with a win over Michigan State plus ACC road wins over North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Add that the committee had to have a laugh in engineering a matchup of Richard Pitino against his dad’s former school and the Cardinals have a tough opening draw. The Gophers also are playing in the closest possible venue for them fewer than 250 miles away and then if Louisville wins they likely pull the Michigan State team they beat in overtime in November to provide plenty of motivation for the Spartans.

Salt Lake City, Utah (Thursday/Saturday)

Winner – Baylor: Gonzaga was a natural fit for Salt Lake City even though Spokane is still over 700 miles away. Waco is more than 1,200 miles away but this is a good draw for a slumping Bears team that most pegged for an even lesser seed. The Bears get to face a zone team that they will be comfortable with and an east coast Syracuse team faces longer travel west and will face the late night start time to give the Bears a bit of an edge in the timing and location. The status Tyus Battle, the best player for the Orange, is also unclear and putting Syracuse in a Thursday group makes for one less day for his recovery. A Bears team on a four-game losing streak, while just 4-7 in the past 11 games, didn’t deserve these potential breaks.

Loser – Auburn: A dominant SEC championship game victory Sunday didn’t boost Auburn’s stock much nor did it provide a favorable venue as Salt Lake City would not have been high on Auburn’s first travel choices. Auburn will also draw an early game Thursday for a quick turnaround with long travel after Sunday’s win in Nashville. New Mexico State is a dangerous team with great depth and while Las Cruces isn’t exactly close to Salt Lake City, it is about half as far as Auburn has to travel. Auburn fans will also be drowned out by Gonzaga and Kansas fans that figure to take over this arena.

Columbia, South Carolina (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – Mississippi: The Rebels have only defeated three teams that made the NCAA Tournament this season but with a #8 seed Ole Miss doesn’t appear to have been remotely close to the bubble despite losing five of the final seven games of the season including three losses to non-tournament teams. Mississippi draws an Oklahoma squad that most also expected to be closer to the cut line and a team that hasn’t been at its best in recent weeks. Opposing a Virginia program that has struggled in the NCAA Tournament in recent years is also the path most #8/#9 seeds would likely choose. Ole Miss also played in this arena in February as they will have some familiarity with the court.

Loser – Virginia: Columbia is the venue Virginia would have chosen but the selection committee isn’t giving the first team ever to lose as a #1 seed in the Round of 64 a free pass the following year. Gardner Webb is only 112 miles away from Columbia and Virginia is going to have to deal with Duke being in this pod as well. UCF and VCU should also get decent support in this group as the Cavaliers will have plenty of folks cheering against them on Friday and Sunday in this venue. Virginia also failed to land a spot in the East region where Washington D.C. will host the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. Instead will have to potentially face a team playing very close to home in Louisville should Cincinnati, Purdue, or Tennessee advance to the regional final. In a potential Sweet 16 game Virginia could also pull a Wisconsin or Kansas State team that is more than comfortable at a deliberate pace.

Columbus, Ohio (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – Cincinnati: The American champions have a right to complain about being a #7 seed but looking at the draw and not the seeds there are a lot of things working in favor of the Bearcats. Cincinnati is one of only a few teams playing in their home state and they are barely 100 miles away from Columbus. Iowa is also a team that has played as poorly as any team in the field in the last month for a favorable first matchup. Tennessee is waiting as a difficult Round of 32 game but the big picture path is favorable with the South bracket leading to Louisville, a city less than 100 miles away from Cincinnati.

Loser – North Carolina: A one-point loss to a Duke team they beat twice last weekend flipped the Tar Heels out of more favorable venues in the bracket, missing out on Columbia or Jacksonville while also not placed in the East region that winds up in Washington D.C. While Chapel Hills is only 450 miles from Columbus the Tar Heels haven’t had to leave the Carolinas the past three years in the opening round games. If North Carolina makes the Sweet 16 they could wind up facing Kansas in Kansas City for a big potential disadvantage.

