Sunday's best tourney bets

Smart plays for Elite Eight matchups of UK-Michigan, UConn-Michigan State

Updated: March 30, 2014, 12:23 PM ET
By Dave Tuley and Ted Sevransky | ESPN Insider

Shabazz Napier, Monte MorrisRobert Deutsch/USA TODAY SportsWill Shabazz Napier continue his prolific scoring and lead UConn to the Final Four?

Friday's action saw all four games in the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 round go down to the final minute.

That's usually a good sign for underdog bettors, who were barking big-time as 'dogs went 4-0 ATS against the closing point spreads here in Las Vegas. Underdogs also went 6-2 ATS in the Sweet 16 round and my three best bets Thursday and Friday -- Dayton on Thursday, UConn and Kentucky on Friday -- all pulled outright upsets. It's been a great tourney overall for yours truly, as I also went 5-0 ATS with my best bets in Insider's NCAA tournament betting guide (along with also going 5-0 with over/unders) and 3-2 ATS in the round of 32 articles last weekend.

That's 16-2 (88.9 percent), but my overall winning percentage on actual wagers this tournament is closer to 70 percent because I've been making the right calls in what plays I designate as best bets here (and I've split my over/under plays since the opening round). But I'll still take that any day, month or season. Hopefully it doesn't end anytime soon.

If you're reading this Saturday, check out our plays along with those of Ted Sevransky for the initial Elite Eight games.

Here's a look at Sunday's doubleheader without a No. 1 seed in sight, but it includes four red-hot teams with deep basketball traditions.

Note: * denotes best bet


No. 7 Connecticut Huskies versus No. 4 Michigan State Spartans

Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) line: Michigan State minus-5.5
PickCenter consensus pick: 50 percent each

Michigan State was hyped as a pre-tournament favorite to make it to the Final Four despite being a No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional. And the Spartans have lived up to those expectations, at least as far as surviving and advancing is concerned. Bettors aren't as pleased with them, as a little-known fact (though it's getting a lot more mention) is that they are the only team in the Elite Eight that hasn't covered a spread yet. Michigan State pushed in its 15-point win against Delaware in its first-round game (yes, we know the NCAA calls it the second round but it's still really the first round) and then won but did not cover in its wins over Harvard and Virginia.

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.
Ted Sevransky, better known as Teddy Covers, has been handicapping sports in Vegas since 1998.