After a handful of upsets in the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, many high value underdogs remain in the bracket. Here is some analysis and sports betting lines to consider.
BY MATTY D.
Princeton Tigers Remain a Live Dog +10 Against Creighton
It might seem counterintuitive, but Creighton has struggled at times this season to defend the post, and Princeton is rolling right now as it exposes the paint against other bigger teams. It will be interesting to watch whether 6-8 Ivy League Player of the Year Tosan Evbouomwan gets matched up against Ryan Kalkbrenner, or some of the smaller but very skilled defensive wings for the Creighton Bluejays. Either way, taking 10 points with Princeton feels like the best value based on what we’ve seen.
Arkansas Razorbacks +4 Against UCONN is a Slam Dunk
This is where we start to follow the trail that led us here. What teams have these teams beaten to get here? Arkansas handled Illinois, another evenly ranked team. Then, they knocked off the #1 seeded defending champion Kansas Jayhawks in dramatic fashion mounting a comeback in the final minutes.
Arkansas was one of my top 5 future values heading into the tournament.
On the flip side, the UCONN Huskies beat an Iona team that had its coach clearly on the way out (see Rick Pitino). Then, they beat a St. Mary’s team that was probably the most vulnerable top 25 team in terms of its propensity for serious droughts on offense.
Taking Texas on the moneyline against Xavier
If you haven’t caught the trend, I don’t think that more than one team from the Big East will make the Elite 8. Texas put out the fire on a red hot Penn State team and looked superior doing it. Xavier struggled at times against 14 seed Kennesaw State and then again against 11 seed Pittsburgh on its third game in five days. Sure, Xavier won by several possessions, but if you watched the game you noticed that Pitt hung around. Senior (Graduate) starting guard Souley Boum struggled on offense and was held scoreless for a majority of the game. I think you’re starting to see the liabilities for Xavier and its lack of depth with Zach Freemantle unavailable for the tournament. It’s awesome to see coach Sean Miller back on the basketball sidelines, but I just don’t see him in the Elite 8.