Tulsa, Oklahoma (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – Houston: The Cougars lost by double-digits Sunday in the AAC final and despite using an incredibly weak non-conference schedule to help create the 32-3 record but stayed on the #3 line in a favorable venue. This pod will have some Big XII support but the Cougars get a Friday game unlike some of the other teams that played on Sunday and now face a Thursday game. The Tulsa/Kansas City path would have been where Houston would have placed itself in the bracket given the choice. Likely opposing Houston in the Round of 32 would be an Iowa State team that mostly struggled in the last month might be a bit over seeded from its Big XII tournament championship, a run that didn’t include facing the top Big XII team Texas Tech.

Loser – Buffalo: Getting a #6 seed is a big deal for a MAC team but Buffalo has the disadvantage of not knowing who they will play until late Wednesday night. They also could wind up facing Arizona State, coached by Bobby Hurley, the former Buffalo coach who gave Nate Oats his entry to the division I level and will be intimately familiar with how the Bulls play. The Bulls also face a long trip to Tulsa when far more attractive venues were available in terms of travel distance. With Houston, Iowa State, and Texas Tech playing relatively close to home in this draw the Bulls might not get the support they expected.

San Jose, California (Friday/Sunday)

Winner – UC Irvine: The Anteaters haven’t lost since mid-January and won’t have to leave California for the NCAA Tournament unless they win twice. They also get to face a wounded Kansas State squad that appears to possibly be playing without Dean Wade in the tournament for the second straight season. Add that this team lost 71-49 at Kansas State early last season and Russell Turner’s team has a lot to work with to try to engineer an upset bid.

Loser – Virginia Tech: The Hokies have some good news with Justin Robinson cleared to play but Virginia Tech is getting sent out west and has the late night draw with a game starting around 10:00 PM Eastern Time. Saint Louis won four games in four days to win the A-10 tournament but getting a Friday draw helps the Billikens who won that title game on Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. The Hokies played only one non-conference road game this season and lost it and actually has never left the Eastern Time zone all season. A squad reliant on 3-point shooting could have trouble in an unfamiliar venue at an irregular time slot. The Hokies also land in the grouping with #1 overall Duke should they advance to the Sweet 16 though that opportunity would come in a favorable Washington D.C. venue.
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 2 days ago #502294

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East Region NCAA bracket: March Madness betting odds and best bets
Jason Logan

The East is a beast this March Madness. That side of the NCAA Tournament bracket not only features No. 1 overall seed and national title favorite Duke, but also No. 2 Michigan State – the Big Ten tournament champ – and No. 3 LSU, which won the SEC regular season title.

Jason Logan breaks down the East Regional, pointing out the live underdogs, Cinderella sleeper, the best and worst ATS team, Over/Under value, and everything you need to tame the beasts in the East this March.

BETTING FAVORITE

The Duke Blue Devils, who are +220 favorites to win the national championship at FanDuel Sportsbooks, are -175 chalk to advance from the East Regional to the Final Four. And it’s easy to see why: top two NBA prospects, arguably the greatest college coach of all time, and the easiest path to Minneapolis in the entire bracket. Granted, Duke does have its soft spots, like scoring in a half-court set and shooting from the perimeter. But there’s no denying the talent on this team.

LIVE UNDERDOG

Central Florida has a very competitive No. 9-versus-No. 8 matchup with VCU in the Round of 64, but this Knights team is a tough matchup and checks off a lot of KenPom’s “Four Factors”, including ranking No. 58 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 36 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Central Florida plays a methodical pace, defends well, and has a game-changer in 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall. FanDuel Sportsbooks have UCF as a +5,550 long shot to win the East, due to being tracked for a second-round meeting with Duke.

POTENTIAL CINDERELLA

After Loyola-Chicago’s run to the Final Four last year, everyone is on the lookout for similarly-sculpted “Cinderellas”. Liberty fits the mold, with an efficient offense, solid 3-point shooting, and a defense that protects the rim and allows only 60.8 points per game. The Flames, who moved from +8 to +7 for an opening-round matchup with Mississippi State, suck all the energy out of the gym with one of the slowest tempos in the country (66.5 poss per game). Liberty is a +10,000 long shot to win the East Regional with a possible run in with Duke in the Sweet 16.

