North Carolina and Michigan State are among the ranked teams who could be on upset watch this weekend.
Many schools hoping to earn at-large invitations to the 2019 NCAA Tournament are in must-win mode this Saturday, as there are 18 games involving Top 25 teams on the docket with the host sitting as an underdog in eight of them. The big question is, which of those underdogs are worth betting in these key conference matchups?
The fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans, 11th-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders, 12th-ranked Nevada Wolf Pack and 13th-ranked LSU Tigers are all on upset alert as they continue to battle for the regular-season crown in their respective conferences. Losses to unranked teams here would obviously hurt their chances of earning the top seed in their conference tournaments later this month.
The Tar Heels might be the ripest for an upset visiting the Clemson Tigers as four-point road favorites on the college basketball odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. North Carolina fell 82-78 at Clemson a year ago as a 1.5-point road favorite to snap a 10-game series winning streak.
The Tar Heels have won four games in a row to remain among the favorites on the March Madness betting lines, but they may be looking past their next two foes on the road before hosting the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils to close out the regular season on March 9. For that reason, the Tigers are a best bet.
The Spartans are in a similar spot visiting the Indiana Hoosiers as six-point favorites in a Big Ten clash, but they have failed to cover the spread in three of the past four meetings, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. The Hoosiers actually pulled off a 79-75 upset on the road at East Lansing as eight-point underdogs on February 2, and a sweep would be huge for their confidence heading into the conference tournament. Indiana is another best bet based on recent series history.
Texas Tech (-3.5), Nevada (-2.5) and LSU (-1.5) may also lose straight-up, but the lines in their games are simply too small to recommend their opponents as best bets. At least you are getting more points with North Carolina and Michigan State to cover a close SU loss, so consider the TCU Horned Frogs, Utah State Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide as slight leans instead as they try to please their home fans and backers.