Is this the best March Madness ever? If you’ve been betting underdogs with us the past week, you probably feel that way.
I improved to 11-4 ATS (73.3%) with my NCAA Tournament best bets in Point Spread Weekly and here in our weekend updates on the VSiN.com website with Syracuse’s 69-65 loss to Duke as an 11-point favorite on Friday night. My Tuley's Takes on Saturday’s regional finals are in a separate story at VSiN, so check that out if you’re seeing this before those games.
Here’s our takes on Sunday’s doubleheader (lines are from the South Point as of Saturday morning):
ELITE 8 (Sunday)
(719) Texas Tech plus-6.5 vs. (720) Villanova (o/u 144.5)
2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT (CBS)
Tuley’s Take: I’m sure most of my regular followers are going to assume I’m going to be all over on the underdog Red Raiders here. That makes sense, especially as Texas Tech is the biggest underdog of the day (see Florida St. on Thursday, Syracuse on Friday, etc.), plus I did make this line only Villanova -3.5, so it looks like an obvious play. However, I’m probably going to pass and it’s the same reason I only made West Virginia a lean against Villanova on Friday night. As I wrote in Point Spread Weekly: “Mountaineers’ defense gives them a chance against high-scoring Nova, but sometimes great defense doesn’t matter if other team is hot. See Virginia vs. UMBC.” Texas Tech is the No. 3 defense in efficiency on kenpom.com, but as I pointed out above, being No. 1 didn’t help Virginia avoid getting eliminated and No. 2 Cincinnati also lost to Nevada. And as good as WVU played on Friday night, Villanova was still too much and I don’t feel it’ll be enough for Texas Tech either, so I can’t make it a best bet. Lean: Texas Tech plus-6.5.
(722) Kansas plus-3 vs. Duke (o/u 154.5)
5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 p.m. PT (CBS)
Tuley’s Take: This is not Bill Self’s best team at Kansas, but I’ve been amazed at how underrated the Jayhawks have been as a No. 1 seed. In all three games, I felt the lines were short and didn’t fade them with Penn, Seton Hall or Clemson. As it turned out, Kansas backers suffered bad beats in each of the last two games so if I had been backing the Jayhawks I would have been very upset; however, I do like that we know get them as underdogs. I do agree that Duke should be favored (I made it Duke 1.5), but I do see value on Kansas at plus-3 in what is a pretty evenly matched game. The Jayhawks can keep up with the Blue Devils with their own 3-point shooters and the return of Udoka Azubuike gives them a counter to Duke’s frontline (don’t expect to see as many successful alley-oops as the Blue Devils got against Syracuse). Best Bet: Kansas plus-3.