The Murray State Racers will be looking to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in program history when they take on the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday in second-round action as 5-point underdogs on the March Madness odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Powered by sophomore Ja Morant’s triple-double performance, No. 12 Murray State posted an opening-round win for the third time in four NCAA Tournament appearances, knocking off No. 5 Marquette 83-64 and extending its straight-up win streak to 12 games going into Saturday afternoon’s West Region matchup at XL Center.
Set as a distant +25000 bet on the national championship odds entering this year’s tournament, the Racers will likely need another huge performance from Morant, whose triple-double is the first recorded at March Madness since 2012.
The Racers have won outright in three of five games as betting underdogs this season. However, the Seminoles are currently on a 15-2 SU run, with their only defeats coming against powerhouses Duke and North Carolina.
Elsewhere on the second-round March Madness odds, top-seeded Gonzaga takes on No. 9 Baylor as 13-point chalk in another West Region clash. Over in the Midwest Region, the No. 7 Wofford Terriers try to build on an 84-68 rout of No. 10 Seton Hall as they tip off against the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats as 5.5-point underdogs.
The Bulldogs bounced back from their stunning loss to Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament with an 87-49 demolition of No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday, but are a meagre 3-5 ATS in their past eight games as double-digit favorites, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. The Bears’ 78-69 first-round win over No. 8 Syracuse snapped a four-game SU slide, and positions the squad for a shot to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the fifth time in seven tournament appearances.
The Wildcats are 18-3 SU in their past 21 contests, and have advanced at least as far as the Sweet Sixteen in seven tournament appearances as a No. 2 seed, but must find ways to contain the Terriers’ three-point game which ranked second in the nation this season and accounted for 39 points in their win over the Pirates as 3-point chalk.
On Sunday, all eyes will be on a clash of Cinderella squads in the South Region, as No. 12 Oregon takes on No. 13 UC-Irvine as a 5-point favorite, while the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers battle No. 9 Oklahoma as 11.5-point betting favorites after topping No. 16 Gardner-Webb 71-56. Out west on Sunday, No. 6 Buffalo puts a 12-game win streak on the line against the Big 12 champion Texas Tech Raiders as slim 3.5-point underdogs.