Stuckey’s Favorite Sunday NCAA Tournament Bets: Tracking the Ducks, More

Stuckey’s Favorite Sunday NCAA Tournament Bets: Tracking the Ducks, More article feature image

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Payton Pritchard

  • Stuckey analyzes his three favorite bets on Sunday's NCAA Tournament slate below.
  • The games include: Duke vs. UCF, Virginia Tech vs. Liberty and Oregon vs. UC-Irvine

Yesterday, as you probably well know, we were on the wrong side of few unfortunate beats in LSU -2.5 and Wofford +5. The Wofford one really hurt, considering the Terriers had their chances to keep it closer (or even win) but just couldn’t hit shots.

Such is life betting this tournament. We’ve got eight more games on top before we fill out the Sweet 16 in its entirety, and I’m eyeing a few games.

Let’s dive in.

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

#1 Duke vs. #9 UCF: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Duke -13.5
  • Over/Under: 143.5
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Columbia, S.C.

Do I think UCF can beat Duke with a healthy Zion? It’s not likely. However, I’m not betting the ML here. I think the Golden Knights can hang here and I just think this line is a few points too high.

UCF has the length inside to give Duke some trouble in a battle of two teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in average height.

UCF will also have the experience edge. The knights are one of the most experienced team in the field (top 25 nationally) while Duke is one of the least (bottom 10). The Knights won’t be intimidated just like they showed when they ended Houston’s home winning streak earlier this year. All of the pressure will be on the young Blue Devils.

Two senior guards in Taylor and Dawkins to go along with Tacko Fall inside. UCF is no slouch.

This reminds me of the Baylor-Gonzaga game from yesterday. Even if Baylor didn’t have any distinct advantages, you still had to play that inflated number.

The Pick: UCF +13.5

#4 Virginia Tech vs. #12 Liberty: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Virginia Tech -8.5
  • Over/Under: 124.5
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
  • Location: San Jose, Calif.
  • TV: TBS

Virginia Tech’s defense likes to go under screens and force its opponents to beat it from the outside. That worked in Round 1 against Saint Louis, one of the worst-shooting teams in the tournament, but it won’t be as effective vs. a Liberty team that ranks 10th nationally in Effective FG% (56.1) and 51st in the country in 3P% (37.0). The Flames have the shooters that Saint Louis lacked. Just ask Mississippi State.

Both of these teams are very similar in terms of the pace they like to employ. They’re true snails, as the Hokies rank 337th in Adjusted Tempo, while the Flames come in at 349th.

That gives some clear value to the under.

The picks: Liberty +8.5 and Under 124.5

#12 Oregon vs. #13 UC-Irvine: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Oregon -5
  • Over/Under: 124
  • Location: San Jose, CA
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

I have fond feelings for this UC-Irvine squad after it pulled an outright upset against Kansas State in Round 1, but today, I’ll be looking for an opportunity to fade the Anteaters live.

While this pregame spread of Oregon -5 is spot on, I think we’ll get some value during the game if the Ducks fall to around a PK. I’ve detailed before the difficult of playing offense against Dana Altman-coached teams. And the Ducks’ morphing zone defenses are even tougher to handle on a quick turnaround.

UC Irvine’s experience might enable it to get out to an early lead, but remember: Oregon has been blitzing teams in the second half recently. It was tied with Wisconsin at the half before outscoring the Badgers by 18 in the second half. It also outscored Washington by 18 in the second half of the Pac-12 title game. Oh, and Utah by 18 in the second half earlier in that tournament.

If you see Oregon as an underdog live, scoop it up before I goes away.

The Pick: Oregon Live Underdog

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