BEST ATS TEAM

The Spartans really put the green in “Go Green! Go White”, finishing the season with a 24-10 ATS record. Michigan State went 2-1 ATS in the Big Ten tournament, including covering as a 1.5-point underdog in a comeback win over rival Michigan in the final. Tom Izzo’s team opens as 18.5-point chalk versus Bradley (opened -20) but hasn’t covered just once in its last six NCAA Tournament games.

WORST ATS TEAM

The Saint Louis Billikens were a No. 6 seed in the A-10 tournament and headed for a life outside of the NCAA Tournament. However, a red-hot postseason run sees them among the field of 68. Saint Louis is just 16-18-1 ATS this season – worst among East Regional teams – but has covered in three straight games (all as a dog) and is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 contests. The Billikens are getting 10.5 points as a No. 13 seed versus No. 4 Virginia Tech in the opening round.

BEST OVER TEAM

The LSU Tigers topped the total in 61 percent of their games this season, posting a 19-12-1 Over/Under mark. Louisiana State put up more than 81 points per game while allowing an average of 73 points against and enters the tournament in turmoil. Head coach Will Wade has been suspended due to his role in a federal investigation, leaving interim Tony Benford to whether the madness of March.

BEST UNDER TEAM

When you think Duke, you think of all that offensive firepower behind Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. That knee-jerk could be why Coach K’s kids have been a solid Under play this season. The Blue Devils are 9-23-1 Over/Under – staying below the total almost 72 percent of the time – and allowing just under 68 points per game. With the public puffing up their totals on a nightly basis, the wise move has been to swoop in and take the Under. It also helps that Duke doesn’t pose much threat from outside, making just 7.3 3-pointers per outing.

SHORTEST TRAVEL IN ROUND OF 64

The Duke Blue Devils will only have to travel about three and a half hours from Chapel Hill to Columbia, South Carolina for their opening round game versus the winner of NC Central and North Dakota State. Dukies generally travel well during the tournament, so expect a solid home-court edge for the Blue Devils inside for Colonial Life Arena. FYI: Zion is from South Carolina.

LONGEST TRAVEL IN THE ROUND OF 64

A pair of Virginia based teams rack up the frequent flyer miles in the East Regional, with Liberty traveling 2,751 miles and Virginia Tech going 2,674 miles to San Jose, California for the Round of 64. The No. 4 Hokies may have the worst hand out of these two programs, having to play Saint Louis at 9:57 p.m. ET on Friday night. Their latest start time all season was 8 p.m. ET.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Besides Duke’s star-studded roster, basketball bettors should keep a close eye on Yale standout Miye Oni in the East Regional. The 6-foot-6 guard ranks just behind Duke’s R.J. Barrett in KenPom’s offensive rating, averaging 17.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists for the Bulldogs. He powers a Yale offense putting up 81 points and drew a reported 20 pro scouts to the Ivy League tournament.
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 2 days ago #502295

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Midwest Region NCAA bracket: March Madness betting odds and best bets
Andrew Caley

The Midwest is probably the toughest region in this March Madness. That side of the NCAA Tournament bracket not only features top seed UNC, but fellow blue bloods No. 2 Kentucky and No. 4 Kansas. Plus, the SEC and Big 12 conference champions in No. 5 Auburn and No. 6 Iowa State.

Andrew Caley breaks down the Midwest Regional, pointing out the live underdogs, Cinderella sleeper, the best and worst ATS team, Over/Under value, and everything you need to tame the beasts in the Midwest this March.

BETTING FAVORITE

The Midwest Region is going to be a war of attrition in 2019. It is probably the deepest in the tournament, with at least five teams that you can a make a legitimate case to emerge victorious. However, it’s the North Carolina Tar Heels who are favorites to win the Midwest Region, as well as the third overall favorites to . And for good reason too. The Heels have two wins over Duke (albeit with Zion) and were a hair away from going 3-0 (against him). They won 15 of 16 before the loss to Duke (the other loss was to Virginia) and have a win over fellow No. 1 seed Gonzaga. North Carolina is well coached, has a fantastic mix of veteran leadership (Cameron Johnson/Luke Maye) and young talent (Coby White), and rank in the top 10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. They are a real threat for the title.

