Miami vs. Auburn Odds, Picks: How to Bet This NCAA Tournament Game (March 20)

Miami vs. Auburn Odds, Picks: How to Bet This NCAA Tournament Game (March 20) article feature image

Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: K.D. Johnson (Auburn)

  • The second round of the NCAA Tournament rolls on when Miami takes on Auburn.
  • Updated odds make the Tigers -6.5 favorites, but the line has been moving toward the Hurricanes.
  • Read on for Alex Hinton's full betting guide and top pick.

Miami vs. Auburn Odds

Sunday, March 20
7:45 p.m. ET
Miami Odds
-110o / -110u
Auburn Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

In the Midwest region, it will be a 10 vs. 2 matchup when the Miami Hurricanes take on the Auburn Tigers.

Miami (FL) blew a double-digit lead against the seventh-seeded USC Trojans. However, it was able to hang on when point guard Charlie Moore was fouled with three seconds left and calmly knocked down both free throws to give Miami (FL) a 68-66 win.

Though Auburn earned a No. 2 seed, it came into its first-round matchup stumbling a bit after it lost three of its previous six games. That included a quarterfinal loss in the SEC Tournament to Texas A&M. The Tigers were pushed by Jacksonville State early before pulling away for a 80-61 victory in the opening round of the Big Dance.

Auburn and Miami both have top-25 offenses, but the Canes have a shoddy defense. Could that swing the tide in Auburn's favor?

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Miami Hurricanes

It's not often that a team wins a game when makes it just one 3-pointer. That was the case when Miami shot 1-for-14 from 3 vs. USC, with the lone make being a 30-footer from Moore.

At 34.7%, Miami is an above-average 3-point shooting team. However, it does not rely on the 3-ball often.

The Canes get nearly 55% of their points on 2-point field goals. They rank 26th nationally in 2-point field goal percentage and 30th in effective field goal percentage. The Hurricanes are also sixth in turnover percentage.

When you combine all of that, you get a very efficient offense, and Miami ranks 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

The Canes have four double-digit scorers, led by Oklahoma transfer Kameron McGusty at 17.4 points per game. McGusty finished with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting against USC.

However, guard Isaiah Wong picked up the slack. Wong scored the Hurricanes' first 13 points and finished with 22 on the afternoon. He averages 15.4 points and 4.3 rebounds on the year.

Moore averages 12.7 points and 4.5 assists per game, and shoots 37% from deep. Jordan Miller averages 10 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds a night.

Forward Sam Waardenburg averages 8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and leads the team in 3-point shooting at 41.9% on the year. He had four blocks against USC and averages 1.3 on the year. However, as a team, Miami ranks 180th in block rate.

Overall, the defensive end has not been Miami's strong suit this season. It ranks 143th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 278th in 3-point percentage defense, 322nd in 2-point percentage and 324th in effective field goal percentage defense.

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Auburn Tigers

Auburn is led by potential No. 1 overall pick Jabari Smith. Against Jacksonville State, the freshman forward had 20 points, 14 rebounds and capped the afternoon with a posterizing dunk.

He averages 17.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and shoots 43.3% from beyond the arc. He is joined up front by center Walker Kessler, the nation's leading shot blocker.

Kessler averages 4.6 blocks and as a result, Auburn is first nationally in block rate. Kessler anchors a defense that ranks eighth in adjusted defensive efficiency. He also averages 11.7 points and 8 .2 rebounds per game.

Auburn's guards can be erratic and inefficient at times. By now, you have probably heard that K.D. Johnson shot 0-for-14 against Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament. However, he does average 12.3 points on the season.

Wendell Green Jr. averages 12 points and leads the team with 5.1 assists per game.

Auburn is 22nd in adjusted offensive efficiency. It should have a clear advantage on the offensive glass. In addition to Smith and Kessler, Auburn brings even more size off the bench with forward Jaylin Williams and center Dylan Cardwell.

The Tigers are 29th in offensive rebounding percentage, while Miami is 262nd in defensive rebounding percentage.

Miami vs. Auburn Betting Pick

While Miami has a potent offense, 2-point field goals will be an issue against Auburn. Auburn has the perimeter defenders to make life difficult on Moore, Wong and McGusty, particularly with Smith and Allen Flanigan. When they drive past them, Kessler will be waiting.

At the other end, Miami's lack of size will make it difficult to defend Auburn. Miami surrounds the 6-foot-10 Waardenburg with four guards who are 6-foot-6 and shorter.

Anthony Walker comes off the bench at 6-foot-9, but if he or Waardenburg get in foul trouble, Miami will be in deep trouble.

Additionally, Miami does not have a matchup for Smith.

This should be a fun and high-scoring game, but I expect Auburn's size and talent to wear down Miami. The Tigers will pull away for a double-digit victory.

Pick: Auburn -7.5 (Play to -9.5)

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