2018 NCAA March Madness Bracket Expert Picks – Round Of 34
After going 1-2 with our picks on Friday to start the tournament, we turned it around yesterday going 2-1 to draw our record to an even 3-3 so far in the tournament. We’re back today as the Round of 34 kicks off this Saturday with three more picks. The odds below are listed from Sportsbetting Sportsbook (75% Up To $1000 Welcome Bonus) but please line shop to find the best price before placing your wager.
(7) Rhode Island vs. (2) Duke -9.5 Total: 149
The Rams go for a program-defining win against Duke on Saturday afternoon. Rhode Island fought hard to get their first victory in the Round of 64 on Thursday, taking the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners to overtime and winning by a score of 83-78.
Duke had a more comfortable in a first-round matchup against the Iona Gaels, where they dominated offensively, with the game was far out of reach in the second half as the Blue Devils cruised to an 89-67 victory. It was a balanced performance from Duke, which had four players in score 16 points or more.
Duke is a -9.5 favorite but did briefly opened at -10. As of this writing, just about every sportsbook online has that the Blue Devils at -9.5. Two-thirds of betting tickets have come in on the Blue Devils so far. The Duke name is always going to influence bettors, but I am one to think this not one of Coach K’s better squads. The Blue Devils defense has been an issue for them all year, and I can’t seem them having any problems turning this into the type of game they want to play.
The Rams have the ability to pick up the pace and force Duke into a frenetic, scrambling, type of game. Duke clearly has the physical and talent advantage, but Rhode Island has a chance to win this game outright, let alone cover nearly ten points.
2018 March Madness Pick: Rhode Island +9.5
(13) Buffalo vs. Kentucky (5) -6 Total: 155
The Bulls took care of business in the Round of 64 against the Arizona Wildcats, blowing them out of the building and winning by a score of 89-68. The 13 seed now moves onto a much more robust test against the Kentucky Wild Cats tomorrow afternoon.
Kentucky beat Davidson by a score of 78-73, but the scoreline was not an indication of how close the game indeed was. They also made history by breaking a 1,047-game streak of hitting a three-point shot. They’re playing well as of late, winning eight out of their last nine games.
Most tickets have come in on UK so far, with the odds opening at -6 and that number still being the most common. Although, some sportsbooks are at -5.5. Many are expected Buffalo to come back down to earth, but I am not this team is ready to quit just yet.
They are one of the better shooting teams in the nation and have impressively shot over 50 percent from the field in 11 out of last 14 games. The Bulls have also done a tremendous job on the boards and on defense. It’s not that I think the Wildcats are overrated – it’s more that Buffalo is not being respected in this spot. 6 points are far too many in a game I expect to come down to the last few possessions.
2018 March Madness Pick: Buffalo +6
(5) Ohio State vs. (4) Gonzaga -3.5 Total: 143
Ohio State had a little bit of a hiccup against San Diego State in the first round but managed to hold on late grabbing an 81-73 victory. The game was tied at 43 at the end of the first half, but the Buckeyes managed to hold the Jackrabbits offense in check in the second half.
Gonzaga had a tough first-round game, narrowly edging out UNC Greensboro by a score of 68-64. After a 9-point lead in the first half, the Bulldogs had trouble defending in the second period. Their shooting numbers were also especially poor. They matched their lowest offensive output of the season with 68 points, but still managed to get the win.
Gonzaga opened at -3 but has gone to -3.5 at most sportsbooks. Action has been massive on Bulldogs, with over 80 percent of bets coming in on the favorites. I love Gonzaga on this spot, especially with them easily defeating Ohio State back in November of last year. They easily took care of the Buckeyes, winning 86-59. The Bulldogs have them on talent and should easily dominate the boards in this matchup. If the Zags get hot from the outside – this one will be over quickly.