LIVE UNDERDOG

There is no shortage of live dogs in the Midwest. But the value bets are No. 5 Auburn and No. 6 Iowa State at 8/1. Both are coming off conference tournament championship runs and are more than capable of extending those runs in the big dance. Auburn is one of the best 3-point shooting teams around and led the nation in steals, while Iowa State had some puzzling losses this year, but is playing its best basketball of the season right now. They are deep and are terrific shooters, while the defense is coming around. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see either of these teams in Minneapolis.

POTENTIAL CINDERELLA

No. 8-seed Utah State could make some serious noise in the tournament. The Aggies can really play at both ends of the floor and have the Mountain West player of the year in Sam Merril (21.2 points per game). But if you’re looking for the team with the real “it” factor, look no further than the Wofford Terriers. You might think a Southern Conference champion on the seven line is ranked too high, but they may actually be under-seeded. The Terriers and enter the tournament winners of 20 consecutive games rank in the top 20 in the KenPom rankings. They also shoot 3’s. A lot of ‘em. And they rank second in the nation hitting 41.6 percent of them. Fletcher Magee is awesome. This is the type of team the casual tourney can really get behind and they are 18/1 to win the Midwest.

BEST ATS TEAM

Not only is North Carolina the favorite to win the Midwest, it was a favorite among bettors as well. At 21-10-2 ATS the Tar Heels had the ninth best ATS record in the country, covering spreads of all sizes. They ended the season covering the number in their last four games, including as 4.5-point underdogs in their 74-73 loss to Duke in the ACC semifinals. However, the Tar Heels are just 8-10-1 ATS over the last five years in the NCAA Tournament.

WORST ATS TEAM

Is this fate? The worst ATS team in the Midwest is North Carolina’s Round 1 opponent, Iona. The Gaels went a less than profitable 13-19 ATS this year, but it could have been much worse. Iona failed to cover the spread in each of its first 11 games this season. But the Gaels enter their matchup with the Tar Heels hot ATS, covering eight of their last nine games down the stretch on their way to a fourth consecutive MAAC title. The 24.5 points they’ll be getting against UNC is the most they’ve seen all season.

BEST OVER TEAM

Kansas might be the most over-seeded team in the whole Tournament, while also being the best Over bet of all the Midwest squads. Only the VMI Keydets cashed more Overs than the Jayhawks did in Division I, going 21-12-1 O/U this season. Kansas scores 75.4 points per game while allowing 70.1, but the big reason for all the Overs has been inconsistent play at both ends of the floor. Kansas lost Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending injury as well as Lagerald Vick and the lack of depth behind Dedric Lawson has show. The total for Kansas’ opener against Northeastern is at 144.

BEST UNDER TEAM

Hey! A Pac-12 team is the best at something! Yup, Washington is the Midwest region’s best Under bet heading into the tournament at 23-11-1, fifth best in the country. The Pac-12’s, um, best team is the perfect recipe for Under success. The Huskies work their tails off on the defensive end and they can’t score. Washington ranks 30th in opponent points per game at a low 64.4, while scoring just 68.9. But that could also be a product of playing in a terrible conference. The total for the Huskies opening round matchup with Utah State is 135.

SHORTEST TRAVEL IN ROUND OF 64

If you were looking for another reason to back a team like Wofford in the tourney, here it is. The Terriers could have a strong backing in the stands for their opening round matchup against Seton Hall, as they only have to travel about 370 miles to Jacksonville, Florida.

LONGEST TRAVEL IN ROUND OF 64

Talk about jet lag. Two teams in the Midwest will have to log about 2.400 miles in order to reach the destination of their opening round matchups. Washington will have to cross the country for its matchup with Utah State (which isn’t exactly a short trip either). The Northeastern Huskies will also have to cover that distance as they head out west to Salt Lake City for their matchup with Kansas.

