March Madness: 4 Best Bets for the Sweet 16

March Madness 4 Best Bets for the Sweet 16

The NCAA tournament comes with high expectations every year and consistently delivers. The field has been reduced from 68 to 16 heading into Thursday’s games, and just half of the remaining teams are seeded 4th or higher.

Among the lower-seeded teams, at least one of them will make an Elite Eight appearance. 15-seed Princeton is playing 6-seed Creighton on Friday, and the winner will play the team that emerges from the Alabama-San Diego State matchup earlier in the evening. 7-seed Michigan State is favored against the #3 team in their region, Kansas State, and Arkansas is a narrow underdog to UConn. The Razorbacks are seeking their third straight appearance in the Elite Eight.

The teams that prevail will be one step closer to booking their ticket to this year’s Final Four in Houston. We’ve made our predictions and have four best bets for the Sweet Sixteen round on Thursday and Friday.

Michigan State -1.5 vs. Kansas State 

Best Available Odds: -115 at BetMGM

K-State managed to edge out Kentucky in the second round thanks to solid shooting (48.1% FG%), getting to the free throw line (22 FTA), and forcing turnovers (17), including 11 steals.

However, John Calipari’s unit secured a staggering 19 offensive rebounds. Kansas State must correct that to have a chance against Sparty.

Michigan State held USC and Marquette to a combined 40% field goal percentage in the first two rounds. The Spartans have also gotten to the line 48 times in those games, and coach Tom Izzo is famous for his March performances. Give us the lone remaining Big Ten team on Thursday night.

Arkansas Razorbacks +3.5 vs. UConn Huskies

Best Available Odds: -105 at FanDuel

The Huskies have connected on 10+ three-pointers in both tournament games through the first weekend and are an easy 2-0 ATS entering the Sweet Sixteen. UConn shot 51% from the field and averaged 19.5 assists per game in blowout wins against Iona and Saint Mary’s.

Arkansas has a +16 rebounding margin in two games against major conference opponents and made a combined 43 free throws in those victories. Their ability to attack the rim, convert at the foul line, and clean the glass will keep this matchup close.

Per Chris Fallica on Twitter, “…each of the last seven teams seeded 8th or lower facing a non-Top 3 seed in the Sweet 16 have covered with six winning outright.” We’ll back the Razorbacks for all the reasons above.

Houston Cougars -7 vs. Miami Hurricanes

Best Available Odds: -108 at WynnBet

A season after making the Elite Eight as a 10-seed, the Hurricanes are a game away from matching that feat in 2023. Coach Jim Larranaga has led Miami to their fourth Sweet Sixteen berth in the last ten years after the program accomplished that feat once in 50 years before his arrival.

The ‘Canes dominated Indiana in the second round after escaping an upset bid from Drake on Friday. Houston presents a difficult matchup for a Miami team that struggles defensively.

The Cougars allow 15 fewer points per game on the season and have stifled their first two opponents in the NCAA tourney. Northern Kentucky and Auburn combined to shoot just under 32% from the floor in double-digit wins for Houston. We expect them to end Miami’s bid for consecutive Elite Eight appearances on Friday.

Xavier vs. Texas: OVER 148.5

Best Available Odds: -108 at WynnBet

After narrowly avoiding an upset to the Kennesaw State Owls, Xavier led for the final 32 minutes of game time against Pitt to make their first Sweet Sixteen since 2015. Texas held off a challenge from 10-seed Penn State in the second round and are four-point favorites in this matchup.

The Musketeers have allowed 72 possessions per game to opponents this season, the fifth-most among teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament. Both Kennesaw State and Pitt accumulated 10+ offensive rebounds against Xavier too.

Texas has limited turnovers in this tournament and averages 76 points per game on better than 52% shooting. Take the over in the Friday nightcap.

Nicholas Berault

Sports Betting Contributor

Nicholas brings over 10 years of sports betting and DFS experience to our team. He’s a player prop specialist who holds a degree from Penn State University. He enjoys a nice round of golf in his downtime and covers the NFL, NBA, baseball, CFB, and CBB. Mr. Berault is currently on a great run with his NFL best bets, so be sure to check those out!