NCAA Tournament Survivor Guide For Round 2 (Sunday)

Mar 18, 2023 - 2:46 PM

Just when we thought the “madness” was at its highest when a No. 15 seed defeated a No. 2 seed for the third consecutive year, a second New Jersey school pulled off a shocking upset, this one being the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. If your brackets are not officially busted after Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed, then you are doing way better than the average bettor during this tournament.

Throughout the tournament, one has to make eight picks: two from the First Round (one for each day played), two from the Second Round (one for each day played), and one from the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and National Championship.

Just like yesterday’s survivor pool article that previewed Saturday’s Round of 32 games, we will rank all eight games in order of most confidence to least confidence and provide a short narrative for each.

Here is a list of odds for all the favorites to win their Round 2 matchups on Sunday (odds courtesy of BettingPros consensus).

Stop tracking bets manually and get sync your picks for a seamless sport betting experience >>

2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

Win prizes playing our free March Madness Bracket Contest >>

Best Picks In Order of Most-to-Least Confidence

Florida Atlantic (-715)

If you did not use Purdue with Friday’s survivor pool selection, thinking that the Boilermakers had a deep run ahead of them, you were given a gift with being able to use No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic in the Round of 32. Can FDU continue to make history? Sure, the Knights can beat the Owls. But FDU’s style matched up perfectly against Purdue’s freshmen guards, while a more experienced FAU team will not be as easily rattled. Only one No. 16 seed had ever won its first-round game before FDU, and that team (UMBC) lost 50-43 in the Round of 32. However, UMBC did not have an extra game under its belt, while FDU could be worn down from also playing in the First Four on Wednesday. Either way, there is too much value to pass up being able to confidently select a team like Florida Atlantic in survivor pools.

Gonzaga (-200)

Gonzaga’s offense has been on fire lately, scoring 80+ points in its last 11 games against non-Saint Mary’s opponents. The Bulldogs take on a TCU team that underwent a bit of controversy entering the tournament, as center Eddie Lampkin surprisingly stepped away from the team. That frontcourt depth will be missed against Drew Timme and company.

Marquette (-145)

Suddenly, Marquette has +320 odds (second-best of all East Region teams) to win its region and advance to the Final Four. The Golden Eagles rank sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency. They should still function as a well-oiled machine even though point guard Tyler Kolek briefly left their opening-round win against Vermont with a hand injury.

Get access to expert NCAA Tournament picks now >>

Xavier (-215)

Sean Miller is one of the top offensive coaches in the country and would likely have been licking his chops to face either Mississippi State (Pittsburgh’s First Four victim) or Iowa State in the Round of 32, as those teams are prone to prolonged scoring droughts. However, Pittsburgh is much more apt to keep up offensively with the Musketeers after ranking fifth in the ACC in scoring at 75.6 points per game. That is why we have the Musketeers ranked fourth of the eight teams in action on our confidence meter.

UConn (-170)

As usual, Saint Mary’s will grind this game to a halt as the Gaels play at the 359th-slowest tempo in the country. The limited possessions give less of an opportunity for variability. Still, the Huskies should have a considerable homecourt advantage playing in Albany and are balanced enough offensively and defensively (top 20 in Kenpom’s adjusted offensive and defensive metrics) to be worthy favorites.

Kentucky (-127)/Indiana (-125)/Baylor (-115)

We are lumping these three teams in the last “not confident at all” category and would stay far away from these teams in survivor pools. Kentucky is favored by the oddsmakers but is projected to lose to Kansas State based on Kenpom’s analytics.

One could also argue that the wrong team is favored in the Indiana/Miami matchup, as the experienced ACC champions are primed for another victory after rallying to beat a feisty Drake team.

Lastly, Creighton’s elite offense should run circles around an overrated Baylor team that ranked last in the Big 12 in adjusted defensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage defense. The NCAA Game Simulator agrees as Creighton beat Baylor 52.9% of the time in 2,222 simulations of games where there is no homecourt advantage.

Get the FREE BettingPros sports betting app and start making winning bets with expert advice and picks >>

FanDuel Sportsbook Bet $20, Get $200 March Madness Offer

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | Breaker | Castbox | Pocket Casts

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Choose a Sportsbook — or head to more advanced strategy — like Which Sports Are Most Profitable to Bet? — to learn more.

Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

The post NCAA Tournament Survivor Guide For Round 2 (Sunday) appeared first on BettingPros.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!