PLAYER TO WATCH

There are a lot of great players in this Region. Sam Merril of Utah State, Dedric Lawson of Kansas, Fletcher Magee can all take over games. But the player to watch is North Carolina freshman guard Coby White. When the season began all the talk about the freshman in Chapel Hill was centered around Nassir Little. But now it’s all White. He scores 16.2 points per game on 43.1 percent from the floor, while adding 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game. It already feels like there is no moment too big for the 6-5 guard. White can fly down the court, take you off the dribble and shoot. And that hair is so cool.
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 2 days ago #502296

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South Region NCAA bracket: March Madness betting odds and best bets
Rohit Ponnaiya

The South is all about defense this year with three of the top-five teams in the country in terms of Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (Virginia, Wisconsin and Kansas State) and other strong defensive units including Oregon, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Old Dominion and UC Irvine. Throw in a couple of high-scoring teams like Tennessee and Purdue and you've got the makings of an entertaining round of games and bets.

We break down the South Regional with a live underdog, Cinderella sleeper, the best and worst ATS and O/U teams, and other betting notes so you can beat the odds in your bracket.

BETTING FAVORITE

Virginia is the No. 2 ranked team in the county in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll. UVA has a dominant defense (allowing an NCAA-low 55.1 points per game) and an offense featuring Kyle Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome who help the Cavs shoot at the fourth-best 3-point clip in the nation (40.9 percent).

According to KenPom, Virginia has the best Adjusted Efficiency Margin in the nation and currently have 6/1 odds to win the National Championship. UVA deserves the Chalk for good reason but their loss to Florida State in the ACC Tournament semifinals, proved that they are mortal, which brings us to...

LIVE UNDERDOG

It might be a bit unfair to have a #5 seed as a live dog, but if anyone has the ability to beat UVA at their own game in this region it's Wisconsin.

Like Virginia, Wisconsin also has an excellent defense. Wisconsin actually has the third-best defense in the country according to the KenPom Adjusted Defensive Efficiency rating, two spots ahead of Virginia. They also have one of the best big men in college in Ethan Happ, who can do pretty much everything (except hit free throws) with 17.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 4.5 apg for the Badgers.

The Badgers and Cavaliers played against each other back in November and while UVA pulled out a relatively comfortable victory thanks to a big first half, Wisconsin almost crawled back into the game by locking down on defense late. The final score in that matchup was 53-46 for Virginia. With both teams playing at a slow pace and having excellent defenses, Wisconsin should be able to keep things close and as long as they're within striking distance they could pull out ahead, just like FSU.

POTENTIAL CINDERELLA

UC Irvine. You might be seeing a pattern start to form but as the saying goes: "defense wins championships." The Anteaters are yet another team in this conference which prides itself on D, holding opponents to just 40.7 percent shooting from 2-point range, the best number in the nation. They're also 10th in the country in rebounding rate, snagging 54.7 percent of all available boards.

In the first round they have a matchup with Kansas State who also have a tough defense and play at a slow pace. KSU could also be missing one of their best players (and most efficient scorer) in Dean Wade who missed the Big 12 Tournament with a foot injury and might not be ready to go for Friday's game. The Anteaters also won't have to travel too far for this game in San Jose (less than 400 miles) while KSU will have to travel almost 1800 miles.

UC Irvin could be prime for an upset, and if they pulled that off they would play the winner of Wisconsin-Oregon which means yet another defensive battle of attrition which could give them a chance to sneak all the way into the Sweet Sixteen.

BEST ATS TEAM

It's little surprise that UVA has been so good at covering the spread, going 23-9 ATS this season. However, they are actually tied for the best ATS record in the entire field of 64 with another team in this region: Mississippi. Yep, the Rebels have flown under the radar with a 23-9 record ATS and have been an excellent underdog cover option going 10-3 ATS.

WORST ATS TEAM

The Iowa Hawkeyes started the season off with promise before fizzling and losing six of their last eight games. They've gone just 13-20 ATS this season, including just 1-9 ATS in their last 10 contests.

