The NCAA Tournament has finally arrived and the excitement is palpable among college basketball fans and NJ online sports betting players alike. With New Jersey sports betting now legal, people can freely place wagers of all types on the upcoming tournament, including bets on individual games and each specific region. Still, the most popular way to celebrate March Madness and take part in the festivities is by filling out a bracket, which an estimated 70 million do each year around this time.
Here at BonusSeeker, we’ve been keeping a close eye on the college basketball season for months, and have now taken our extensive knowledge from making NCAAB picks to fill out a March Madness bracket for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
BonusSeeker March Madness Predictions: Duke Runs The East & UNC Wins Midwest
East Region Predictions
Here’s the deal: We don’t see a scenario where two teams that aren’t Duke and Michigan State (yes, the top two seeds) playing in the Elite Eight. Duke with a healthy Zion Williamson is the best team in this tournament, so they are the NCAAB pick to win this region. They have no challenge the first three games in my mind, then it will get interesting. I don’t love any underdogs in this region, hence no first-round upset picks. We do, however, have Virginia Tech exiting early and my first of three No. 8 seeds with VCU. Seeing SEC regular season champion LSU play without its coach will be one of the more interesting storylines of this 2019 NCAA Tournament.
West Region Predictions
Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed and has made NJ sports betting players a ton of money this season, but that loss to St. Mary’s showed me something in that the Zags are not invincible. I have them making the Elite Eight and losing to, in a surprise pick, Texas Tech. Most people have Gonzaga or Michigan, but I’m concerned the Wolverines won’t be able to match up offensively with a team like Tech, who is just as stout on the defensive end. Admittedly, it’s a pick to separate from other brackets in the pool. I’m also against the popular upset pick of No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette in favor of No. 6 Buffalo losing to the Arizona State/St.John’s winner, two big-conference teams that we expect could match the Bulls athletically.
South Region Predictions
Brackets are a personal thing where sometimes it takes committing to an opinion, even if it isn’t popular. I do not believe in Virginia, while I do believe in Tennessee. If I was making one online sports betting futures pick for March Madness, it’s the Volunteers winning the South Region. Once they were put in the same quadrant as Virginia, picking it was quite simple. Virginia is starting the revenge tour against another No. 16 seed and is an extremely popular pick to redeem itself and reach the Final Four. Tennessee, however, won’t be smothered by UVA’s defense and plays a versatile game that can travel anywhere. Also, give me Oregon and UC Irvine as two NCAA upset picks to meet in the second round as a 12 vs. 13 matchup.
It may seem boring to go chalk, but North Carolina and Kentucky are the two best teams in this region and we see them both reaching the Elite Eight. After going 16-2 in the ACC and proving how dangerous it is yet again, the Tar Heels go back to the Final Four with a chance to play Duke for a fourth time this season in the national title game. It will be interesting to see No. 3 Houston possibly play No. 6 Iowa State before likely taking on Kentucky. For UNC it’ll be SEC champion Auburn looking to spoil the party in the Sweet 16 after they take care of Kansas, according to our March Madness bracket picks. Roy Williams’ team quietly dominated the entire season and has a ton of confidence as a mix of veterans and young stars with plenty of March Madness experience.
2019 NCAA Tournament Final Four Predictions From BonusSeeker
Whether Duke would play Texas Tech as predicted in our BonusSeeker bracket or another team from the West Region in the Final Four, we think they wind up in the championship game behind the star freshmen in Zion Williamson, R.J. Barret, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones. It’s more likely than not that Michigan or even Gonzaga can’t handle the Blue Devils.
In our bracket, Tennessee sends Virginia home disappointed and plays North Carolina in the Final Four. This game feels like a toss-up from a sports betting odds perspective, and the Tar Heels shared the regular season title of the best conference in college basketball. In our view, Tennessee, led by senior Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams aren’t bringing the Volunteers to the school’s first Final Four to lose in the semifinals.
Picking against Duke in the championship is extremely uncomfortable, but the Blue Devils aren’t pre-ordained for victory and they can be beaten. Plus, nothing is more boring than picking the huge favorite and No. 1 overall seed. Tennessee was a Final Four-caliber team a season ago and fell to Cinderella Loyola-Chicago. They’re even better this year and despite having flaws, what they struggle at is what Duke also struggles at.
Tennessee can score as well as any team in the country, but has trouble defending the three-point line. If there’s one flaw to be pointed out in Duke’s game, it’s scoring from beyond the arc, which they did at just over 30 percent this season. So long as the Blue Devils aren’t shooting lights-out, Tennessee has the players to stay with the Blue Devils and steal a 40-minute game. At least we think so.
BonusSeeker Sports Betting Picks Using FanDuel Sportsbook App
In addition to filling out brackets, March Madness a perfect time of year for sports betting lines, specifically futures. We’ve covered some of the most popular 2019 NCAA Tournament picks on DraftKings Sportsbook as well as the odds from each of the following regions using lines from the FanDuel Sportsbooks app:
After looking at the entire bracket, compiling the information and checking out FanDuel Sportsbook’s college basketball odds, BonusSeeker definitely has some input on which March Madness predictions are ones worth making during the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Bet On The NCAA Tournament At FanDuel Sportsbook!
- Number Of No. 1 seeds In Final Four: Two (+160 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Each of the last two years, two Final Four teams have been No. 1 seeds. Why not make it three years in a row? Oddsmakers seem to agree that this is the most likely outcome, and we’ve got Duke and North Carolina as our representatives.
- Tennessee Wins South Region (+300 on the FanDuel Sportsbook app)
Getting the opportunity to triple our money with the best all-around team in the region? Yes please. This could, of course, come back to bite, but sports betting players know that sometimes going with your gut is important. Tennessee has a great chance to escape the South.
- Gonzaga To Be Eliminated At/Before Elite Eight (-150 on Fanduel Sportsbook)
If you’re someone like us that doesn’t have Gonzaga in the Final Four of your March Madness predictions, then this bet could be fore you. It isn’t very profitable, but the Bulldogs’ road to Minneapolis is dark and full of terrors in Florida State and either Michigan or Texas Tech. We don’t think the Zags make it through both, so this March Madness prediction is perfect for us.
- No. 2 Seed To Win 2019 NCAA Tournament (+400 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Duke is the best team in the country and could very well win the national title. However, this one is about value. No. 1 seeds are -190 on FanDuel Sportsbook, while you can quadruple your money on a No. 2 seed. It’s surely a risk, but if Duke somehow gets eliminated, the door is open for Michigan State. With Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky lurking as well, the value on this is phenomenal.
- Duke To Win 2019 NCAA Tournament (+220 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
Saved the most obvious for close to the end. While the value at +220 on the FanDuel Sportsbook app isn’t great, we’re really just picking the best team in the country to win six games in a row. If things go how they’re supposed to, Zion leads the Blue Devils to a title in Minneapolis. The problem is, that rarely happens in sports betting and more specifically, March Madness. We may not have gone this way in our bracket, but we want to be part of the crowd that cashes in if logic prevails.
- Tennessee To Win NCAA Tournament (+1700 on FanDuel Sportsbook)
You didn’t think we wouldn’t back our own online sports betting pick, did you? Hopefully Rocky Top rolls to the title and we win big!