This year’s March Madness tournament is already living up to the hype, with shocking upsets like Saint Peter’s over Kentucky and great finishes like Murray State over San Francisco. We can expect more intense action in the Round of 32.
In this article, you’ll find some of the best bets for the second round of the tournament, including a point spread, total, and moneyline pick. Let’s find out who I like in Round 2.
March Madness Round 2 Best Bets: Gonzaga vs Memphis
Memphis turned in an impressive win against Boise State in the first round. This is a team that loves to feed center Jalen Duren down low, who dropped-double in the first round. The Tigers finished 29th in Pomeroy’s rankings, so they’re definitely not a pushover.
The problem is that we saw some flaws in Memphis in the second half of that game.
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At one point, Boise State had cut the lead to seven points with 9:45 remaining in the game. This was after they were trailing by 19 at the half. Memphis was sloppy offensively throughout this stretch.
Memphis vs Gonzaga Pick: Gonzaga 83, Memphis 67
Best Bet: Gonzaga -10.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 unit
Gonzaga flexed their muscles in their 21-point win against Georgia State. This game was tied at one point in the second half, but the Bulldogs took over.
If Memphis gets sloppy against Gonzaga, this game could get ugly. Ride with the Bulldogs to cover in this spot.
March Madness Round 2 Best Bets: UCLA vs Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s absolutely dismantled Indiana in the first round, defeating the Hoosiers by 29 points. The Gaels went an impressive 10-for-21 (47%) from beyond the arc, led by four players in double figures.
This is a team that plays exceptional defense, ranking 9th in adjusted efficiency. That’s bad news for UCLA.
While the Bruins are balanced on both ends of the floor, they were not particularly impressive against Akron. UCLA was able to survive with a 57-53 win, but their offense looked out of sync against the 157th-ranked defense, shooting 35 percent from the field.
Saint Mary’s vs UCLA Pick: Saint Mary’s 67, UCLA 63
Best Bet: Saint Mary’s (+130) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 unit
The Gaels look like they have the goods to make a deep run in this tournament. I like the value at (+130) because this game can easily come down to the last possession.
Perhaps UCLA is a bit overvalued due to last season’s Final Four appearance and return of several starters, but the Bruins did not impress me in Round 1. Ride with Saint Mary’s here.
March Madness Round 2 Best Bets: Murray State vs Saint Peter’s
Saint Peter’s shocked the world by knocking off one of the tourney favorites in Kentucky after squeaking out an overtime win in Round 1.
This team plays fantastic defense, ranking 31st in adjusted efficiency. They could cause problems for Murray State here.
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Murray State had an overtime win of their own, defeating San Francisco in a thrilling game. This is a balanced team that ranks in the top-40 on both ends of the floor, but they could have their hands full against the upstart Peacocks.
Saint Peter’s vs Murray State Pick: Murray State 65, Saint Peter’s 61
Best Bet: Under 130 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 unit
While this game has an 8.5-point spread in favor of Murray State, I expect it to be close. We could see a slow-paced finish if it comes down to one of the last few possessions.
Add in the fact that both teams are sound defensively and you have the perfect recipe for the Under.