Sunday NCAA Tournament Betting Cheat Sheet: Notes, Insights, Picks on Both Games
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) and guard RJ Barrett (5)
Just five NCAA Tournament games remain? Pour one out for fans and gamblers everywhere.
But before you do, familiarize yourself with Sunday’s excellent tElite Eight card.
Below, we’ve compiled notes from each of our best stories on Sunday’s game. The highlights for each are below, followed by the link to the full story.
- Spread: Duke -2
- Over/Under: 150
- Location: Washington D.C.
- Date: Sunday, March 31
- Time: 5:05 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
— Coach K is 11-1 straight up against Tom Izzo, winning by 8.1 points per game. But Duke is only 6-6 ATS in those games. — John Ewing
— Duke guard Tre Jones scored 22 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in the Sweet 16 — he was shooting 23% from deep entering that game. Duke will need some shooting touch because of Michigan State’s elite interior defense. — Eli Hershkovich
— Nick Ward’s injury clouds Michigan State’s team a little bit, as well, but as of Saturday night, he appears to be on track to play. I think with Barrett struggling and Reddish hurt, Michigan State is just flat-out better than Duke, and I don’t believe Duke should be favored in a “true line” sense.
I understand why the Blue Devils are favored in an “everyone bets on Duke every game” sense, but they probably shouldn’t be. — Ken Barkley
- Spread: Kentucky -4.5
- Over/Under: 141
- Location: Kansas City, Mo.
- Date: Sunday, March 31
- Time: 2:20 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
— An old adage says that it’s tough to beat a team three times in the same season, as Kentucky is trying to do vs. Auburn.
But that actually hasn’t been the case — teams going for a third win against the same team in the conference tournament or the NCAA Tournament have won 72% of those contests. — Steve Petrella
— Kentucky has allowed the 59th-highest 3-point scoring rate in the nation, and saw Wofford’s Fletcher Magee and Houston’s Corey Davis Jr. struggle to find 3-point strokes in the last two rounds. Don’t expect Auburn to miss that much. — Eli Hershkovich
— The absence of Auburn’s Chuma Okeke, an excellent shooter and defender who tore his ACL on Friday, can’t be overstated. I personally make Kentucky -2 at full strength (and it looked like PJ Washington was at 100% on Friday, although the one-day break may be tough on him).
I have Okeke worth 2 points to the spread, which means I make this Kentucky -4 without him. — Stuckey
I think we are getting a few extra points of value in the market due to recency bias after everyone saw what Auburn did against UNC in the Sweet 16. However, the loss of Okeke will slow down Auburn considerably in transition.
Also, not only is Kentucky excellent across the board on defense, it’s played slower since the start of SEC play — and the market just hasn’t caught up. Kentucky unders are 17-5 during the Wildcats’ past 22 games, including 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament. — Stuckey
Collin Wilson: Duke -2
Michigan State’s current depth will be become even more of an issue if Xavier Tillman gets into foul trouble, and Zion Williamson has been a menace in that regard for his opponents.
The Spartans worked with a 7-man rotation against LSU with Nick Ward and Gabe Brown getting 16 minutes a piece. Ward is probable with a hand injury, but any foul trouble or future injuries to this Spartans lineup could be the end of their season. Duke will grind down that excellent Michigan State interior defense. — Collin Wilson
This over/under opened at 142 across the betting market and 68% of bettors are taking the over. According to our public betting data, the money has been a bit more balanced, but still favors the over with 57% of dollars hitting that side of the total.
However, this number has dropped to 141 at a handful of sportsbooks, and even to 140.5 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. — P.J. Walsh
Over the past two days of NCAA Tournament play, Matthew Freedman, our props guru, is 27-4-2 (+17.83 units), which is obviously unsustainable, but it does beg the question: Who’s Freedman on today?
Kentucky F P.J. Washington: Over 6.0 Rebounds (-114)
After missing the first two games of the NCAA Tournament with a foot injury, Washington returned to action in the Sweet 16 and saw 26 minutes of playing time off the bench. It’s hard to know if he’s 100% healthy, but he looked like his usual self.
The sophomore leads the Wildcats with 7.4 rebounds on 29.0 minutes per game, and I think it’s likely that he’ll see more minutes against the Tigers: Over his past 10 games, Washington has averaged 31.1 minutes.
I’m projecting Washington for 8.0 rebounds, so I see massive value in this line.