The Madness is in full swing as we enter the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Plenty of surprise teams are playing on Saturday, along with some of the powerhouses that we expected. While I didn’t love Thursday’s card (plays went 4-3 for slight profit), I actually do like how this Saturday card turned out.
No. 13 Furman vs. No. 5 San Diego State (Saturday 12:10pm ET)
South Region — Orlando, FL
Furman +6 (-110) — 1-unit
This feels like a pretty good transition spot for Furman to prepare for this game on the quick turnaround. SDSU is a similar team to Virginia in terms of pace and being defensively oriented. Furman required some luck to actually win the game against the Hoos, but proved they deserved that cover and found ways to grind back into that game. SDSU had trouble breaking away from Charleston, and got very fortunate to cover that game. SDSU should have a tough time building margin in this one, and even if they do, Furman just proved it can battle back in a big game.
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 4 Tennessee (Saturday 2:40pm ET)
East Region — Orlando, FL
Duke ML (-130) — 1-unit
This is going to be a pretty public play, but I cannot back Tennessee right now. Duke opened a two-point favorite (laying -130 on the ML) when I put this out, and has since been bet up. I’m okay laying three points or going -150 ML here.
I faded the Blue Devils in the first round and was dead wrong. Sure, Oral Roberts isn’t Tennessee, but we saw the Vols almost blow their own lead of over 20 points against Louisiana, struggling to score the last 10 minutes of the game. That won’t fly against this Duke defense.
Duke’s combination of size and talent is starting to come together at the right time. I feel they are far more balanced than the Vols right now, which will be the difference in this one. Tennessee is not a team you can trust in this tournament.
No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Kansas (Saturday 5:15pm ET)
West Region — Des Moines, IA
Arkansas +3.5 (-110) — 1-unit
This one opened with Kansas laying four, and I’m hoping we can get back there with the public betting Kansas on Saturday. So I’m holding off on this play now just to hopefully time it better, but plan to take the points with Arkansas.
The Jayhawks are a very solid veteran team, but they are going to have to deal with a lot of size, athleticism and talent on this Arkansas roster. The Hogs have peaked in March plenty of times, taking down No. 1 seed Gonzaga in last year’s tournament. This is a different roster, but loaded with talent. I give the Hogs a great chance to advance here.
No. 9 Auburn vs. No. 1 Houston (Saturday 7:10pm ET)
Midwest Region — Birmingham, AL
Auburn +8 (-110) — 2-units
The play of the day for me is going to come with Auburn. I bet the number as soon as it was released on DKSB, but am alright with it down to +5. I believe the Tigers will have a great chance to win this game, in a Saturday night, home crowd atmosphere.
Other Games of Note
We have big games going off Saturday night for our futures — cheering for Alabama to beat Maryland for our Elite 8 ticket and Texas to get past Penn State and cash our Sweet 16 ticket.
I do like UCLA quite a bit, and will likely find a way to incorporate them into a moneyline parlay, potentially with the Friday or Sunday card.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.