Betting: Who is best pick in East Region?
Frank Schwab gives his betting advice for the NCAA Tournament’s East Region, including who will make the Final Four, top Cinderella pick and most likely 1st Round upset.
FRANK SCHWAB: This is Frank Schwab with Yahoo Sports, and I'm here to give you my betting preview of the East Region of the NCAA Tournament. Let's start with Purdue, the number 1 seed and the favorite to win this region at plus 250 odds. Then we have Marquette next in the odds at plus 450. Tennessee is 5 to 1, and then a tie for the fourth-best odds between Kansas State at 9 to 1 and Duke also at 9 to 1.
And I'm going to go with Duke as my Final Four pick out of this region. Duke is not your typical 5 seed. They played really, really well down the stretch, won the ACC Tournament. They're a 5 seed because early in the season, they weren't very good.
But this was a young team with a rookie head coach. It took time for them to gel. You tell yourself a story where this very, very talented Duke team should have been maybe 2-seed quality but yet got a 5 seed because of their resume. That means there's some betting value here at 9 to 1 odds to make the Final Four, and I'm going to go with that.
As far as a Cinderella pick, look, I already picked a 5 seed to make the Final Four, but let's go with another one, just in case, a little bit further down, and that's Memphis at 20 to 1. Memphis has a lot of talent. If you watched that AAC Championship Game on Selection Sunday, you saw them blow out Houston, albeit a shorthanded Houston team.
But this Memphis team has played high-quality teams. They're very athletic, they're very good. Kendric Davis, very good point guard for them. I like Memphis to make a run. I like them to knock off Purdue in the second round. We'll get to that later, but Memphis could be the type of team in a wide-open tournament, makes a run deep, and at 20 to 1 odds, really think that they're a good value to make the Final Four.
Let's look for a first-round upset in this region, and I'm going to go with Montana State, the 14 seed, against Kansas State. That's one of my longer shots here because Montana State is an 8.5-point underdog. They were really, really good down the stretch here, 13-1 to finish the season heading into the tournament.
Kansas State, a lot of their resume was built at home. Well, you don't get to play at home in the NCAA tournament. I don't think Kansas State was that great away from Manhattan. I do think there's upset potential here, with Montana State getting pretty good odds on the moneyline. Let's go Montana State as my first-round upset pick.
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