Getty Images

Round of 32 betting lines: Gonzaga, Arizona, Villanova highlight odds favorites

Leave a comment

The second round of the NCAA Tournament has not been such a stumbling block recently for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, one of the No. 1 seeds looking to move on to the Sweet 16.

Shooting guard Nigel Williams-Goss and Gonzaga are 11-point betting favorites against the upstart Northwestern Wildcats with a 136.5-point total in their West Region second-round matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Gonzaga is 4-6 straight-up and against the spread over its last 10 second-round games, but has won the last two. Five of the Bulldogs’ last six games have finished under the listed total.

The Arizona Wildcats are 2.5-point favorites against the Saint Mary’s Gaels with a 132-point total. Arizona is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games. The total has gone under in the Gaels’ last five games against the Pac-12, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database.

The Villanova Wildcats are 5.5-point favorites against the Wisconsin Badgers with a 146.5-point total. Villanova is 10-0 SU in its last 10 games against the Big Ten. Wisconsin got the cover against Virginia Tech on Thursday, but is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games after an ATS win.

The West Virginia Mountaineers are 2.5-point favorites against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the March Madness betting lines with a 146.5-point total. Notre Dame is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games against West Virginia. West Virginia is 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven games as a favorite of 2.5 points or less.

The Butler Bulldogs are four-point favorites against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders with a 140-point total. Butler is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games as a favorite of at least four points. Middle Tennessee is 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS in its last nine games against teams with winning records. Since 2009, 4 seeds are 9-2 SU and 5-6 ATS against 12 seeds.

The Purdue Boilermakers are one-point favorites against the Iowa State Cyclones with a 152-point total. Purdue is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games in March. Iowa State is 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games against teams with winning records.

The Florida State Seminoles are six-point betting favorites against the Xavier Musketeers with a 151-point total. Florida State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after a win. Xavier is 7-2 SU in its last nine games against the Atlantic Coast.

Sunday’s Round of 32 matchups include two 3 vs. 11 matchups – the Baylor Bears against the USC Trojans in the East Region and the Oregon Ducks against the Rhode Island Rams in the West Region. Since 2011, 3 seeds are 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS against 11 seeds.

The North Carolina Tar Heels face the Arkansas Razorbacks. North Carolina is 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in its last seven second-round games when it was the favorite.

As well, the Louisville Cardinals face the Michigan Wolverines in a Midwest Region matchup. Louisville is 5-2 ATS in its last seven second-round games when it was favored, but 7 seeds are 4-2 SU and ATS in the last six matchups against 2 seeds.

North Carolina narrow favorite against Gonzaga for NCAA Tournament championship

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Joel Berry II and the North Carolina Tar Heels, who only seem to play close games at the Final Four, are a slim betting favorite against the first-time finalist Gonzaga Bulldogs.

The Tar Heels are listed as a 1.5-point favorite against the Bulldogs with 153.5-point total in the college basketball championship game matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The teams tip off at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Monday.

The Tar Heels are 7-2 both straight-up and against the spread on the college basketball point spreads in their last nine games as a favorite of 1.5 or fewer points. Gonzaga, though, is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games with one day off between games.

Coaches Roy Williams and Mark Few are going head-to-head for the first time since 2009, when UNC ousted the Zags in the Sweet 16 on its way to the national title. North Carolina is 0-4 ATS in its last four games after winning the previous game in a matchup, while Gonzaga is 6-0 SU and ATS in its last six games after losing the previous game in a matchup.

Gonzaga’s impressive record when it has a day of rest attests to having perhaps the deepest rotation in the country, with PG Nigel Williams-Goss as the floor leader.

Seven-foot-one Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins will be tasked with avoiding foul trouble and preventing North Carolina’s big men such as Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks from nabbing the offensive rebounds that give the Tar Heels extra scoring opportunities. How Collins, a NBA-bound freshman, responds to North Carolina’s challenge might make or break Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs are 1-5 SU in their last six games as an underdog, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, but those contests are spread out from the 2013-14 to 2015-16 seasons.

With North Carolina, the main question is the health of Berry, who is soldiering on with two sprained ankles. Berry clearly seemed affected during the Tar Heels’ semifinal win against Oregon and will have greater challenges against Gonzaga at each end of the court.

The Bulldogs have, in Williams-Goss, a more electric point guard and also play man-to-man defense while Oregon uses a zone. Justin Jackson, who is North Carolina’s first look on offense, is a resourceful attacker whom Gonzaga will be hard-pressed to shut down completely.

With Berry compromised, backcourt depth will be important. Gonzaga has been more impressive than North Carolina in this area during the run of the NCAA Tournament.

The total has gone under in seven of Gonzaga’s last 10 games. The total has gone under in Gonzaga’s last five games against the Atlantic Coast Conference The total has gone under in 10 of North Carolina’s last 14 games after a win. The total has also gone under in five of North Carolina’s last six games with a closing total of 153.5 points or less.

Final Four betting preview: Gonzaga, North Carolina lead odds for matchups

Leave a comment

While the North Carolina Tar Heels are a slight favorite to win the national championship entering the Final Four, they are taking some troubling trends with them to Glendale.

Led by forwards Justin Jackson and Isaiah Hicks, the Tar Heels are the +140 favorite on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. North Carolina was the favorite at the outset of the tournament and has had enough talent to override a habit of letting opponents back into games in the second half. That’s contributed to a 19-16-2 against-the-spread record this year.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are deemed the most worthy challenger at +180, while the Oregon Ducks (+550) and South Carolina Gamecocks (+750) are seen as the longer shots.

In game lines, Gonzaga is listed as a 6.5-point favorite against South Carolina for the first matchup on Saturday. Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss will need to be sharp against South Carolina’s swarming defense, which thrives at forcing turnovers that lead to baskets in transition.

Gonzaga’s defense has provided it with the cushion to win, but it’s notable that the Bulldogs are only 4-5-1 ATS over their last 10 games. Coach Mark Few’s emphasis on defense is also reflected in the fact that seven of Gonzaga’s last nine games have gone over.

South Carolina is a gritty group with their trio of leaders, SG Sindarius Thornwell, PG Duane Notice and SF P.J. Dozier. The Gamecocks have been underdogs in all four tournament wins, so that +6.5 line is enticing. The total has gone under in 21 of South Carolina’s last 30 games as an underdog.

North Carolina is favored by five points against Oregon in the matchup for the second semifinal. The health of PG Joel Berry, who has two wonky ankles, will be a concern going in with the Tar Heels, who are just 3-3-2 ATS over their last eight games.

North Carolina, which is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games against the Pac-12, has the most efficient offense in the field and has a rebounding machine under the basket in Kennedy Meeks.

Oregon, with a balanced lineup led by SF Tyler Dorsey and PF Dillon Brooks, is a team one underestimates at their peril. The Ducks are 17-7-1 ATS over their last 25 games as well as 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games on a Saturday, and they do a good job at limiting opponents’ looks, especially from three-point land.

Eight of their last 11 games have gone over; there’s a good chance the Ducks will try to run with North Carolina for portions of the contest.