We’ve really been enjoying the NCAA Tournament at the Tuley’s Takes home office (and at the sports books around Vegas as we make the rounds all weekend long).
We won our first three best bets (as posted in Point Spread Weekly for VSiN all-access subscribers with Yale plus-7.5 vs LSU, Florida plus-2 vs. Nevada and Saint Mary’s plus-4.5 vs. Villanova (and we also called the Under our best total of the first round) before finally losing with Seton Hall plus-2.5 vs. Wofford.
Iowa’s upset of Cincinnati on Friday morning improved our best-bet record to 4-1 ATS, but now it’s time to look ahead to Saturday’s second-round action. Lines are from the South Point as of early Friday afternoon (note: my “takes” on Sunday’s second round will be in a separate story at VSiN.com).
(841) Maryland plus-2.5 vs. LSU
12:10 p.m. ET/9:10 a.m. PT
Tuley’s Take: Just like my VSiN colleague Matt Youmans, I came into this tournament intent on fading LSU at every opportunity due to the controversy surrounding the program. We don’t hold interim coach Tony Benford in high regard and the Tigers have been getting by with their superior athletic ability, but this should be where their run ends. Maryland is underrated and I have this as pick ‘em and will take any points offered. Best Bet: Maryland plus-2.5.
(843) Wofford plus-5.5 vs. Kentucky
2:40 p.m. ET/11:40 p.m. PT
Tuley’s Take: My one loss on Thursday was Seton Hall, so I was impressed with Wofford. I knew the Terriers were a quality team (and under-seeded at No. 7) but they certainly answered any doubters with handling the big stage and shooting out the lights in the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, where this game will be played. I thought this line should be closer to 4, so it’s not my strongest play of the day but Wofford can take this game to the wire or shoot its way in the back door. Best Bet: Wofford plus-5.5.
(850) Kansas plus-2 vs. Auburn
9:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. PT
Tuley’s Take: I understand why No. 5 Auburn is favored over No. 4 Kansas (by looking at kenpom.com, etc.) but I’m not convinced Auburn is the better team. I like what another VSiN colleague, Jeff Fogle, pointed out that Auburn looked much more like the mid-major in its narrow win over New Mexico St. with too much reliance on 3-pointers, etc. I think Kansas is being underrated a little here and like the Jayhawks plus any point. Best Bet: Kansas plus-2.
Tuley’s Other Saturday Leans
(848) Michigan -6.5 vs. Florida (thank you, Gators, for beating Nevada for us, but this line is too short – I have it at Michigan -8, so I’ll pass)
(840) Florida St. -4.5 vs, Murray St. (same thing here; I have it at FSU -6.5 and think this is last we’ll see of Ja Morant until the NBA)
(852) Gonzaga -13 vs. Baylor (this is right where I set the line and not looking to fade Gonzaga)
(846) Michigan St. -10 vs. Minnesota (kudos to Minnesota for beating Louisville and I wish I could make a case for it here, but I set this at MSU -12.5 and not encouraged by the two blowouts in the regular season)
(837) Villanova plus-4 vs. Purdue (this almost made best-bet list and might play Nova closer to gametime, but just like I called the Villanova-Saint Mary’s Under the best total play in the first round, Under 137 is my favorite total play Saturday)