The Buffalo Bulls will be looking to follow their stunning 89-68 rout of fourth-seeded Arizona with another big upset when they battle the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday in a Round of 32 clash as 6-point underdogs on the NCAA Tournament odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Pegged as the No. 13 seed in the South Region, Buffalo’s upset as a 9-point underdog represented its first-ever win at the NCAA Tournament and marked its seventh straight victory by a double-digit margin going into Saturday afternoon’s Bulls vs. Wildcats betting matchup at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The Bulls dominated the Mid-American Conference this season, setting a school record with a 15-3 straight-up mark in conference play. Buffalo also has performed well as a betting underdog, winning outright in six of its past 11 while going 9-1-1 against the spread.
No. 5 Kentucky advanced to the Round of 32 for the seventh time in as many appearances with a 78-73 win over No. 12 Davidson as 4.5-point chalk on Thursday night to improve to 8-1 SU and ATS in its past nine games. The Wildcats also have enjoyed regular success in the second round of the Big Dance, going 6-1 SU in their past seven, but have failed to claim the ATS win in each of their past three.
The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers staged one of two other upsets on the first day of Round of 64 action. The No. 11 Ramblers shocked No. 6 Miami with a 64-62 win at the buzzer, paying out as 1.5-point underdogs and setting the stage for Saturday’s matchup with three-seeded Tennessee as 6-point underdogs.
Loyola-Chicago has posted SU wins in 18 of 19 outings and has claimed outright victories in four of five as a betting underdog. The Volunteers have won SU in seven of eight overall, and also have won and covered in four straight second-round appearances, but are a meager 3-7 ATS in their past 10 when favored by five or more points.
Elsewhere, No. 9 Alabama escaped with an 86-83 win over No. 8 Virginia Tech as a 2.5-point underdog in East Region action on Thursday, but the Crimson Tide face a massive challenge Saturday when they take on top-seeded Villanova as 10.5-point underdogs.
The Crimson Tide now have won three of four SU — all as underdogs — but must contend with a Wildcats squad that entered the tournament alongside the Virginia Cavaliers as +550 co-favorites on the NCAA Tournament odds. Villanova routed No. 16 Radford 87-61 as 22.5 chalk on Thursday to capture its fifth straight victory by double digits.