Odds to Make March Madness Tournament: North Carolina, Clemson, and Charleston on the Bubble

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It is finally March, which means March Madness is right around the corner. Thanks to our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, they are offering odds to make March Madness tournament lines, giving bettors a new way to get some bets in on the biggest tournaments in all of sports before it even begins.

For the most part, we already know which teams are going to occupy the higher seeds when the bracket is announced. However, there are still a few teams “on the bubble,” which means they will either need a strong showing in their conference tournaments to make it into the field of 68, or they just need to win the whole thing and claim an automatic qualifying spot.

According to Joe Lunardi of ESPN, North Carolina, Clemson, and Charleston are all outside the bracket right now, meaning they will need to go deep in their conference tournaments or finish the season strong and hope teams that are currently projected to be in the field collapse.

Here, we will break down the odds and lines to make the NCAA tournament for the three teams mentioned above and inform you whether we think they are worth a bet.

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Odds to Make NCAA Tournament: Three Teams on the Bubble

North Carolina Tarheels: Yes (-135) | No (+105)

North Carolina is having one of the most disappointing seasons ever. After making an underdog run to the National Championship game last season, where they blew a double-digit lead in the second half to Kansas, they entered the season ranked No.1. With a stable of returning production from a runner-up team, the Tarheels were supposed to be a prominent face of college basketball this season.

Instead, they are unranked at 19-11 overall (11-8 in conference play) and they play Duke this weekend, setting up for a major game for North Carolina. Not only is Duke vs. North Carolina one of the biggest rivalries in sports, but North Carolina lost to Duke earlier in the season, and they can pick up a huge win to help boost its resume.

Odds to Make March Madness Tournament: North Carolina, Clemson, and Charleston on the Bubble
Caleb Love and North Carolina are on the bubble in our odds to make March Madness tournament. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds and lines for three bubble teams to make the tournament, and North Carolina happens to have wins against the other teams, Clemson and Charleston. They have a win over Michigan, giving them an advantage over three teams that are also fighting for an invitation to the dance.

Luckily, they have teams ahead of them, like Boise State, Mississippi State, and Nevada that are highly beatable, giving the Tarheels a sliver of hope should they run the table to end the season.

Because of name recognition, the Tarheels have an advantage over everyone on the bubble, and we believe that they will find a way to make the tournament — even if that means they play the first weekend in Dayton, OH.

Our Pick: Yes (-135)

Clemson Tigers: Yes (+250) | No (-380)

Clemson has a long journey ahead of them, which means they will likely need to find a way to win the ACC tournament. They are coming off a loss to Virginia, and over their last eight games, they are 3-5, with losses to North Carolina, Miami, Boston College, Virginia, and an awful Lousiville team.

While they did enjoy some success earlier in the season, Clemson has too many bad losses to recover without an automatic bid, so their final game of the regular season against Notre Dame and the ACC tournament is critical to their chances.

Luckily, Clemson has a 13-5 ACC record, and they trail Miami by only one game for the top spot. However, there is a log jam at the top of the standings, with five teams (including Clemson) all still mathematically alive to win the regular season conference title.

Clemson’s resume was impressive before the Boston College game last month, but since then, it has been nothing but bad for the Tigers. They have all but eliminated themselves from NCAA tournament contention unless they can go on a run here.

Our Pick: No (-380)

Charleston Cougars: Yes (-145) | No (+115)

Charleston has been a wagon in Mid Major play this season, with a 28-3 record and only two conference losses in CAA action. However, one of their losses came against North Carolina earlier in the season, and back-to-back losses to Hofstra and Drexel almost derailed the Cougars. They have not lost since then, and although they are currently listed in ‘the next four out’ according to ESPN’s bracketology, they have earned a spot in the CAA quarterfinals.

They have a stable of offensive weapons, a top-10 scoring offense, and are ranked 56th in KenPom‘s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency rating. Defensively, they are strong but still give up 68 points per game and allow teams to shoot 43.3% from the field.

While they play in a weaker conference, they have been beaten by other top dogs in the CAA. If they can take care of business, it will be hard for the selection committee to keep a 30-win team out of the field. This is a team we have been betting on a lot this season. They are 18-13 ATS, and with a starting lineup that averages double-digits in points, Charleston should find a way to win the CAA and get into the March Madness tournament.

Our Pick: Yes (-145)

About the Author
DJ Corrigan

DJ Corrigan

DJ Corrigan is a sports betting writer for Gaming Today and has been covering the world of wagering since his days at Ohio State University. Corrigan's love of betting the Over and chasing the hungry dogs has led him to a career crunching numbers with an emphasis on NCAAF, NCAAB, NFL, and MLB betting.

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