NCAA Tournament Odds: Middle Tennessee, Xavier Among Round Of 32 Underdogs


The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will look to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time when they battle the Butler Bulldogs in the Round of 32 on Saturday as four-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by

No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee covered as 1 1/2-point chalk in its 81-72 Round of 64 win over fifth-seeded Minnesota to remain undefeated in 11 games going into Saturday’s Blue Raiders vs. Bulldogs betting matchup at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.

The Blue Raiders also are unbeaten against the spread in five straight and an impressive 5-1 ATS in their past six as underdogs, winning outright on four occasions.

No. 4 Butler posted a decisive 76-64 win over Winthrop as 10 1/2-point chalk Thursday, halting a brief two-game SU and ATS slide, but has failed to reach the Sweet 16 in its past three March Madness appearances.

However, the Bulldogs are 8-1 SU and ATS in their past nine when favored by four or fewer points and unbeaten SU and ATS in two past tournament dates with No. 12 seeds.

No. 11 Xavier also will battle for a Sweet 16 berth when it takes on No. 3 Florida State as a six-point underdog. The Musketeers advanced with a 76-65 win over No. 6 Maryland as two-point underdogs, lifting their ATS record as March Madness underdogs to 14-1.

The Seminoles notched an 86-80 win over No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast as 12-point favorites but are winless ATS in four straight tournament contests, all as betting chalk.

Elsewhere, the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats failed to cover as 25-point favorites in their Round of 64 clash with No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s and sit as reduced 5 1/2-point favorites in Saturday’s date with the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers.

In other Round of 32 betting action, No. 4 West Virginia meets the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish as three-point favorites, and top-seeded Gonzaga is favored by 11 over No. 8 Northwestern.

No. 2 Arizona has moved to 4 1/2-point chalk against No. 7 Saint Mary’s for Saturday after opening as a 2 1/2-point favorite, while No. 4 Purdue is just a one-point favorite over No. 5 Iowa State, and No. 4 Florida is 1 1/2-point chalk against No. 5 Virginia.

On Sunday, No. 2 Louisville battles No. 7 Michigan, while No. 3 Baylor takes on No. 11 USC. National championship favorite North Carolina clashes with No. 8 Arkansas, and No. 1 Kansas faces No. 9 Michigan State, while surprising No. 11 Rhode Island battles No. 3 Oregon, and No. 2 Kentucky clashes with No. 10 Wichita State.

Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images

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