Stuckey: My Favorite NCAA Tournament Bets on Saturday’s Card

Stuckey: My Favorite NCAA Tournament Bets on Saturday’s Card article feature image
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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jay Wright

  • Stuckey analyzes his three favorite bets on Saturday's NCAA Tournament slate below.
  • The games include: LSU vs. Maryland, Wofford vs. Kentucky, and Villanova vs. Purdue.

Thank you to the Anteaters of UC Irvine for pulling the outright upset over Kansas State. I’m now an official member of the #eatants crew.

We’ve got eight more glorious games on tap for Saturday, so let’s run through the card and highlight by three favorite plays.


>> All odds as of Saturday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


#3 LSU vs. #6 Maryland NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: LSU -2.5
  • Over/Under: 145
  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 12:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

This is a matchup of two extremely similar teams. They’re both young and love to get after the offensive glass. I’ve called them the Baby Terps and Baby Tigers all year for a reason.

Ultimately, I think turnovers will swing this game. They’ve killed Maryland all year, as the Terps offense ranks 328th nationally in steal percentage. LSU, meanwhile, is a top-five defense nationally in the same category, per KenPom.

The Terps also don’t force any turnovers on the other end, as they have the second-lowest turnover rate in the entire country! The difference will come in those extra possessions for LSU. The Tigers pull out another close one and move on to to the Sweet 16 where I think they will then meet their own demise.

Pick: Split between LSU -140 and LSU -2.5


#2 Kentucky vs. #7 Wofford NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Kentucky -5
  • Over/Under: 138.5
  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 2:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Jacksonville, Fla.

The loss of PJ Washington for this game is absolutely enormous. He would’ve been a major problem for Wofford’s defense. Without him, I make this line Kentucky -3 so I have to take the Terriers.

Hoover and Magee are cold-blooded assassins and the biggest weakness of Kentucky’s defense has been their perimeter defense. I think this is an absolute thriller that comes down to the wire. Don’t forget the Cats are the youngest team in the entire field. Take the points, sit back and enjoy what should be one of the most entertaining games of the weekend.

Pick: Wofford +5


#3 Purdue vs. #6 Villanova NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Purdue -3.5
  • Over/Under: 137
  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 8:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Location: Hartford, Conn.

The Cats are one of the most 3-point reliant teams in the country with a 3-point rate that is even high for a Jay Wright team. In fact, only two other teams in D-1 shot more 3s per field goal attempt during the regular season.

This was a negative in Villanova’s first-round matchup vs. Saint Mary’s, given the Gales’ proficiency at defending the 3. But the matchup is in the Wildcats’ favor tonight, as Purdue ranks 300th nationally — and fifth-worst among tourney teams — vs. the 3.

Having a healthy Nojel Eastern will help Purdue tremendously on the defensive end, but Nova will still get open looks from the perimeter, and they’ve shown the ability to hit those all season.

Purdue isn’t really all that different from Villanova offensively. The Boilermakers’ Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline also love to chuck from 3. So while neither of these teams play at a fast pace — the Wildcats are true snails, which I’ve discussed before — Over 137 presents value due to the sheer number of 3-pointers these two teams will shoot.

The Pick: Over 137

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