Underdogs were active during Thursday’s Round of 64 games with 10 such teams covering the spread. In fact, at one point late Thursday afternoon, underdogs had either already covered or were covering in every game. Still, despite so many favorites struggling against the number, 12 of 16 higher seeds managed to survive and advance, setting up an intriguing Saturday set of games. If you’re anything like me, filling out a bracket and joining a pool is fun, but loading up on individual games is my favorite way to do March Madness betting. So, let’s look at second round odds at New Jersey sportsbooks and run through some need-to-know information before locking in your picks.
Three months ago my boss came to me and told me I would be covering a conference beginning on March 21. I’m sure I blankly looked at up her with my dead, beady eyes and agreed to it. It was three months away. Who cares about something that’s going to happen in three months.
Two weeks ago my wife asked me if I had put any thought into a March Madness bracket.
Oh shit. Does that start on the third week of March or the fourth? THE THIRD WEEK OR THE FOURTH?!
Of fucking course. March 21. First day of the tournament. Basketball, alcohol, legalized gambling….. CONFERENCE?!
That dog won’t hunt.
So here I am, in some God forsaken state, in a God forsaken convention hall, listening to much more successful men and women talk about their accomplishments that I couldn’t begin to understand. But am I a quitter? Am I just going to sit here and let the greatest four days of the year slip through my fingers?
Am I not going to watch any of the first two rounds of the March Madness tournament? Of course not. I’m no communist.
I decided to keep a running diary of my trials and travails of the first day of the tournament and my desperate attempts to stay connected on one of the greatest sports days of the year.
And yes, I’m well aware this is a complete ripoff of a Bill Simmons creation, but I’m sure he never did one for the first day of the tournament (don’t Google that please).
Sports Betting Updates
After Zion Williamson’s impressive return to Duke’s lineup last weekend, the Blue Devils blazed their way through the ACC Tournament and earned the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed in the process. Williamson, for his part, erased any doubts about his post-injury effectiveness by averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds per game over the three-game stretch. In the process, he became the first player in ACC history to win the conference’s Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Tournament MVP honors. He’s…pretty good:
watching this Zion Williamson steal and dunk on repeat forever
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 16, 2019
Stacked with three potential lottery picks in Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish, Duke looks poised to make a championship run. Consider the following:
- Duke is 26-2 when Williamson averages normal minutes.
- The Blue Devils were 5-1 against teams that reached its conference tournament this season.
- Tre Jones is on fire. He scored 44 points, had 18 assists, and was on the floor for all but 16 seconds of the ACC Tournament. He’s not as heralded as some of his fellow teammates, but he’s playing at a high level at the right time.
- Plus, killers kill.
"Killer's kill, Killer's Kill" -Zion Williamson 😱😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/oY96e7yKBe
— SportsTalkOnly (@SportsTaIkOnly) March 17, 2019
Might as well cancel the tournament. We have a winner, right?
Not so fast. Consider the following before backing Duke in your March Madness betting.
Despite Duke’s pedigree and strong finish in the wake of Williamson’s return, there’s plenty of reasons Duke could fall flat on its face in this tournament. How? Here three reasons and change why Duke will not win the NCAA Tournament.
Also, for those of you in New Jersey looking to bet against the Blue Devils, here’s our list of the best NJ sportsbooks for March Madness:
UMBC made history last season when it knocked off Virginia to become the NCAA Tournament’s first No. 16 seed to win a game. The Retrievers didn’t just survive the Cavaliers, they obliterated them on the way to a 74-54 blowout victory. Moving forward, UMBC’s upset win raises some interesting questions. Is the chasm between the game’s elite and its lower-tier programs shrinking? Was that night of never-before-seen chaos in Charlotte a sign of things to come? More specifically, could we see a No. 16 seed pull another unthinkable upset this year?
The answer, in a word, is no. Here’s three things to know before locking in your pools or doing any March Madness betting. For those of you in New Jersey, here’s our list of the best NJ sportsbooks for March Madness.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve spent the last week putting together everything you need to know for the tournament and March Madness betting. Here’s a full list of the coverage:
The best March Madness sportsbooks in NJ: this is a list of the best apps to wager on the big dance for those of you in New Jersey.
