How To Bet the Sweet Sixteen: Part 1

So last weekend happened, and it wasn’t good for bettors everywhere. Personally, I went 5-15 and was down just a tad over 10 units. But, as our brackets tell us, a lot of people were down. Weekends like that happen all the time and luckily for us, there are 12 games this weekend to climb back up, and hopefully the outcome is much better.

#11 Loyola-Chicago vs. #7 Nevada

Line: Nevada -1

Both these teams had no business being in the Sweet 16. The Ramblers escaped past #6 Miami and #3 Tennessee to get to the second round. Behind the adorable Sister Jean, Loyola-Chicago has captivated the country. The small school from the Missouri-Valley Conference has no business being mentioned alongside teams like Duke, Syracuse, Villanova and Kentucky. The Ramblers are however a very good basketball team. They have the MVC player of the year, the MVC freshman of the year, they rank 63rd in adjusted offense and 29th in adjusted defense according to KenPom. Loyola is defensive basketball team that can stop the 3 and make their opponent turn over the ball. Nevada is having their own run, beating #10 Texas and #2 Cincinnati to make it to the Sweet 16. Nevada was down by 20 points before turning it around and beating the #2 seed. Loyola is the Cinderella, but the shoe just doesn’t fit. Nevada wins.

Other lines to bet: Under 66.5 1H, Loyola +100 1H

#7 Texas A&M vs #3 Michigan

Line: Michigan -2.5

Michigan has shown that it can get over the rust vs rest, after pulling off wins over #14 Montana and surviving a scare against #6 Houston. That last game really scares me. Texas A&M is a much better team that Houston and has excelled this tournament, shutting #10 Providence down in the last 5 minutes of the game, and beating #2 UNC by a whopping 21 points. Both teams are peaking but, the Aggies have the edge. Aggies dominate the paint, boards and make teams take contested shots. TAMU takes it to the Elite 8.

#9 Kansas St. vs. #5 Kentucky

Line: Kentucky -6

Kentucky has been rolling since the SEC tournament and is playing very well under perennial dance coach John Calipari. After surviving a scare in the first round against #12 Davidson, the Wildcats took it to the house and beat #13 Buffalo, who had just come up with a win against #4 Arizona,  by 20 points. The Wildcats are hot, but can they beat the spread against Kansas State. Kansas State beat #8 Creighton by 10 points and scraped by #16 UMBC by only 7 points. At this point in the tournament, record don’t matter. Kentucky is playing ball like a well seasoned team and is only getting better each game. Kansas State’s only hope is that leading scorer Dean Wade comes back and leads the purple Wildcats over Big Blue Kentucky. It’s a close one, just because of Kentucky’s inexpereince. Kansas State loses, but beats the spread.

Other lines to bet: Over 64 1st Half

#9 Florida State vs. #4 Gonzaga

Line: Gonzaga -6

Will this be the year the Zags finally put together a championship run?. To get to this game, the Zags won 2 close games against #13 UNCG and #5 Ohio State. Against UNCG, the Zags led for 27 minutes before allowing Greensboro to tie it up. Against Ohio State, the Zags led for all bu 5 minutes midway through the 2nd quarter before pulling away in the last 5 minutes. Florida State beat #8 Missouri and came back to win against #1 Xavier. The Zags need to put together a whole game if they want to win. If the Seminoles are allowed a late come back, the Zags could bow out. But unlike Xavier, the Zags can finish games, and just have too much to handle for Florida. It will be a close one, but free throws will push the score in favor of the zags.

Other lines: Over 152.5, Gonzaga -3 1H


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