NCAA Tournament Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 7 Favorite Plays for Saturday’s Second Round

Mar 23, 2019 04:09 PM EDT
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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Harper

  • The second round of the NCAA Tournament tips off at 12:10 p.m. ET.
  • Saturday's slate features eight games and our college hoops staff picked their seven favorite bets for Day 3 of the NCAA Tournament.

And 32 games later, here we are. Saturday’s slate may be lacking in terms of Cinderellas, but there’s still plenty of action out there for the taking.

The Round of 32 kicks off at 12:10 p.m. ET and takes you through the night with eight games, including Murray State- Florida State aka the Ja Morant Show, Villanova-Purdue and Kansas-Auburn.

Here are our staff’s favorite bets for Saturday’s eight-game slate.

Saturday NCAA Tournament Betting Picks


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PJ Walsh: Murray State-Florida State

  • Time: 6:10 p.m., TNT
  • Pick: Florida State -4.5

With Murray State crushing Marquette, 83-64, as a 3-point underdog in the Round of 64, casual bettors are clearly overreacting to what they just watched as opposed to analyzing these two teams objectively.

For example, The Action Network’s Sean Koerner makes this line FSU -7.5 per our Bracket Simulator’s Matchup Tool.

In addition, our Bet Labs data reveals that whenever the betting public loads up on a “trendy underdog” during the NCAA Tournament, there is value taking the favorite in that matchup.

Since 2005, college basketball dogs getting more than 50% of spread bets are just 104-129-5 (44.6%) ATS during March Madness.

Murray State is receiving 68% at the time of writing, so it’s clear that recreational bettors are putting too much emphasis on one game, and according to Koerner’s power ratings and historical betting data, that’s creating a nice value bet for those willing to lay the points with the Seminoles.

Mike Randle: Auburn-Kansas

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