The second-worst ATS team in this region? The Hawkeyes' first round opponents: Cincinnati. The Bearcats are just 14-20 ATS this season and are just 2-9 ATS over their previous 11 games.

BEST OVER TEAM

The Colgate Raiders are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 23 years thanks to an explosive offense. They are 20-12 O/U this season and will be going up against another good Over bet in Tennessee (19-14 O/U) during the first round. The total for this game has been set at 150.

BEST UNDER TEAM

With so many strong defensive squads in this region, there are quite a few schools that have been money for Under bettors. Oregon has been the best bet though, having gone 24-11 to the Under this season, including 12-2 to the Under in their last 14 games. Their first round matchup with Wisconsin is expected to be very low-scoring with the O/U set at just 118.

SHORTEST TRAVEL IN ROUND OF 64

Cincinnati has to travel a mere 106 miles from their campus to Nationwide Arena in Columbus, so their first round matchup with Iowa should practically feel like a home game. Bad news for Iowa, who will be going up against a Bearcats team that's 16-2 this season at home.

LONGEST TRAVEL IN ROUND OF 64

If Wisconsin wants to live up to my choice of them as live underdog they'll have to overcome a doozy of a road trip in the first round. The Badgers have to travel more than 2100 miles from Madison to San Jose for their matchup with Oregon who will be travelling less than 600 miles and won't have to deal with jet-lag.

PLAYER TO WATCH

There are plenty of great players in this regional bracket from Happ, Hunter, Cinci's Jarron Cumberland, Villanova guard Phil Booth and Tenessee's Grant Williams. But we're going to shine the spotlight on Purdue's Carsen Edwards who averages 23 ppg.

According to KenPom, Purdue has the fifth-best Adjusted Offensive Efficiency in the country and Edwards plays a big role in that. Perhaps too big actually. Purdue's offense has a tendency to rely too much on Edwards (and to a lesser extent his backcourt mate Ryan Cline) to carry their attack. When Edwards has an off-shooting night the Boilermakers have nobody to step up and sink shots. That lack of balance on offense could really hurt them against the defenses in this region.
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 2 days ago #502297

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West Region NCAA bracket: March Madness betting odds and best bets
Brandon DuBreuil

Gonzaga is the only No. 1 seed not from the ACC this March Madness, sitting atop the West Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket. The Bulldogs have plenty of competition, including No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Texas Tech, and No. 4 Florida State.

Brandon DuBreuil sizes up the West Region futures odds, from the favorites to a potential Cinderella, and highlights the best ATS bets and top total teams calling that side of the bracket home this March.

BETTING FAVORITE

No surprise here as the top seed in the region is the betting favorite to advance out of the West. Gonzaga pays +150 to reach the Final Four and is currently at +500 to win the NCAA Tournament.

No. 2-seed Michigan comes in at +250 to reach the Final Four, with Texas Tech and Nevada both sitting at +500. The Wolverines are paying out +1400 to win the tournament outright, while the Red Raiders are +2500 and the Wolf Pack +3000.

LIVE UNDERDOG

The West is possibly the most intriguing region when it comes to live underdogs. No. 3 Texas Tech has the fourth-best scoring defense in the nation had won nine in a row before losing to West Virginia in the Big 12 semifinals. No. 4 Florida State is possibly the deepest squad in the nation and showed it can compete with the top seeds when it knocked off Virginia in the ACC semifinals.

But for a true live underdog, we’re looking to No. 6 Buffalo. The MAC champs have won 12 straight and feature the fifth-highest scoring offense in the nation at 84.9 points. The Bulls have a roster full of seniors who know how to take down good teams after knocking off No. 4 Arizona in the first round of the tournament last season.

POTENTIAL CINDERELLA

Murray State. The Racers have been given the 12 seed, which is generally given to mid-major teams that have a legitimate chance to advance. Murray State enters the tournament winners of 11 straight, taking the Ohio Valley Conference title along the way. But most importantly, the Racers have Ja Morant, arguably the second-most exciting player in the entire tournament after Zion Williamson (see below).

