After the first round of the NCAA Tournament, we’ve had some stunners. Those upsets likely will continue into the Round of 32. After looking through Saturday’s slate, I’ve found a couple of spots where another upset could occur. Let’s waste no time and get right to it. Here are my top three picks for Saturday’s slate in the Round of 32.
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North Carolina vs. Baylor: North Carolina +5.5 (-110)
(12:10 p.m. ET)
The North Carolina Tar Heels have looked extremely dominant recently and just knocked off Marquette, 95-63. Now the tar Heels will take on the number one seed in the East Region in the Baylor Bears.
Baylor is a terrific team and the defending champions. But on the defensive end, Baylor struggles to keep teams off the offensive glass, allowing teams to earn 28.8% offensive rebounds. On the offensive end, Baylor is averaging 36.6% offensive rebounds but North Carolina is allowing just 21% offensive rebounds.
On top of that, North Carolina really limits sending opponents to the line. I like North Carolina to win the rebounding battle, keep Baylor off the line and at least win against the spread.
Bet: North Carolina +5.5 (-110) at DraftKings
Richmond vs. Providence: Richmond +3 (-110)
(6:10 p.m. ET)
The Richmond Spiders needed four straight wins in the A-10 Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament. After reaching the NCAA Tournament, Richmond didn’t skip a beat and knocked off Iowa.
Now Richmond gets Providence, a team that has been one of the luckiest in the nation. Providence, again, won a close matchup, due to questionable fouls late in that game.
Ultimately, Richmond is a veteran team with plenty of talent. The Spiders underachieved in the season but the expectations before the season began is what we’re seeing now. Richmond should be able to hold onto the ball and limit turnovers while keeping Providence off the line defensively.
Providence essentially lives at the line. If the Friars can’t get to the line, Richmond will win this game.
Bet: Richmond +3 (-110) at DraftKings
St. Peter’s vs. Murray State: Murray State -8 (-110)
(7:45 pm ET)
The Murray State Racers just won a huge game against the San Francisco Dons in overtime. Murray State is now 31-2 and knows how to close out games.
Meanwhile, St. Peter’s made an improbable run into the NCAA Tournament and then just defeated Kentucky. Shot Quality had Kentucky winning that game by 22 after analyzing all of the shots taken and the quality of those shots. So essentially, St. Peter’s got lucky against Kentucky. And you need luck to win those types of games.
Anyway, the luck will run out against Murray State. Murray State’s a great defense and should be able to hold St. Peter’s to a limited amount of second chances while forcing a bunch of turnovers.
Bet: Murray State -8 -110 at DraftKings
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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.