Free March Madness Picks - Money Line Underdogs for Sunday
by Trevor Whenham - 3/20/2010
The first round of the NCAA Tournament was great to watch, and it was really great from a betting perspective - especially if you like to be on underdogs. The first time I set out to write an article picking betting underdogs that were worthy of support I ended up with six winners in eight games and a very tidy profit. That's more than enough reason to do the same thing in the second round.
Betting underdogs one the money line in the second round of the tournament is only attractive if there are underdogs that have the potential to advance. Luckily that certainly seems to be the case this year. Here are four games that stand out in my eyes (odds are from 5Dimes):
Saint Mary's (+175) vs. Villanova - There are a couple of reasons why I like this game. First, I was extremely impressed by the Gaels in the first round. Fresh off a win over Gonzaga in the WCC Tournament they looked very good in rolling over a Richmond team that could have been tough. Saint Mary's isn't conventional, but they are playing with tremendous unity and intensity right now, and that's tough to combat. Second, I just don't like anything about Villanova right now. they have lost five of eight, they got taken to overtime by a No. 15, and they just didn't look like they cared as they struggled through their performance on Thursday. They are talented but soulless. Against a team as passionate and determined as Saint Mary's that could be a problem. This is definitely worth a shot.
BYU (+170) vs. Kansas State - I guess that I just don't like the No. 2 seeds on Saturday. The Wildcats won easily, but they did it while sinking a good number of shots that were just plain lucky. They still don't convince me that they are playing up to the level they were a month ago, and I just don't trust them. BYU, on the other hand, has made me a believer. They needed double overtime to beat Florida, so freshness could be a concern, but they are tough, deep, and incredibly hungry. If both teams play their best then Kansas State will come out ahead. At this price, though, I'm willing to gamble that BYU comes out with the more complete effort. Jimmer Fredette and company have the feeling of a tournament team with destiny in their back pocket.
New Mexico (+110) vs. Washington - I almost choked when I saw better than even money on this game. I'll take that all day, every day. The public seems to be reacting to a few things - Washington plays in a major conference, they beat another major conference team, and New Mexico struggled with Montana. I'm not buying it. New Mexico did win a tight game, but if you watched it you saw that Montana is a solid team that played very well. Washington barely beat a mid-level Big East team, and that conference has hardly been impressive this week. New Mexico has concerns about the health of Darington Hobson, but he's still planning to play, and he doesn't need to be at 100 percent capacity to justify a bet on the Lobos in my eyes if the price is better than even money.
Cornell (+160) vs. Wisconsin - I'm a Big Ten fan, but I wasn't a fan of what I saw from the Big Ten on Sunday. Both Michigan State and Wisconsin were caught flat-footed and were lucky to escape with a win. The Badgers turned the ball over just four times, but that's the only really good part of what they did. Wofford was almost too much for them, and that's bad news as they face Cornell. The Big Red were very impressive. They faced a team in Temple that was extremely good at defending against three pointers, but instead of changing and adapting their game they just shot threes without fear and come out on top - in a very big way. Cornell goes up against another team that plays very stout defense. If Cornell sticks to their own game again and can assert themselves then this will be a nice bet to cash.
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