If you’re a March Madness betting enthusiast looking for some value-packed underdogs worth betting on in the first round of the 2018 NCAA National Championship Basketball Tournament, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got the block on lock when it comes to the NCAA Basketball betting action. Now, check out this trio of opening round underdogs worth betting on!
2018 March Madness Betting Underdogs Offering Great Value
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) 13 de marzo de 2018
No. 12 Davidson (21-11) vs. No. 5 Kentucky (24-10)
- When: Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Taco Bell Arena, Boise, Idaho
- TV: CBS
- Live Stream: MM Live
- March Madness Betting Odds: Kentucky -5.5 (Total 143)
Davidson ‘transformed like Optimus Prime’ late in the regular season and now enter the NCAA Tournament on fire, having won four straight games and 11 of their last 13 games overall. The Wildcats blew St. Louis and St. Bonaventure off the court before narrowly getting past Rhode Island to surprisingly win the A-10 conference tournament title last weekend. Now, Davidson would like nothing better than to upset the No. 5 seed Kentucky Wildcats in the opening round.
For their part, Kentucky is also pretty hot, having won three straight to claim the SEC tournament title while winning seven of their last eight games overall. The Cats put the clamps on Georgia and blew Alabama off the court before narrowly getting past Tennessee in the conference championship matchup last weekend.
Davidson is playing some pretty good defense right now, having limited six of their last nine opponents to 63 points or less and they only gave up 67.6 points per game on the year (54th). The Wildcats have also scored in the 80s twice during the stretch and at least 74 points in three other games. Kentucky has a plethora of elite, five-star kind of talent on their roster, but the SEC-based Wildcats are also young and inexperienced.
I like Davidson’s senior forward Peyton Aldridge (21.5 ppg), the co-Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10 and I’m expecting a big game out of him after he was held to just 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting in Sunday’s win over Rhode Island. Davidson also has a nice backcourt in guards Kellan Grady (18.0 ppg) and Jon Axel Gudmundsson (13.0 ppg).
Pick: Davidson +5
No. 9 NC State (21-11) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall (21-11)
- When: Thursday, March 15 at 4:30 PM ET
- Where: Intrust Bank Arena – Wichita, KS
- TV: TBS
- Live Stream: MM Live
- March Madness Betting Odds: Seton Hall -2.5 (Total 157.5)
North Carolina State is the No. 9 seed, but I love the value that the Wolfpack are offering against No. 8 Seton Hall in their opening round contest even though they’ve dropped two of their last three games. Seton Hall has also lost two of their last three, so both teams come into this contest with what looks like the same amount of momentum. However, over their respective last 10 games, Seton Hall is just 4-6 while NC State has gone a polar opposite 6-4.
NC State recorded some really quality wins this season by beating Duke by 11 points at home in January, Clemson, North Carolina, and Florida State. Seton Hall has struggled late this season while losing to Xavier twice, Villanova twice and Butler in the Big East Tournament.
The Pirates are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up loss and 0-4 ATS in their last four tournament games. Conversely, NC State has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning straight up record, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. NC State holds the edge in scoring and I think that you’ll see that edge play out in this contest!
Pick: NC State +2
Providence (21-13) vs. Texas A&M (20-12)
- When: Friday, March 16, 2018, 12:15 PM ET
- Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
- TV: CBS
- Live Stream: MM Live
- March Madness Betting Odds: Texas A&M -3.5 (Total 138)
Providence and Texas A&M both had their respective three-game winning streaks snapped in their last contests as the Friars lost to Villanova 76-66 in overtime of the Big East and the Aggies fell to Alabama 71-70 in the SEC tournament.
However, while Providence went just 5-5 over their last 10 games, they also managed to beat bot, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Xavier along the way. Overall, in six games against the two Top 5 teams, the Friars have gone 3-3 this season. While Texas A&M did manage to beat Kentucky on Feb. 10, the Aggies also lost three straight games at one point, including one to mediocre Mississippi State.
While Texas A&M holds the statistical edge at both ends of the court, there’s a reason that a whopping 70 percent of public bettors like the Friars to cover the chalk as 3.5-point underdogs and it’s because of their battle-tested armor playing in the Big East against teams like Villanova, Xavier, Butler, and Creighton. Providence has just three double-digit scorers to Texas A&M’s four, but the Friars have a whopping six players that average between 4.2 and 8.9 points per game.
Texas A&M is just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up loss, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a winning straight up record. On the flip side of the coin, Providence has gone 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning straight up record.
Pick: Providence +3.5