2019 March Madness Second Round Underdogs

2019 March Madness Second Round Underdogs

Okay March Madness betting enthusiasts…with the start of the second round set to get underway in just over 24 hours, now is a great time to offer up some expert predictions on a trio of underdogs that all have the looks of teams that could either cover the spread as dogs or beat their favored opponents outright in their respective matchups on Saturday.

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With tip-off times for all three contests quickly approaching, let’s get started.

2019 March Madness Second Round Underdogs

No. 7 Wofford (30-4) vs. No. 2 Kentucky (28-6)

  • When: Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 2:40 PM ET
  • Where: Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
  • TV: CBS
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Kentucky -5 / Total: 138.5

Analysis: Wofford spanked Seton Hall 84-68 in their opener to easily cover the chalk as a 3.5-point favorite as sweet-shooting guard Fletcher Magee scored a team-high 24 points while going 7 of 12 from beyond the arc to improve on his all-time leading three-point mark in NCAA history. Nathan Hoover added 18 points in the win and Cameron Johnson chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“I don’t think I’m going to change my approach too much,” Magee said about his team’s upcoming contest. “I think that teams in our league have played us for a long time and done some things. I’m sure teams that haven’t seen us are looking at what they can do and strategy-wise and stuff.”

Kentucky ran roughshod all over Abilene Christian en route to an emphatic 79-44 win in their opener as freshman Keldon Johnson scored a game-high 25 points while graduate transfer Reid Travis added 18 points.

“I feel like with my injury a couple weeks back, guys had to step up and fit into different roles and really just build their confidence,” Travis said.


If you didn’t know before, Wofford is an excellent basketball team that averages a stellar 83.0 points per game to rank 12th nationally in scoring. The Terriers also limit the opposition to just 65.7 points per game (40th) so they’re pretty elite at both ends of the floor.

I know Kentucky has gone a consistent 33-16-4 ATS in their last 53 neutral site games, but the Wildcats are also just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win. Wofford has gone a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and a scorching 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall. I’m going to lay the points here to back Wofford, who, could win this game outright, even if you don’t really know who the Terriers are.

2019 March Madness Pick: Wofford 81 Kentucky 79

No. 12 Murray State (28-4) vs. No. 4 Florida State (28-7)

  • When: Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 6:10 PM ET
  • Where: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
  • TV: TNT
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Florida State -5 / Total: 144

Analysis: Thanks to superstar point guard Ja Morant, the Murray State Racers advanced to the second round by dominating Marquette 83-64 in their opener on Thursday. Morant, the likely No. 2 pick in this year’s NBA Draft, had just the eighth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history by racking up 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds as Murray State stunned a Marquette team that had hopes of making a deep tourney run.

“I really don’t pay too much attention to the hype,” Morant said. “I just try to go out and play the same game every night. Just try to do whatever I can to help my team come out with a win.”

Florida State got past Vermont 79-69 in their opener, but the game was a lot closer than the final score indicates as the Noles trailed midway through the second half. Terance Mann scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half to help  Florida State avoid the upset while sophomore power forward Mfiondu Kabengele added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

“He kind of gives us whatever we need in certain games,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said of Mann. “And the interesting thing about him, he’s unselfish almost to the point that if we’re winning and we have a margin that we’re working on, he very seldom becomes that aggressive.


Florida State may be the higher seed and they may be the favorite in this second round matchup, but after watching Murray State destroy a very good Marquette team on Thursday, not only do I believe they will cover the chalk in this contest, but do so by winning outright.

The fact of the matter is that Ja Morant is a transcendent talent that can’t be stopped from either scoring the rock – or setting up his teammates with some sweet passes like the whip-like ones he dished out against a completely stunned Marquette squad in Murray State’s opener.

The Racers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall, an impressive 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and encouraging 5-2 ATS in their last 7 NCAA Tournament games. While Florida State has gone 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games, the Seminoles are also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games. I smell an upset brewing.

2019 March Madness Pick: Murray State 81 Florida State 77

No. 6 Villanova (26-9) vs. No. 3 Purdue (24-9)

  • When: Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 8:40 PM ET
  • Where: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
  • TV: TNT
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Purdue -3.5 / Total: 137

Analysis: Villanova had a fight on their hands in their opener, but the defending national champs managed to get past St. Mary’s 61-57 to narrowly cover the chalk as 3.5-point favorites as Phil Booth scored a team-high 20 points and Eric Paschall added 14 points in the win. After trailing by a basket at the half, Nova outscored the Gaels by a half-dozen points in the second half.

“We’re growing, our young guys are growing, but we have two seniors who do everything for us, on and off the court,” Wright said. “We’re just so lucky to have them.”

Purdue subdued overmatched Old Dominion 61-48 in their opener as Big ten scoring leader Carsen Edwards put up a team-high 26 on Thursday to lead the way to victory despite shooting just 7-for-23 from the field against the Monarchs. Matt Haarms added 13 points in the win. The Boilermakers took control early and led 32-19 at the half before cruising in the second half. Purdue might be the higher seeded team in this contest, but I am emphatically going to urge you to back the Villanova Wildcats to cover the chalk – by getting the outright win.

Nova has gone 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games against teams from the Big ten. The Wildcats are also a stellar 14-3 ATS in their last 17 NCAA Tournament games and bankroll-boosting 39-15 ATS in their last 54 non-conference games. Purdue has struggled against Big East ballclubs by going 2-7 ATS in their last nine games against teams from the Big East while also going 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. Villanova is deeper and the Cats have the edge in coaching.

2019 March Madness Pick: Villanova 76 Purdue 72

2019 March Madness Expert Betting News

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