BEST ATS TEAM

Too close to call between Gonzaga and Vermont. The Bulldogs went 21-12 ATS on the season, while the Catamounts finished with an impressive 20-10-2 mark. Vermont is a 10.5-point dog against Florida State on Thursday, while Gonzaga awaits the winner of a First Four play-in game.

Murray State also deserves a mention for its 19-10 ATS record and is currently a 4.5-point dog against Marquette.

WORST ATS TEAM

Northern Kentucky. The Norse sport an ugly 12-20 ATS record and are currently 14-point underdogs against Texas Tech on Friday. Montana (14-18) and St. John’s (14-18-1) are the next two worst ATS teams in the West.

BEST OVER TEAM

Another neck-and-neck battle between Montana, who went 20-12 to the Over, and Prairie View A&M and its 20-13 mark. The Grizzlies play Michigan with a total of 134 on Thursday, while the Panthers take on Fairleigh Dickinson with a total of 150 on Tuesday in the First Four.
BEST UNDER TEAM

A lot of solid options for Under bettors in the West. Florida leads the way with a 23-11 Under record, with Michigan a close second at 20-13. Nevada (19-13), Arizona State (19-13), Syracuse (19-14), and Texas Tech (17-14) also need to be mentioned in the Under conversation.

SHORTEST TRAVEL FOR ROUND OF 64

Vermont, the 13th seed, lucks out with only having to travel 190 miles to Hartford, Conn., for its first-round game against No. 4 Florida State (who will be travelling just over 1,000 miles). The Seminoles are a 10.5-point favorite with a total of 133.5.

Texas Tech has the second shortest commute as it travels roughly 375 miles to Tulsa, Ok., to take on Northern Kentucky, though the Norse don’t have to go overly far as their campus is about 660 miles from Tulsa.

LONGEST TRAVEL FOR ROUND OF 64

Syracuse could be road weary after it travels over 1,800 miles for its opener against Baylor in Salt Lake City. The Bears don’t have an easy travel either, however, as they’ll move over 1,000 miles to get to Utah.

The Orange actually might not have the worst travel schedule in the West. Should Fairleigh Dickinson advance from the First Four, it’ll have to go 1,965 miles to get to Salt Lake to face Gonzaga. If Prairie View A&M advances, it’ll face a much more reasonable 1,155 miles.

PLAYER TO WATCH

The West has two potential lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft in Murray State’s Ja Morant and Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura.

Morant (24.6 points per game, 10 assists per game) is doing things rarely seen in college basketball as he is the only player in Division I to average at least 20 points and eight assists. In his last two games during the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, the sophomore guard played all 40 minutes in each and put up 29 points and eight assists in the semis and then 36 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the finals.

Hachimura, a 6-8 junior forward from Tokyo, Japan, didn’t start playing basketball until he was 13 but is now destined to be a top pick in this year’s NBA Draft as he leads the Bulldogs with 20.1 points per game on 60.9 percent shooting from the floor — including a 46.9 percent clip from behind the arc — while also averaging 6.6 rebounds.
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 1 day ago #502347

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By Kyle Markus

2019 March Madness - NCAA Tournament Props

The NCAA tournament is right around the corner, and people from all across the country are scurrying to fill out their brackets before the action begins on Thursday morning. That is a critical thing to do, but so too is making sure the wagers are in on a host of different prop bets for March Madness.

The oddsmakers have you covered, as there are a variety of prop wagers that are available. Take a look at all of the options and then lock some in, as it is another great way to up the ante on the NCAA Tournament. Check below to see some of the best prop gambles in NCAA tournament odds.

The NCAA Tournament will be held from March 19th through April 8th, 2019. The NCAA Tournament championship game will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will be nationally televised on CBS.

