March Mad Sunday Forecast Odds: Kentucky vs. Kansas State, FAU
The first four-day marathon March mad Sunday ends.
We’ve already seen 15 seeds cut 2 seed and No. 1 Purdue is down in the East region to 16-seed FDU.
We are off to a good start.
On Sunday, the last spots in the Sweet 16 will be filled. My pre-season futures bets will be facing Creighton (+10,000) and Baylor (+1,600).
I’m counting on Baylor there, but for my bets I win another game and Final Four futures with some value.
Are you betting on March Madness 2023?
Kentucky -1.5 over Kansas (betMGM)
Betting on Kentucky this year has been less painful than banging your head against a wall for two hours.
The Wildcats have been inconsistent all season, but if you look at the past month, Kentucky has shown signs of turning things around.
Kentucky is 6-2 over its past eight games, both losses to Vanderbilt. The six wins aren’t empty either – the Wildcats have wins over NCAA tournament teams Providence, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Tennessee.
So if you look at Kentucky’s business portfolio over the past month, that’s encouraging.
I love Kansas State and am a huge fan of Coach Jerome Tang.
The team plays hard every night, and Kentucky will have to match Kansas State’s intensity.
However, there are some edges of Kentucky compatibility in the game that are hard to ignore.
The way to beat Kentucky is to limit second chance chances and have them shoot from the outside.
As Providence discovered, Oscar Chibuy is an absolute beast.
Tshiebwe finished the first-round game with a career-high 25 rebounds, and should dominate again on Sunday, especially on the offensive boards.
Thanks to Tshiebwe, Kentucky ranks second in offensive rebound percentage, while the much smaller Kansas State ranks 219th in defensive rebound percentage.
Kentucky also converts rebounds into points, ranking third in second chance conversion percentage and fifth in close field goal percentage (punches, dunks, and assists), according to Haslametrics.
When Kentucky scores from close range, it’s hard to beat.
The other thing to watch in a close game is that Kansas State really struggles with turnovers and fouling, ranking 290th in both categories.
If Kentucky wins the staff turnover battle and Tshiebwe dominates the paint, go for it to advance to the Sweet 16.
Florida Atlantic wins the Eastern Province +500 (Fandel)
One thing some people forget is that you can still bet on futures contracts during the tournament.
Sometimes the way you rock a class early unlocks value for a specific team. Such is the case with Florida Atlantic.
FAU had a dead-on first round game against Memphis, and with a win, was likely to face no. 1 Bordeaux seed.
Well, the Owls won, but they just wouldn’t face the Boilermakers after Purdue was stunned by Fairleigh Dickinson.
This major upset gives FAU a potential spot in the Sweet 16. Anything can happen, but the Owls are the 12.5-point favorite on Sunday.
Let’s say the seeding has held and Florida Atlantic is advancing; Then things will get interesting.
FAU’s next game will be against Tennessee, followed by Kentucky State, Kansas State, Marquette or Michigan State.
While this is definitely not an easy road, the Owls fit in really well with all of those teams.
There’s a lot to like about this FAU team, which ranks 40th in both offensive and defensive efficiency in KenPom.
Owl shoots well, defends well, bounces well and doesn’t turn the ball over.
You could argue that they don’t play in the Power 5 conference, but other than that, this team doesn’t have many weaknesses.
If Memphis stuck around and hit FAU, their odds would have been shorter than +500.
There is some value on the Owls making the Final Four with Purdue out of the picture.