Betting Odds & Free Picks for NCAA Tournament Team Props
Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The best time of the year to be a sports fan is here. I'm talking, of course, about March-March Madness. The NCAA Tournament starts tomorrow (not counting those nonsense play-in games; just put 64 in the tournament, please, and leave out bad teams like Syracuse who have no chance of winning it all and let every 16 seed get a shot at the big boys instead of being forced to eliminate each other before the real event begins). But back to the task at hand. The Big Dance will soon be upon us, and that means lots of watching and lots of betting. There is no shortage of ways to bet on the NCAA Tournament, and Doc's Sports top sportsbooks are offering plenty of team prop-betting options.
Filling out a bracket is always fun, but finding value on these prop bets is an even better way to try to rake in some cash. Here are a few props that could provide some value this March.
Will Kansas Make the Final Four?
I'm taking "Yes" at +200 at MyBookie.ag. It's not often that a No. 1 seed is the third favorite to win its region, but that is the case with Kansas in the Midwest. Second-seeded Duke (+150) is the top choice, followed by Michigan State (+180). But keep in mind that Kansas it sitting pretty in the top half of the Midwest Region, whereas Duke and Michigan State would have to slug it out against each other as early as the Sweet 16 if they both win their first two games. The winner would then meet Kansas if the Jayhawks advance to the Elite Eight-which they can accomplish by beating Penn, either Seton Hall or N.C. State, and then likely either Auburn or Clemson.
Head coach Bill Self's squad has not returned to the Final Four since it finished runner-up in 2011-12. But it has also made back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight, so this is not the Kansas program of old that kept getting upset in the first week of the NCAA Tournament. This year's team does not appear to be one that exits early. It is led by a senior, Devonte' Graham, who earned Big 12 Player of the Year honors over Oklahoma freshman sensation Trae Young. The Jayhawks also expect to have sophomore center Udoka Azubuike back for the start of the Big Dance after he missed the conference tournament-which Kansas won-due to a knee injury.
Will Arizona Reach the Sweet 16?
I'm taking Yes at +100 at GT Bets . The Wildcats have a new lease on life after head coach Sean Miller somehow escaped the FBI wiretapping controversy and star freshman Deandre Ayton remained eligible. Arizona played like a relaxed team in the Pac-12 Tournament, winning it with victories over Colorado, UCLA, and USC. Ayton, a possible No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, is averaging 21.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Arizona may have a tough second-round draw against Kentucky, but there is also a chance that never happens. Davidson-UK's first-round opponent-has been on fire over the last six weeks and won the Atlantic 10 Tournament (stealing a bid from someone) with upsets of at-large selections St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island.
"Over" or "Under" Six ACC Teams to Win First-Round Games?
I'm taking Under at -120 at
. Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke are top-two seeds. A grand total of
zero No. 1 seeds have lost to No. 16s, so the Cavaliers are a virtual lock
against UMBC. It is safe to assume that neither the Tar Heels (vs.
Lipscomb) or the Blue Devils (vs. Iona) are going down prior to the first
weekend of NCAA Tournament. That means of the tournament-high nine
conference representatives, three out of Clemson, Miami (FL), Virginia
Tech, Florida State, N.C. State, and Syracuse must advance to the last 32.
I see either Clemson (No. 5 seed vs. Charleston) or Miami (No. 6 seed vs. Loyola-Chicago) getting upset. The Ramblers of Loyola-Chicago went 15-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference and have won 10 games in a row. If the Hurricanes go down (and/or Clemson), at least two of Virginia Tech, Florida State, N.C. State, and Syracuse must advance just to push this best. The first three of this group is part of dreaded 8-9 games. Alabama (vs. Virginia Tech) upset Auburn in the SEC Tournament. Missouri (vs. Florida State) has Michael Porter Jr. back. Seton Hall (vs. N.C. State) is a -2.5 favorite at MyBookie.ag in that first-round contest.
Over or Under 1.5 No. 1 Seeds to Reach the Final Four?
I'm taking Over at +195 at Bovada Sportsbook. That value is too good to
pass up. Villanova and Purdue the clear-cut top two favorites in a weak
East Region. Whereas the Wildcats are coming off a Big East Tournament
title, the Boilermakers have floundered down the stretch since starting the
season 23-2-owning a modest 5-4 record in their last nine contests.
Virginia, meanwhile, is overwhelmingly expected to win the South. The
Cavaliers, who went 17-1 in the ACC regular season and coasted to the
tournament title, may have some trouble with either Arizona or Kentucky in
the Sweet 16 but are otherwise are in a manageable bracket.
Xavier has a nasty path in the West, but Kansas could become a second No. 1 seed in the Final Four if either Virginia or Villanova stumbles. Although Duke could be a problem in the Midwest, it is on a collision course with Michigan State for the Sweet 16. They could beat each other up before the winner runs into Kansas.
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