The top 5 buzzer beaters in NCAA history: I bet you can’t guess which was number 1.
Printable bracket: beautiful in its simplicity.
NCAA TV schedule: the full TV schedule complete with channels and announcer pairings.
DraftKings bracket challenge: how to enter DraftKings’ free bracket contest.
FanDuel Bracket Madness: ditto for Fanduel.
Why PointsBet NJ is a must check out for March Madness: PointsBet is the new app on the scene and its “points betting” format is worth checking out alone– we also have the best promo for any NJ sportsbook exclusive to CB.
March Madness Predictions: the absolute best post for all your first round picks.
Why your Villanova Philly school argument is stupid: Kevin put it best.
Potential upset picks: 5 underdogs to consider… and then wager on.
You always hear a lot of cliches during the week leading up to the NCAA Tournament, you know, lines like “Expect the unexpected” or “The only thing predictable about the tournament is that it’s unpredictable.” While such sayings are trite, they’re also true. There are going to be first round upsets because there are always first round upsets. One or two of these results will be stunning, although maybe not to the level of No. 16 seed UMBC’s 20-point thrashing of top seed Virginia last year, while others may be more mild. The point is that we know upsets are lurking out there, patiently waiting to blow up your bracket and prove false everything you currently think you know about college basketball, but where are they and how do we identify them when doing our March Madness betting? Let’s run through five games that jump off the page as potential first round upsets.
For those of you in New Jersey, here’s our list of the best NJ sportsbooks for March Madness.
I love the NCAA Tournament and I want to shout it from the rooftops. The brackets. The gambling. The rapid fire action. The Cinderella stories. And did I mention the gambling?
By the way, for those of you looking to get in on the action, here’s our complete March Madness betting guide. Included is need-to-know info before filling out your bracket and locking in your bets.
The NCAA Tournament is annually one of America’s most compelling sporting events and a big reason why is because of the buzzer-beaters. The games aren’t just hotly contested, almost without fail one or two games every year is decided at the horn on a “wow” play. With that, I thought it would be fun to look at the best of the best when it comes to NCAA Tournament’s buzzer-beaters. To do this, I spent minutes researching these plays, minutes that required multiple YouTube and Wikipedia searches to construct this very scientific top five list. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when we debate whether or not Villanova is a “Philly school,” as if it even really matters (spoiler: it doesn’t). It’s just something people say to discredit the basketball program instead of rightfully applauding Jay Wright and his players for their elite-level achievements over the past few seasons.
Now, I PERSONALLY BELIEVE that Villanova, despite campus not being physically located within the Philadelphia city limits, is a “Philly school” for the following reasons:
- they play a number of home games at the Wells Fargo Center, which is in the Philadelphia city limits
- they also play some non-Penn Big Five games at the Palestra, which is in the Philadelphia city limits
- Jay Wright has always recruited players like Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Maalik Wayns, who come from high schools in the Philadelphia city limits
- thousands of people came to watch their national championship parades, which took place within the Philadelphia city limits
- they garner more media attention from outlets within the Philadelphia city limits (because they’re a bigger and better program)
- the Big Five website describes involved programs as “five prestigious Philadelphia universities”
Those are my arguments.
Please do not give me the geography thing. The geography thing holds up worse than a wet paper bag receiving a Jorge Masvidal left hook.
For instance, St. Joe’s is literally 20 feet from Montgomery County, yet Hawk fans will claim SJU as a “Philly school,” even though it’s closer to Bala Cynwyd, where houses go for upwards of half a million dollars, than any typical Philadelphia neighborhood. Plus, most of the people on both sides of the argument are white kids who grew up in the suburbs anyway.
But if we have to do the geography argument, consider this:
You know how Mike Trout is such a Philly dude? How he lives and breathes Philly sports despite committing his future to the Angels? He’s from Millville, which is 44.7 miles and 48 minutes from City Hall.
Here, see for yourself, after the jump: