Doubting Duke: Blue Devils a Sweet 16 underdog

The first weekend of March Madness has come and gone, which means the first two rounds are in the books. The field has been withered down from 68 to just 16 teams. The tournament takes a few days off before getting back underway on Thursday. However, betting lines for the Sweet 16 are already posted and it might be a good idea to get ahead of the market if you see a bet you like. All betting lines are as of Monday afternoon and courtesy of BetMGM.

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Arkansas

Time and date: Thursday, 7:09 p.m. EST
Betting line: Gonzaga -8.5
Over/Under: 154.5
Moneyline: Gonzaga -400/Arkansas +310

Despite both teams winning two games on the opening weekend, neither Gonzaga nor Arkansas has covered a spread yet in this tournament. Gonzaga went on a second-half run to put Georgia State away, but failed to cover in the opening round. In the second round, the Zags barely survived Memphis. Arkansas has won but failed to cover against two double-digit seeds in Vermont and New Mexico State.

No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 11 Michigan

Time and date: Thursday, 7:29 p.m. EST
Betting line: Villanova -5.5
Over/Under: 135.5
Moneyline: Villanova -225/Michigan +180

Michigan enters as the betting underdog, but that didn't stop the Wolverines in the second round against Tennessee. Both Michigan and Villanova enter the Sweet 16 with a 2-0 record against the spread, so something will have to give on Thursday. Villanova is the favorite to come out on top.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

Time and date: Thursday, 9:39 p.m. EST
Betting line: Texas Tech -1.5
Over/Under: 136.5
Moneyline: Texas Tech -115/Duke -105

Despite being the higher seed, Duke is an underdog in the Sweet 16. Both Duke games so far this tournament have had late spread drama, with the Blue Devils going 1-1 against the number. Texas Tech is also 1-1 against the spread, failing to cover as an 8-point favorite in a 59-53 win over Notre Dame. Anytime Duke is an underdog, some bettors will likely be interested.

GREENVILLE, SC - MARCH 20: Mark Williams #15 celebrates with Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils near the end of their game against the Michigan State Spartans in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke is an underdog in the second weekend of March Madness. (Lance King/Getty Images)

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 5 Houston

Time and date: Thursday, 9:59 p.m. EST
Betting line: Arizona -2.5
Over/Under: 145.5
Moneyline: Arizona -135/Houston +110

At this point, it certainly looks like Houston was underseeded as a No. 5 seed. Houston is 2-0 against the spread and has looked rather impressive in the process. Despite that, they're underdogs against No. 1 Arizona. Arizona is 0-2 against the spread in the tournament and barely survived in overtime against TCU on Sunday night.

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 15 Saint Peter's

Time and date: Friday, 7:09 p.m. EST
Betting line: Purdue -12.5
Over/Under: 136.5
Moneyline: Purdue -1000/Saint Peter's +625

Following the likes of Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts, Saint Peter's has gone from a No. 15 seed to the Sweet 16. It goes without saying the Peacocks are 2-0 against the spread and are certainly the Cinderella of this year's tournament. However, Purdue has also looked very good and is 2-0 against the spread as well. Oddsmakers haven't given Saint Peter's much of a chance in the first two rounds, and that's not changing in the Sweet 16.

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Providence

Time and date: Friday, 7:29 p.m. EST
Betting line: Kansas -7.5
Over/Under: 141.5
Moneyline: Kansas -350/Providence +275

Every year, there's a team in every sport that defies all analytical models and statistics. This year in college basketball, that team is Providence. The Friars were short favorites against both No. 13 South Dakota State and No. 12 Richmond, and they got the job done in both games. Kansas is 1-1 against the spread, failing to cover as an 11.5-point favorite in a 79-72 win over Creighton.

No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 8 North Carolina

Time and date: Friday, 9:39 p.m. EST
Betting line: UCLA -2.5
Over/Under: 142.5
Moneyline: UCLA -140/North Carolina +115

North Carolina might have been the most impressive team from the first weekend of the tournament. It's responsible for the only elimination of a No. 1 seed thus far. The Tar Heels have eclipsed 90 points in both games thus far. Despite all of that, UNC is a slight underdog against UCLA. The Bruins survived in the first round, but looked much better in the second round when they defeated St. Mary's.

No. 10 Miami vs. No. 11 Iowa State

Time and date: Friday, 9:59 p.m. EST
Betting line: Miami -2.5
Over/Under: 133.5
Moneyline: Miami -145/Iowa State +120

Miami and Iowa State have been underdogs in each of their first two games. Miami knocked off USC and Auburn, while Iowa State powered past LSU and Wisconsin. All four of these teams' games have gone under the total. Miami is the slight favorite in this matchup between two surprising teams.

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/march-madness-betting-duke-is-an-underdog-in-the-sweet-16-174719417.html?src=rss

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