Odds Analysis

One of the prop bets getting the most action asks if any player will score more than 41.5 points in a single tournament game. It is a high number, but with so many games on the docket, there is a fair chance of it happening. The oddsmakers have made the “over” the underdog at +280 odds, with the “under” the listed favorite at -400. Marquette’s Markus Howard averaged 25.0 points per game and he could be a candidate to do so. Ja Morant of Murray State is also a big-time scorer and his team is scheduled to face off against Marquette in the first round. On the down side, that will knock out an elite scorer, but it also allows for the possibility that the “over” hits on the first day of the tournament.

The highest number of rebounds in one game is set at 18.5. Games are only 40 minutes long so an overtime session alongside a great individual performance would be a big help. The “over” is the +115 underdog with the “under” the -145 favorite.

Another prop bet asks if any team will score more than 98.5 points in a game. There should be some shootouts but pushing 100 points is tough, especially in March Madness when the level of competition increases and the defense gets tighter. The “yes” is the -180 favorite while “no” comes in at +140.


The lowest single-game over/under total for any team is listed at 39.5 points. It is a miniscule number but not out of the realm of possibility, especially early on when there are some lopsided games. Virginia has the best defense in the tournament, and one of its foes could end up below that total. The “over” is listed as the -250 favorite, while “under” that number is the +180 underdog.

Another prop bet asks if there will be a triple-double in the NCAA Tournament. If one is registered, the “yes” will pay off at a lucrative +500 while the “no” pick is being wagered on at -800.

Free NCAA Basketball ATS Picks

While the above prop bets are enticing, there is one that stands out above the rest. The oddsmakers are asking how many seeded upsets there will be in the first round. There are going to be 32 games in total, and the over/under is listed at 8.5 upsets. Don’t forget that the small upsets still count, which is why the “over” is only as slight underdog at +125.

The price is right on that one. Look for March Madness to live up to its billing with nine or more seeded upsets in the first round of the tournament in NCAA men’s basketball betting.

NCAA Basketball Pick: More than 8.5 upsets in the first round of the tournament at +125 odds
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NCAAB: March Madness Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 4 weeks 1 day ago #502393

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March Madness Props

SportsBetting.ag has posted a host of prop bets for the 2019 Men's NCAA Tournament.

Bettors can wager on Zion Williamson's points and rebounds average and his MOP chances. Also on the prop board are which seed Barack Obama and Donald Trump will pick.

Conference props, seeding props and many more can be found at SportsBetting.ag.

Tournament Props - SportsBetting.ag

Zion Williamson points per game average
Over 23.5 -130
Under 23.5 +100

Zion Williamson rebounds per game average
Over 9 -130
Under 9 +100

Most points for any player in a single game
Over 34.5 -125
Under 34.5 -105

Highest single-game point total for any team
Over 100.5 -130
Under 100.5 +100

Lowest single-game point total for any team
Over 48.5 +100
Under 48.5 -130

Total #9-#16 seeds to reach Round of 32
Over 8.5 +100
Under 8.5 -120

Will a #12 seed upset a #5 seed?
Yes -450
No +360

Will a #13 seed upset a #4 seed?
Yes -210
No +175

Will a #14-16 seed upset a #1-3 seed?
Yes +400
No -600

How many No. 1 seeds will reach the Final Four
Over 1.5
Under 1.5

Largest margin of victory in Round of 64
Over 37.5 points
Under 37.5 points

How many buzzer-beating shots will there be in the Round of 64 (shot must win game as time expires)
Over 1.5
Under 1.5

How many teams ACC teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 6
Under 6

How many Big 12 teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 3.5
Under 3.5

How many Big East teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 2
Under 2

How many Big Ten teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 5
Under 5

How many Pac-12 teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 1.5
Under 1.5

How many SEC teams will advance to the Round of 32?
Over 5.5
Under 5.5

Conference to win the 2019 NCAA Championships
ACC -140
Mountain West +400
Big Ten +500
SEC +600
Big 12 +1000
Big East +3300
Pac-12 +10000

Which team will Barack Obama pick to win?
No. 1 seed -200
No. 2 seeds +200
Any other seed +400

Which team will Donald Trump pick to win?
No. 1 seed -200
No. 2 seed +250
Any other seed +300
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