Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to have the best sports betting insight and analysis delivered to your inbox.
The best two-day stretch in all of sports will unfortunately come to an end later tonight. The good news is we get two full days of Round of 32 action to sort out which teams will advance to the Sweet 16. Gotta love the madness. Let’s jump into our NCAA Tournament betting guide for each of Saturday’s eight tourney games. We will look at matchups and metrics to watch, along with trends and favorite bets from our crew of experts (Stuckey, Jordan Majewski, Bryan Mears and Wes Reynolds).
Be sure to check back here up until game time for insight into last-minute sharp action, significant line moves and any other betting market info. Also, look out tomorrow for a similar preview for all eight games on Sunday.
Let’s get to it!
All spreads as of Friday evening.
#9 Alabama vs. #1 Villanova -11 | O/U: 148
Pittsburgh, PA | 12:10 p.m. ET on CBS
No. 1 thing I’ll be watching: If Alabama can get to the line
Alabama does not have an efficient offense, ranking 127th in effective field goal percentage and 288th in turnover rate. The only way the Crimson Tide can keep up with Nova is by getting to the line, as it ranks 16th in free throw rate nationally. That storyline manifested itself on Thursday, when Alabama shot 27 free throws against Virginia Tech. Stud freshman PG Collin Sexton took 14 of those himself in the second half. Unfortunately, the Tide now faces a Villanova defense that simply doesn’t foul frequently, ranking 19th in the country in that regard. Per BetLabs, Alabama has played five teams with a top-50 defensive foul rate this season. The Tide has gone just 1-4 ATS in those contests. — Mears
Did You Know?
End of the road for Alabama? Since 2005, 9-seeds are 2-20 straight-up (9-12-1 against the spread) vs. 1-seeds in the Round of 32. — John Ewing
Or will the Villanova second-round curse strike again? Since the 2010 NCAA Tournament, 1 and 2 seeds are 45-15 SU (75%) in the Round of 32. Only two head coaches have more than ONE loss as a 1 or 2 seed in this spot: Bill Self (3) and Jay Wright (4). Since the 2010 tourney, all coaches other than Wright are 44-11 SU (80%) as a 1-seed in the Round of 32. Wright and Villanova are just 1-4 SU. — Evan Abrams
Despite getting only 31% of bets, the Tide have received 48% of the spread money wagered on this game which has kept the line stagnant at 11. — Danny Donahue
My Favorite Bet
Stuck: Alabama +11
Jordan: Alabama +11
Mears: Nova -11