Only three of the tournament’s two seeds advanced to the second round in the 2022 tournament. Two of the matchups are chalk against seven seeds: Michigan State vs. Duke and Ohio State vs. Villanova. Here’s a breakdown for a couple of second round matches so you can get ready to bet against their March Madness Odds.
Men’s College Basketball March Madness Betting Preview for Must Wager 2nd Round Games
West Region: No. 7 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will square off against Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for a final time at 5:15 p.m. ET Sunday. Coach K owns a 12-3 lifetime record against Izzo and the Spartans, but Michigan State won a regular-season meeting a season ago, 75-69.
But this year’s teams are different. Duke (29-6) has likely NBA lottery pick Paolo Banchero, who averages 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He’s one of five Blue Devils in double figures for the ninth-best scoring offense in the country. They average 80.4 points per game and are top-25 in efficiency. They also have the 85th best defensive mark.
Michigan State (23-12) is a top-100 team in offensive and defensive efficiency. They are 12th in the country in 3-point shooting at 38.4%. The Spartans are balanced throughout with Gabe Brown the leading scorer at 11.5 points per game. Guards Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard can pick up the pace and influenced the win over Davidson.
The line opened at Duke -6.5 with an over/under of 145, where they both stick as of this writing. Michigan State has covered five straight, and is 4-1 in those games. For the season the Spartans are 19-15-1 against the spread and on over/unders. Duke is 17-16-1 against the spread and 19-15-1 on over/unders.
The Spartans can’t afford for this game to be up-and-down. Instead it must be a defensive game with a slower pace to negate the talent mismatch. That being said, Duke should win and cover the 6.5 points.
South Region: No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats
Ohio State turned in one of the top defensive performances of the tournament to advance past Loyola-Chicago and into a second-round meeting with Villanova. The Buckeyes (20-11) and Wildcats (27-7) meet at 2:40 p.m. ET on Sunday. The winner will get either Michigan or Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen.
The Ramblers shot 29% from the field against Ohio State. Buckeyes’ star E.J. Liddell had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in the victory. This season, he’s averaging 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Guard Malaki Branham averages 13.2 points per game and is shooting 43.6% on 3-pointers.
Villanova has two things going for it. The Wildcats are the top free-throw shooting team in the country at 82.5% and are one of the top defensive teams, holding opponents to 63.6 points per game, which is 36th nationally. Villanova has four guys scoring in double figures with Collin Gillespie leading the way at 16.3 points per game. Backcourt ‘mate Justin Moore is second at 15.3 points per game.
The line opened at Villanova -4.5 with an over/under of 131. It has since moved to Villanova -5.5 with an over/under of 132.5 as of this writing. The Wildcats are 17-16-1 against the spread and 17-17 on over/unders. Ohio State is 16-15 against the spread and 18-13 on over/unders.
Great guard play typically wins out in March, which would be an advantage to Villanova. Branham is a strong guard at 6-foot-5 but the Buckeyes are frontcourt dominant with Liddell, Kyle Young and Joey Brunk. Matching up with Villanova will be tough, and the Wildcats should win and cover 4.5 points.