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Categorized | NCAAB

2018 March Madness Predictions: Top National Title Sleeper Bets

2018 March Madness Predictions – Top National Title Sleeper Bets: It’s March Madness, and everyone loves the Cinderella story. David slaying Goliath is part of what makes the NCAA Tournament so exciting and so popular, and more than ever, you can bank on upsets happening. But just like Cinderella, there is usually an expiration date with for the darlings of March Madness, and when it comes to winning it all, the better seeds have a decided advantage. In fact, history says you should stay almost exclusively with teams seeded fourth or better when it comes to picking a champion, and dipping below No. 8 seeds is a complete waste of time. With that in mind, check out some of my favorite national title sleeper bets ahead of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

2018 March Madness Predictions: Top National Title Sleeper Bets

Xavier Musketeers (22/1): Count me among the skeptics that question whether Xavier is legitimately among the four best teams in the country, but being a No. 1 seed comes with its perks, and top-seeded teams have a decent history of making it the Final Four and winning it all. The other three No. 1 seeds currently have odds of 14/1 or better, and Villanova and Virginia are co-favorites at 5/1. If you want some exposure to a top seed while also having a shot at a decent payout, Xavier is your play. Plus, it’s not like the Musketeers don’t have talent. Their offense can be explosive, especially when Trevon Bluiett is hitting from deep. Yes, they have a deep bracket, but the West Region also lacks the high-end studs among the top seeds. North Carolina has been inconsistent. Michigan is scorching hot now but could easily revert to the mediocre team we saw most of the year. Gonzaga is a few notches below the team made the title game last year. There isn’t a team in this region that should be able to overwhelm the Musketeers. You could do worse for the odds.

Kentucky Wildcats (28/1): This is a far cry from some of the juggernaut Kentucky teams we have seen in recent years, but these Wildcats seem to be peaking at the right time. They have won seven of their last eight games, streaking their way to an SEC tournament crown. Offensively, this group lacks consistent perimeter firepower, and they have trouble creating open looks on a regular basis. However, Kentucky has a deep collection of lengthy, excellent athletes, and the Wildcats can get after it defensively and lock down the 3-point arc. They will also attack the basket relentlessly on the offensive end. Kentucky can struggle to keep pace with high-powered offenses, but landing in the South Region with defensive-minded Virginia and Cincinnati as the top two seeds is a perfect landing spot for this group. If the Wildcats just a hit a few shots, their athletic ability could carry them the rest of the way. I don’t think it’s a bad bet at these odds.

Texas Red Raiders (45/1): For the potential payout, the Red Raiders might be the best value if you are taking a flier on a longshot. This a ferocious defensive team, ranking in the Top 20 nationally in points allowed, and at full strength, they were a Top 10 team. The Red Raiders dropped some games down the stretch when leading-scorer Keenan Evans was hurt, but he looked sharp in his return, topping 20 points in two of the three games and attempting at least eight free throws in each game. With Evans back to bolster the offense, Texas Tech can be the same team that traveled to Kansas and took it to the Jayhawks earlier this year. I also like the draw the Red Raiders received. Who scares you in the bottom half of the East Region? Florida? Arkansas? Maybe Purdue. Texas Tech was able to flex some muscle on defense despite playing in a Big 12 conference loaded with powerful offenses. I think they will give teams fits during the NCAA Tournament. I fully expect them in the Elite Eight with a chance to go even farther. You can’t ask for much more at 45/1.

Ohio State (80/1): I’m dipping into the West Region again because I think it’s the most wide open of the four, and if an unexpected team is going to reach the Final Four, it will be out of the West. The Buckeyes are limping into the tournament a bit, but a lot of that has to do with their perplexing inability to beat Penn State in any of their three meetings. All of the other losses the Buckeyes suffered have come to teams in the NCAA Tournament, and all but one of those came to teams seeded fifth or better. Meanwhile, Ohio State owns a convincing win over Michigan State, and the Buckeyes went on the road and beat Purdue. They also have a go-to scorer and potential game-changer in Keita Bates-Diop to lean on in close games. It’s tough to tell which Ohio State team is going to show up for March Madness, and I could see the Buckeyes bowing out in the Round of 64. I could also see them refocusing and going on a surprise run. At 80/1, all you can ask for is a chance. Take a flier on a team that was knocking on the door of the Top 10 just a few weeks ago.

You can get expert 2018 NCAA Tournament picks and 2018 NCAA Tournament predictions this month from’s top handicappers plus a pre-filled downloadable and printable 2018 NCAA Tournament Bracket to help you win your office pool!

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