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NCAA Tournament Round 2 Best Bets for Sunday

NCAA Tournament Round 2 Best Bets for Sunday

NCAA TOURNAMENT ROUND 2 BEST BETS FOR SUNDAY – Welcome to the fourth day of the NCAA Men’s tournament, where we have a slew of storylines and intriguing underdogs to keep those Sunday scaries away. The favorites went 8-0 yesterday. That’s a big day for chalk, but it included some frustrating beats, including a double overtime in the Creighton vs. Oregon game where the Blue Jays blew out the Ducks and covered. The Ducks had been covering the spread the entire game, including in the first overtime.

Today is a new day and we are sure to see some underdogs win and advance to the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re wondering who to play, then look no further than my NCAA Tournament round 2 best bets for Sunday. Expect some terrific games today.

Read below for your best bets.

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No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 2 Marquette

Odds: Marquette -4.5; O/U 150.5

The Big East has defended its reputation as their toughest conference in basketball thus far throughout the tournament. However the team that looks the most vulnerable for an early exit is Marquette. The Golden Eagles struggled to contain Western Kentucky in the first half on Friday, which led to an early upset alert before Marquette pulled away in the second half.

The first half may have been a little deceiving, as Marquette couldn’t get many shots to fall. Kam Jones eventually found his rhythm and finished the game with 28 points. Tyler Kolek’s return from an oblique injury definitely helped the Golden Eagles surge past the Hilltoppers. Still, Marquette isn’t the same team when facing all these injuries and could struggle against a red-hot Colorado team.

The Colorado Buffaloes have actually won two games in the tournament thus far. They beat Boise State in a #10 seeded first four play in game and won an electric first round game against the Florida Gators, 102-100.

The Buffaloes are a well-balanced team, with the 21st ranked offense when adjusted for efficiency and the 43rd ranked defense when adjusted for efficiency (KenPom). They play a moderately fast tempo and like to shoot threes. According to Haslametrics, the Buffaloes shoot over 40% from three against average opponents.

For a top-10 team, Marquette doesn’t wow anyone with their metrics. They’re 20th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency (KenPom). They play pretty fast and are a streaky shooting team. But once they heat up, the Golden Eagles can stay hot.

Colorado is comfortable in a shootout, so Marquette will have to limit their three point shot attempts. The Golden Eagles guard the three moderately well, but so does Colorado. I think both teams will be able to neutralize the three at points in this game, but it’s only a matter of time before both Marquette and Colorado get hot. This should be an exciting one.

Considering the pace of play and the proclivity for three pointers on both sides today, my favorite play is the OVER at 150.5. I expect Colorado to keep it close, so I’ll take the points as well. Don’t miss this game, folks,

Jack’s Pick: Colorado +4.5 and OVER 150.5 total points

No. 12 James Madison vs. No. 4 Duke

Odds: Duke -7; O/U 148

Let’s stick with the live dogs here and talk a little James Madison basketball. The Dukes upset Wisconsin 72-61 after holding off a late Badger surge in the second half. James Madison started hot and never lost control of the game. They led by 13 in the first half and rode a massive turnover differential to the win. The Dukes forced 19 turnovers in their upset against Wisconsin, a season high for the Badgers.

Duke looked like a return to form in their statement win against the Vermont Catamounts, 64-47. While Vermont hung around in the first half, mostly on the strength of the three point shot, Duke pulled away in the second. Duke used their size to absolutely dominate on the boards, out-rebounding Vermont 38-26.  If the Blue Devils can control the pace of play, protect the basketball, and win on the glass, they shouldn’t have much issue with James Madison.

But this is March and teams like James Madison are incredibly disruptive and unpredictable. JMU grabbed 37 boards against Wisconsin, which is a team with some length, so we know they will be tough on the glass.

The Blue Devils do everything well when they can control the clock. They are ranked 8th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 22nd in adjusted defensive efficiency (KenPom). Duke seeks to use their length to control the boards and the clock in order to slow down hot shooting teams. They sometimes struggle against teams like NC State, because their defense around the rim leaves much to be desired.

James Madison is a versatile offense. They can knock down threes or run their offense through forward, T.J. Bickerstaff. The interplay between rim offense and three point shooting makes it hard for teams to collapse into the post and guard the three point line. J

MU also forces a bunch of turnovers and seeks to speed the game up. That could throw Duke off-balance just enough to keep JMU in the game. If the Dukes can hang around in the first half, they are a real threat for an upset.

Have some fun and take James Madison here.

Jack’s Pick: James Madison +7

No. 6 Clemson vs. No. 3 Baylor

Odds: Baylor -5; O/U 145

I’ll admit that I haven’t watched Clemson play much basketball since December. They have been a frustrating team to handicap, because they often play up to their competition. They are 7-1 ATS as an underdog this season and 11-13-1 ATS as a favorite.

All this really tells me is that Clemson’s identity this season is the ugly stepchild of the ACC. When they feel they aren’t getting respect, they go out and get some. However, they struggle against bad teams and often lay an egg when everyone expects them to win.

The Tigers crushed New Mexico, 77-56, in an impressive win against a very trendy team that many people had penciled into the Sweet 16. I’m not sure if this win tells us more about Clemson’s defense or a lackluster performance by the Lobos on offense. New Mexico shot 29% from the field and really couldn’t get anything going. The Tigers smelled blood early and won an no-doubter, ending the game on 44% shooting from the floor and 33% shooting from three.

For what it’s worth, Baylor looked nearly unstoppable against Colgate, shellacking them by a score of 92-67. The Bears shot 58% from the field and 53% from three. Yes, Baylor has the fifth best offense in the nation, when adjusted for efficiency, but I didn’t expect anything like that in their first round appearance.

Even though both offenses looked sharp in their wins on Friday, Baylor and Clemson prefer to play at a slower pace. Sometimes the tournament necessitates that you speed up the game, but I’m not sure that will happen here. Still, both defenses are not nearly as effective as the offense for either team. The smart play here is the OVER.

I’m also going to take Clemson +5. I think Baylor has a legitimate chance to win the entire tournament, but the Tigers are 7-1 ATS as underdogs. I can’t ignore that trend.

Jack’s Picks: Clemson +5 and OVER 145 total points

No. 12 Grand Canyon vs. No. 4 Alabama

Odds: Alabama +6; O/U 169

If you’ve read this far in the article, then I bet you’re tired of metrics and game recaps. This game is all feel for me anyways.

The OVER is 25-8 in all games that Alabama has played thus far this season. What’s more, bookmakers have set the OVER at 169 total points or more 11 times this year in Alabama games. The OVER is 9-2 when the total points are listed at 169 or more.

Grand Canyon also likes to score and, more importantly, they play at a fast tempo. I don’t know if they can keep up with Alabama all game, but I’m certain the total points will surpass 169. The bookmakers can’t find a total that Alabama won’t blow past .Don’t ignore the trends here and play to the OVER total points are 169.

Jack’s Pick: OVER 169 total points

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  1. Pingback:James Madison vs. Duke Expert Pick and Prediction – March 24, 2024

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