March Madness 2014 is underway and I have the best bets for Friday’s Round of 64 games listed below. Two of the matchups involve top seeds, while another involves that dreaded 5-vs-12 matchup. My favorite pick, however, comes in the late game involving Villanova.
Friday’s March Madness 2014 Round of 64 Best Bets
#16 Weber State Wildcats -20.0 over #1 Arizona Wildcats (2:10pm EST)
Arizona is crazy prone to upsets, which is one of the major reasons I can’t call them one of the best bets in March Madness 2014’s opening Round of 64. Nobody knows that much about Weber State, but I’ve been tracking them for quite some time and I love teams that are built around senior players because that chemistry is going to give them a fighting chance. Weber is a very sneaky scoring team and have breached the 80-point marker three times in their last 10 games and the 70-point ceiling seven times in that same stretch.
As for Arizona, they’re just 3-2 SU and ATS in their last 5 games and haven’t been the dominant spread buster that most hoped they’d be. Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson are an electric combination, and I certainly don’t expect them to lose this game, but Weber can empty the gas tank in this one and as long as their shot is falling – which it has been – they’ll be just fine as massive dogs against the line.
#1 Wichita State Shockers -16.0 over Cal Poly Mustangs (7:10pm EST)
This is the lowest number on any of the 1-vs-16 matchups, and I continue to be enamored by Wichita State overall. So how can I not recommend this is as one of the best bets in the second round of March Madness 2014? They went 24-6-1 ATS this season, and are undefeated straight up. The fact that this line is so low, and that Cal Poly went just 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games gives me plenty of just cause to back the Shockers in a blowout. If you think Wichita State is going to take this game lightly, then you don’t understand how all this talk that they’re “not as good as their record” is effecting their psyche. The Shockers are going to lead these Mustangs to a slaughter.
#12 SFA Lumberjacks +6.5 over #5 VCU Rams (7:27pm EST)
VCU is carrying a ton of name value as one of the sweetheart teams because of their run from a few years ago, and head coach Shaka Smart still has plenty of fans. All of that is well justified, and a 3-1-1 ATS run to end the season continued to keep their bandwagon populated. But I just don’t’ like VCU here and the Saint Francis Lumberjacks are an insanely fun scoring team that can run the floor well.
The problem with leveraging with the Lumberjacks is that they’re just 1-1 ATS this season. Nobody knows that much about them and they haven’t played great competition all year. But the 5-vs-12 matchup almost always experiences a straight upset, and I love the Lumberjacks’ ability to put up points. They dropped 103 in a game against New Orleans. They may not be on your March Madness 2014 radar, but they’re one of my best bets in the second round as a relative unknown against an overvalued, sentimental team from VCU.
#2 Villanova Wildcats -16.5 over #15 Milwaukee Panthers (9:25pm EST)
This is obviously a massive number, and the habit of most is to go against the grain and back the dog with a backdoor cover. But Villanova is one of the best teams in the tournament, and are coming off a heartbreaking loss against Seton Hall in their conference post season. Revenge much? Up until that game, Villanova had gone a stiff 4-0 ATS and were 21-9 ATS on the season. They’re one of the best bets in the second round simply by virtue of their spread busting nature. The fact that they have a layup matchup against a team like Milwaukee makes them one of the March Madness 2014 best bets without a doubt. Don’t be scared of the spread in this one.