Round 2 March Madness Bets: Spread Picks, Including Purdue – Texas

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 19, 2022 - Last Updated on March 21, 2022
Round of 32 Bets

After seven underdogs won outright in March Madness’ Round of 64, let’s dive into into which ones showcase betting value for this weekend’s Round of 32 schedule. Here are my Round 2 bets, and I’ll continue to update as I add more.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting chat, as we dive into all of the games in the big dance. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my March Madness power rankings.

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No. 4 UCLA Bruins vs. No. 5 Saint Mary’s

For a full breakdown of this East Region matchup, along with my Round 2 bets, click here.

Result: Loss (-1.00 unit)

No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 9 Memphis Tigers

We’re betting against the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament again? You’re damn right.

Although Georgia State nearly failed to cover as a 22.5-point underdog on Thursday, the Panthers continued to reveal Gonzaga’s two greatest weaknesses — facing athleticism and ball pressure. Enter Memphis, which delivers one of the most hyperactive rosters in the country while producing the 50th-highest opponents’ turnover rate.

It begins with 6-foot-11 Jalen Duren, whose physicality and footspeed will challenge five-star freshman Chet Holmgren. Even though the 6-foot-9 DeAndre Williams isn’t quite as bulky as Holmgren’s frontcourt mate Drew Timme, his quick-twitch defensive prowess can frustrate Timme as much as Baylor’s bigs did in last season’s national title game.

Plus, Gonzaga’s backcourt is susceptible to accruing miscues when pressured. Andrew Nembhard and Rasir Bolton combined for five turnovers against Georgia State, and that wasn’t a fluke.

As long as the refs aren’t calling ticky-tack fouls, expect Penny Hardaway to employ a press to spark his transition offense. Tigers guard Alex Lomax (ankle) appears to be in position to suit up, and he’s one of the premier ballhawks across Division I.

I’d back the Tigers down to +10, as they should be able to at least stay within three possessions.

Best Available Line: Memphis
Eli’s Round 2 Bets: Memphis +10.5 (-110)

Result: Win (+0.91 units)

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No. 4 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. No. 5 Houston Cougars

Houston administered a wire-to-wire cover against UAB while Illinois with a one-point win against Chattanooga. Hence, we’re getting a buy-low opportunity on the Illini for our Round 2 bets.

For one, the Cougars managed to shoot 47.6% from behind the arc versus the Blazers — likely an unsustainable result. Their perimeter defense (29.0%) is still due for negative regression as well, considering UAB simply missed plenty of open looks. Alfonso Plummer & Co. generate ultra-efficient 3s, and they should come in bunches at PPG Paints Arena.

On top of that, Brad Underwood’s interior defense, led by the 7-foot Kofi Cockburn, is designed to limit cuts and stymie pick-and-roll sets. Houston’s success in that regard is a result of facing weaker defenses for much of the season, inflating its metrics in the process.

Best Available Line: Illinois
Eli’s Round 2 Bets: Illinois +4.5 (-110)

Result: Loss (-1.00 unit)

No. 2 Villanova Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

There isn’t enough time for a full breakdown before tip-off, but the market isn’t accounting enough for Ohio State at full-strength. Look for the Buckeyes’ length to expose Villanova in the post, especially via E.J. Liddell, while it frustrates Jay Wright’s bunch at the other end.

Admittedly, I was hoping for this line to rise up to OSU +6, but it went back down after hitting +5.5 again.

Best Available Line:Ohio State
Eli’s Round 2 Bets: Ohio State +5 (-110)

No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 6 Texas Longhorns

Despite Texas’ first-round win coming against an inconsistent Virginia Tech bunch, Chris Beard’s unit is peaking at the right time. Let’s ride the wave versus a Purdue squad that owns the 92nd-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

Beard’s motion offense relies on plenty of cutting action (via ShotQuality) ⁠— one of the Boilermakers’ biggest liabilities at that end. On top of that, Timmy Allen & Co. excel with their midrange game, which Purdue struggles to defend.

Keep in mind, Beard is 2-0 versus Matt Painter in the NCAA tournament, tallying wins with Little Rock and Texas Tech. That isn’t a “trend,” as Beard’s no-middle defensive scheme has flustered Painter. It should help neutralize the 7-foot-4 Zach Edey’s interior presence and accrue turnovers this time around.

Anticipate Texas guard Courtney Ramey shadowing soon-to-be lottery pick Jaden Ivey, too. Painter increased Ivey’s usage throughout conference play, allowing him to develop as a playmaker. Nevertheless, Ramey is as capable of a defender as there is in college basketball, slowing down Kansas star Ochai Agbaji in both of their meetings this season.

Moreover, I added 90-1 Longhorns futures on Friday, as they’re set up for a run in the East Region and possibly even further. I recommend utilizing a moneyline rollover strategy if you weren’t able to grab those odds, in which you would place a Texas moneyline bet for each of its remaining games — with all of your winnings from the previous contest.

But if Baylor gets knocked out before a potential Elite Eight matchup, a futures ticket might be the more valuable route.

Best Available Line: Texas
Eli’s Round 2 Bets: Texas +4 (-110)

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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