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.

Warriors seeking Game 3 victory at Cleveland as road betting favorites

Leave a comment

Golden State Warriors backers are hoping the third time will be the charm when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

As the best-of-seven series resumes near the banks of Lake Erie, Kevin Durant and the Warriors are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Cavaliers with a 226-point total in their NBA Finals matchup on Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

In each of their two previous playoff matchups, Cleveland won Game 3 on its home floor at Quicken Loans Arena. Of course, those Warriors had neither Durant nor a record of 29-1 straight-up and 21-7-2 against the spread in their last 30 games (according to the OddsShark NBA Database). Nor were they threatening to go undefeated in the playoffs.

Golden State is 9-11 SU and 7-12-1 ATS in its last 20 road games when it was favored by 3.5 or fewer points, but apart from some turnover issues they have dictated terms to the Cavaliers. Cleveland has yet to find a defensive matchup for Durant (38 and 33 points in the first two games), while SG Klay Thompson went 8-for-12 from the floor in Game 2 on Sunday.

The Warriors’ turnovers (40) in the first two games almost matched their combined winning margin (41 points). It’s scary to think what Golden State, which is 5-0 ATS in their last five road games, would do if they cut their turnovers down to about 10 per game.

Cleveland, which is 16-4 SU and 12-8 ATS in its last 20 home playoff games, needs much more than characteristic superstar performances from SF LeBron James and PG Kyrie Irving to get back into the series. Members of the supporting cast such as PG J.R. Smith, PF Channing Frye (a solid three-point shooter) and physical PF Tristan Thompson will need to step up their contributions.

The Cavaliers shot 34.5 and 45 per cent in each of the first two games. That’s likely to improve now that the three-point threats such as Frye and Kevin Love are in familiar surroundings, but they would have still lost Game 2 even if they had shot 50% from the floor.

The total has gone over in seven of the Warriors’ last eight road games heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 matchup. The total has also gone over in four of the Warriors’ last six road games against the Cavaliers. The total has gone over in 12 of the Cavaliers’ 20 most recent home games against Western Conference teams.

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.