The NCAA Tournament is one of the best times of the year for sports fans. It is also a great time of the year as a sports bettor. There is no shortage of ways to bet on the NCAA Tournament . Several of Doc's Sports top sportsbooks are offering a lot of team prop betting options.
Having a bracket is a lot of fun , but finding value on these prop bet options is an even better way to try to make some money. I have a few team props that I believe offer some value this March. I threw a bonus overall NCAA Tournament fun prop at the end of this article as well.
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Will Virginia Make the Sweet 16?
I'm taking "Yes" at +120 on 5Dimes. Virginia has the No. 1-ranked defense in terms of efficiency in the country. The Cavaliers didn't play very well in some marquee games on national television in the spotlight late in the year. That has the public perception of the Cavs too low. I certainly don't think this is a team that can win the tournament, but I like their first couple matchups.
UNC Wilmington likes to speed the game up, and Virginia isn't going to allow them to play at the pace they prefer. The Cavs defense will be far better than anything UNC Wilmington has seen all year. In their likely second-round matchup, Virginia draws a Florida team that is shorthanded. The Gators haven't been the same since big man John Egbunu went down with a season-ending injury. Virginia isn't a great team, but I think they are better than the public perception of them right now.
Will Two or More #1 Seeds Reach the Final Four?
I'm taking Yes at +100 on Bookmaker. I think Kansas has a very favorable draw. The Jayhawks have several shortcomings, but there aren't many teams in the Midwest Region that can take advantage of their weaknesses. Villanova has a tricky draw, but the defending champions are going to be a tough out. The way the Wildcats defend and control the pace of the game makes them a very strong tournament team. Gonzaga obviously plays in a weaker conference in the regular season, but I think this Bulldogs team is built to win games in March. Their balance is tremendous, and they scheduled a tough nonconference slate this year. North Carolina would have a tricky matchup against UCLA or Kentucky in the Elite Eight, but their trip to that point is a relatively easy one. The bottom line is that I'll be surprised if there aren't at least two No. 1 seeds in the Final Four.
Will Notre Dame Reach the Sweet 16?
I'm taking Yes at +190 on Bookmaker. The Fighting Irish do have a tricky first-round game against Princeton. They could certainly get upset there, but I think in the end the Fighting Irish will be too efficient on the offensive end for Princeton. I like the value on this at +190 considering the second matchup would be West Virginia. The Mountaineers are a team I think Notre Dame matches up favorably against. Notre Dame is great at taking care of the basketball, and West Virginia relies very heavily on forcing turnovers to beat you. The Mountaineers simply aren't that good if you make them beat you in the half-court sets. At almost 2/1, I like Notre Dame to reach the Sweet 16.
Will Oregon Reach the Sweet 16?
I'm taking Yes at -195 on 5Dimes. I normally don't lay juice all that often on these props, but I think the price is a good value here. Oregon was dropped down to a No. 3 seed because Boucher was injured. There's no doubt that the team's upside is limited a bit by this injury, but keep in mind this Oregon team is still very deep. The emergence of Jordan Bell as a great frontcourt presence meant that Boucher had been playing a lot less minutes of late.
Oregon's first-round matchup with Iona is a very favorable one. The Ducks should run right by an Iona team that doesn't play any defense. The second-round matchup that would be the toughest for them is likely Rhode Island, but even then Oregon would be a significant favorite. The Pac-12 was a good conference, and Oregon has been well-tested come into this tournament. The Ducks make the Sweet 16.
Special Prop: Highest-Scoring Game of the Tournament "Over" 179.5
BetOnline lists a special prop of the highest-scoring game of the tournament to be "over/under" 179.5 points. I'll take the over here, and it's priced at -125. There are some potential really high-scoring matchups in the South Region . In that region alone we could have games between UCLA and Kentucky, Kentucky and North Carolina, or UCLA and North Carolina. If Kansas reaches the Final Four, there is the potential for them to match up with North Carolina, Kentucky, or UCLA. All of those games would have the potential to be very high-scoring.
Another reason I like this prop is there should be some really tight games in the tournament this year. All it takes is one double-overtime game and we should hit this over.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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