March Madness Betting Guide: Second Round, Monday
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, the spread, or the moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting for any given game. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.
For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300. Here are the best bets for this weekend with guidance from our model.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information. You can also look at our oddsFire tool to get a feel for what the betting public is doing.
Oklahoma +14.5: 4 Stars out of 5
Oklahoma had a bit of a roller-coaster season, finishing the year 15-10. They did have strong wins against West Virginia (twice), Kansas, Texas, and Alabama, who all rank in the top 20 of our nERD rankings, so their best performance is certainly enough to compete with anyone.
Gonzaga is undefeated and does rank first in our rankings and their nERD of 23.09 makes them by far the best team in the Tournament. This will certainly be a new challenge for Oklahoma but so far they have been up for the task.
Our model projects a 77.04-70.18 win for the Zags, so we do have them winning fairly comfortably. However, we give the Sooners a 71.08% chance to cover the 14.5-point spread, making this a 4-star bet for Monday.
Over 133.5 Points: 3 Stars out of 5
Abilene Christian beat Texas 53-52 in a defensive battle on Saturday to advance to the Second Round of the tournament but that game was somewhat of an outlier compared to what they have done recently.
The Wildcats had scored at least 80 points in seven out of their last nine games prior to the Tournament and they had conceded 70 points or more three of their last six games, so most of their contests have been high-scoring enough to track over the 133.5-point game total.
Our model projects a 71.03-68.24 UCLA victory for a total projection of 139.27 points, putting us almost six points over the game total. We give a 62.16% likelihood of the over hitting in this game, making it a 3-star bet.
LSU +5.5: 2 Stars out of 5
Michigan had a fantastic season this year and their 20-4 record certainly made them deserving of a one seed. We have them 4th in our rankings (19.27 nERD rating), compared to 22nd for Louisiana State (13.40 nERD rating).
Despite their great season, Michigan has fallen off slightly of late, losing three of their last six games. On the flip side, LSU has been playing well of late, having won five of their last six games with their only loss coming by one point to Alabama who we have ranked seventh with a 16.90 nERD rating.
Our model gives LSU a 57.38% likelihood to cover the 5.5-point spread, making this a 2-star bet for Monday.