The Sweet 16 is Set – Latest Odds Analysis and Predictions
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament betting did not disappoint. We lost one top seed, nearly lost two others and half of the No. 2’s didn’t make it beyond the second round. We now look ahead to the Sweet 16, with the eight games we get to watch and wager.
Sweet 16 Thursday, March 24th
Gonzaga vs. Arkansas Odds
|Arkansas||+9 ( -110 )||155 ( -110 )||+340|
|Gonzaga||-9 ( -110 )||155 ( -110 )||-425|
Top-ranked Gonzaga survived a tight game against Memphis to move on to the Sweet 16. The Bulldogs overcame a 10-point halftime deficit, advancing past the second round. Gonzaga is favored at +225 to win it all, according to March Madness betting odds.
The SEC sent six teams to the tournament and was talked about as the best conference in the country. Now, only No. 4 Arkansas remains, after they outlasted New Mexico St., 53-48.
Michigan vs. Villanova Odds
|Michigan||+5½ ( -110 )||135 ( -110 )||+190|
|Villanova||-5½ ( -110 )||135 ( -110 )||-230|
After a furious second half-comeback against Colorado St. in the first round, Michigan took out No. 3 Tennessee in the second round. Michigan’s fifth straight trip to the Sweet 16 is the second-longest active streak in the country.
Villanova was 10 points better than Ohio State in the second round. In their opener, the Wildcats beat Delaware by 20. Villanova is paying +1200 to win the title, the sixth overall choice.
Texas Tech vs. Duke Odds
|Texas Tech||-1 ( -110 )||137 ( -110 )||-117|
|Duke||+1 ( -110 )||137 ( -110 )||-103|
Mike Krzyzewski got his 1,200th win overall and his 99th career win in the tournament when Duke snuck past Michigan State. Coach K’s 26th trip to the Sweet 16 was the Blue Devils’ 30th win of the season, the 14th time that’s happened under his watch.
The Blue Devils get Texas Tech, who has the No. 1 ranked defense in the country, according to KenPom. The Red Raiders beat Montana St. by 35 points in the first round, then held Notre Dame to just 53 points in their second-round win.
Arizona vs. Houston Odds
|Arizona||-1½ ( -110 )||145 ( -110 )||-125|
|Houston||+1½ ( -110 )||145 ( -110 )||+105|
Joining Michigan and Villanova in San Antonio are the Houston Cougars and Arizona Wildcats. The Cougars have looked every bit as good as last year’s Final Four team, with a 14-point win over Alabama-Birmingham in the first round and a 15-point defeat of Illinois in the second round.
It took overtime for Arizona to get past TCU, along with 30 points from sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin. The Pac-12 Player of the Year was clutch in regulation and huge in overtime. His Wildcats head to Texas listed at +500 (third choice) to win the title.
Sweet 16 Friday, March 25th
Purdue vs. Saint Peter’s Odds
|Saint Peter’s||+12½ ( -110 )||136 ( -110 )||+650|
|Purdue||-12½ ( -110 )||136 ( -110 )||-1000|
Darlings of the ball, without question, are the Peacocks of Saint Peter’s. The second consecutive 15-seed to make it to the Sweet 16, the tiny Jesuit school from Jersey City, N.J., went 2-0 against the state of Kentucky. They eliminated the Kentucky Wildcats in the first round (overtime), then Murray State in the second round.
Purdue will be the opponent after beating Texas in the second round. The Boilermakers, with big non-conference wins this season (North Carolina and Villanova), did finish third in the Big Ten.
Kansas vs. Providence Odds
|Providence||+7½ ( -110 )||141½ ( -110 )||+290|
|Kansas||-7½ ( -110 )||141½ ( -110 )||-350|
Providence was the Big East regular-season champion, and they rolled through the second round with a 28-point beating of Richmond. It’s the Friars’ first trip to the Sweet 16 in 25 years.
Kansas will be the opponent, and with losses by Wisconsin and Auburn, this region is seemingly now the Jayhawks’ for the taking. Kansas is at +475 to win the title, trailing only Gonzaga based on March Madness odds.
North Carolina vs. UCLA Odds
|North Carolina||+2½ ( -110 )||141½ ( -110 )||+120|
|UCLA||-2½ ( -110 )||141½ ( -110 )||-140|
It’s a Blue Blood matchup in the East. North Carolina, after knocking off the top seed (and defending champion) Baylor, gets UCLA, which easily took out St. Mary’s.
This will be the 35th time in history that Carolina has played in the Sweet 16. For the Bruins, with a record 11 championships, it’s also their 35th Sweet 16. Only Kentucky (44) has more.
Iowa State vs. Miami Odds
|Iowa State||+2½ ( -110 )||133 ( -110 )||+125|
|Miamo Florida||-2½ ( -110 )||133 ( -110 )||-145|
Has there ever been a bigger turnaround than Iowa St.? Last year, the Cyclones won two games. Now, they’ve won two straight NCAA games, finding themselves in the Sweet 16.
Miami had just 10 wins a season ago, finishing 14th in the ACC. This time around, the Hurricanes are in the Sweet 16 for the first time in six seasons.