2nd Round NCAA Tournament Best Bets Against the Spread


After my best two-day run ever in the NCAA Tournament – 13-3-1 – the regression to the mean will surely hurt in the second round. Here’s who I like Saturday and Sunday:

Duke -6 vs Yale. Ken Pom only has Duke by two, the Blue Devils have a tendency to permit a lot of offensive rebounds, and that’s a Yale strength. Duke struggled to put away UNCW; lost a late lead against Notre Dame in the ACC tournament … wait, did I just talk myself out of Duke? – HIT

UConn +8 vs Kansas. Line initially went up to 8.5, then dipped to 7.5. The Jayhawks have won 15 straight, starting with an OT win at home vs Kentucky. They’ll have the crowd. Which UConn shows up? The selfish, 1st half dumpster fire that struggled vs Colorado? Or the defensive-minded, chemistry-positive 2nd half team? Feels like a Kansas blowout, or UConn’s guards play Mason/Graham to a standstill and pull the upset. – MISS

Iowa State -6.5 vs Arkansas Little-Rock. For a game being played in the altitude of Denver, one team just had an exhausting 2 OT thriller Thursday; the other coasted against Iona. The Trojans have scalped Tulsa, San Diego State, and Purdue. None of those teams play offense like the balanced Cyclones. – HIT

Stephen F. Austin +1 vs Notre Dame. Gave out the Lumberjacks as a Cinderella. Told you Thomas Walkup was a senior to watch. I’m pot-committed. Can’t bail now. – PUSH

North Carolina -9.5 vs Providence. Line has soared to 11, but it may not matter. No, this isn’t the same UNC team that nearly gagged against Bryce Cotton and the Friars in March two years ago. UNC’s weakness can be the 3-pointer, so expect plenty of zone from the Friars. – HIT

Kentucky -3 vs Indiana. I like too many favorites today. If you feel the guards are a wash, Calipari > Crean is at the crux of my decision. – MISS

Gonzaga PK vs Utah. I’m just going to enjoy Sabnois vs Poeltl (if Sabonis gets in foul trouble, obviously this would be a very bad thing) and root for the Zags. – HIT

Maryland -6.5 vs Hawaii. Yes, this is way too many favorites. Hate the way the Terps have closed games in the last month. Have no faith here, but Hawaii had a perfect storm appear against the Bears, and think Robert Carter and Jake Layman will do a better job than Cal did against Stefan Jankovic. – HIT

Texas A&M -6.5 vs Northern Iowa. When you take almost all favorites, you have no chance at success. – MISS