March Madness 2014 Upset Bets Who’s Going Home First?Noah Williams
Let’s face facts. One of the reasons you’re going to watch March Madness 2014 is for the upset bets because that’s where some of the big money rests. Here are three games involving some low end commodities that deserve your attention, and they get added value since they face some big name programs that haven’t exactly lived up to their billing as top dogs.
All of these games are recommended underdog covers and moneyline plays. Take the former if you’re a bit nervous. Take the latter if you like betting with the big boys.
March Madness 2014 Upset Bets Who’s Going Home First?
#12 Harvard Crimson +3.5 over #5 Cincinnati Bearcats
Thursday, March 20th — 2:10pm EST
The 5-vs-12 matchup produces the most frequent, profitable upset bets and of the four games this year I’m going with Harvard over Cincinnati. It’s actually a much tighter line than I expected, which shrinks the value of a moneyline play, so it’s hard to really call this a March Madness 2014 upset bet but it still qualifies. Why do I like Harvard so much? More than anything, it’s that they’re used to winning. Harvard rolled off a 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS streak as they plowed through the Ivy League for yet another conference title.
Quite frankly, this has a lot more to do with me not trusting Cincinnati than it does with the Crimson. In their last 6 games, the Bearcats have posted a +1.5 point differential which is still in their favor but also says a lot about them as a team. They’re simply one of those programs that always seems to play up and down to the level of their competition instead of setting the bar themselves. And I don’t trust Cincinnati completely on defense. Their inability to take control of a game – or take Harvard seriously – will lead to their downfall on Thursday.
#14 Western Michigan Broncos +12.5 over #3 Syracuse Orange
Thursday, March 20th — 2:45pm EST
Whoa! What?! Listen, something bonkers is going to happen in the first round and one of the teams that I’m finding it difficult to completely trust is Syracuse. Part of it is that any ranked school that lost to Georgetown should be shot out of a canon, but the other part of it is that they just don’t seem to have that finishing power they flashed so brilliantly in the first half when they were rolling through as one of the only undefeated teams in the country. They’re just 2-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games. I mean…do YOU trust them?
On the flip side, Western Michigan has been a freaking gold mine during the latter stretch of the season with a marvelous 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS record which included crushing the only team that beat them in that stretch (Toledo) in the conference final. They do this with an underappreciated brand of defense and they have the length and tenacity to attack Syracuse where their weak. You don’t have to trust me completely with my March Madness 2014 upset bets; I’m just telling you where I’m leaning and leveraging and the Broncos over Syracuse is one of my favorite takes in the second round.
#11 Providence Friars +4.0 over #6 UNC Tar Heels
Friday, March 21st — 7:20pm EST
Listen, I’ve been one of the few handicappers defending and rooting for UNC out of sheer faith. One of the underlying facets of this season has been that “talent rises” and UNC is one of the most loaded rosters on the planet. But they’re ridiculously consistent underachievers, which is proven in their horrifying 0-5 ATS record over the last five games which includes two straight up losses in their last two games. And their three wins before that? They were by a total of seven points.
Providence is a great basketball team, something they legitimatized by winning the Big East Conference and withstanding Creighton’s 41-point barrage in the second half of the conference final by not only dropping 39 of their own but proving that they don’t fade under serious pressure. Providence is a great team, one of the more undervalued in the NCAA Tourney and that’s why they’re rounding out my three favorite March Madness 2014 upset bets, especially considering who they’re matched up against.