NCAA Tournament Odds: Duke, Wichita State Among Second-Round Favorites

by NESN Staff

March 19, 2016

The Gonzaga Bulldogs will be looking to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year when they hit the court Saturday for their second-round matchup with the Utah Utes, a game pegged as a pick’em at sportsbooks monitored by

No. 11 seed Gonzaga rolled in its first-round matchup with No. 6 Seton Hall, handing the Pirates a 68-52 defeat as two-point chalk and improving its recent March Madness record to 5-2 straight up entering Saturday night’s Bulldogs vs. Utes betting matchup at Pepsi Center.

The West Coast Bulldogs are making their 18th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament but have advanced past the Round of 32 just three times in the past 10 years. They have failed to reach the Sweet 16 while seeded lower than No. 4 since 2001.

No. 3 Utah made short work of No. 14 Fresno State in their first-round matchup, pounding the Mountain West Bulldogs by an 80-69 score, covering as 8 1/2-point chalk in their first contest since being humbled 88-57 by Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament title game as two-point underdogs.

The Runnin’ Utes also will be gunning for a second straight appearance in the Sweet 16 and their 11th SU win in their past 12 games.

Utah has averaged 76.4 points per game over its past 11 outings but is just 1-2 SU in its past three against Gonzaga, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database.

Over in the West Region, No. 12 Yale will try to follow up on its stunning 79-75 upset of No. 5 Baylor in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962 when it battles No. 4 Duke on Saturday as competitive six-point underdogs at the sportsbooks.

The Ivy League Bulldogs held the Bears to just 44.1 percent shooting from the floor to tally their first-ever victory at the Big Dance and 18th SU win in their past 19 games overall.

The defending champion Blue Devils’ recent struggles continued in their 93-85 first-round win over No. 13 UNC-Wilmington, failing to cover as 10-point chalk in their sixth straight ATS loss, while improving their recent mediocre record to 4-4 SU.

In other second-round NCAA Tournament odds action, No. 11 Wichita State will be trying to continue its run as a March Madness overachiever when it battles No. 3 Miami as surprising 2 1/2-point chalk.

The Shockers are an impressive 9-3 SU in their past 12 NCAA Tournament clashes, including a Final Four appearance in 2013, while the Hurricanes ride a four-game ATS losing streak and have failed to record consecutive SU wins in almost three weeks.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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