NCAA Men’s Basketball Who is Hot and Who is Not – Sweet 16
After all the upsets during the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, things will get even crazier with the start of the Sweet 16 on Thursday evening.
The biggest surprise thus far has to be Ohio winning two games and getting a chance to take down North Carolina.
There are only 15 more NCAA tournament games to bet and despite Cincinnati's 62-56 win over Florida State, the favorites are 27-20-1 ATS during the weekend of the tournament, so it's not surprising that bettors jumped on Syracuse and Kentucky when the lines for the Sweet 16 games were set at sportsbooks in Nevada and offshore.
East Region, Thursday, March 22 at Boston
#4 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #1 Syracuse Orange (-4, 121):
Syracuse opened up as 4-point favorites at BetOnline late Saturday, but they were giving 4½ by Sunday morning in Nevada and offshore. Most sportsbooks offshore and in Vegas, including America's Bookie were back to -4 by Monday morning.
Wisconsin survived last Saturday's 60-57 thriller against SEC tournament-champion Vanderbilt to advance. The Badgers are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games.
Syracuse bounced back from an uneven opening performance in their 72-65 win against #16 UNC-Asheville by pulling away from #8 Kansas State in the second half to win 75-59. The Orange have covered the spread in just three of their last 10 games.
#6 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (-7½, 130½)
Ohio State is ranked #2 in the Pomeroy Ratings behind Kentucky but oddsmakers have been impressed by Cincinnati's two tournament wins against Texas and Florida State.
Cincinnati covered the spread as an 8-point underdog to Syracuse in the Big East tournament and they're 8-1 ATS in their last nine games. The Buckeyes on the other hand have covered the spread in four of their last six games.
West Region, Thursday, March 22 at Phoenix
#4 Louisville Cardinals vs. #1 Michigan State Spartans (-4½, 125½)
Louisville has won six straight games, covering the spread in each contest. Michigan State failed to cover the spread as 7-point favorites in last Sunday's 65-61 win against Saint Louis but they're 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 NCAA tournament games as a favorite.
Michigan State is 22-11 ATS this season, which is the best record against the spread of anyone left in the field. Louisville has the second-best record at 20-13-1 ATS.
#7 Florida Gators vs. #3 Marquette Golden Eagles (-1½, 146)
Oddsmakers deemed Marquette small favorites over Florida. The line opened at -2 shortly after Florida blasted Norfolk State 84-50 and now it is at -1½ at most shops.
Florida has won their two NCAA tournament games by an average of 30 points and they have covered the spread in their last three games.
Marquette covered the spread as 5-point favorites in their 62-53 win against Murray State last Saturday. The Golden Eagles are now 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games.
South Region, Friday, March 23 at Atlanta
# 10 Xavier Musketeers vs. #3 Baylor Bears (-6, 140)
Baylor opened as 6-point favorites. The line moved up to -6.5 last night but now it is back to -6 at America's Bookie and other offshore sportsbooks.
Xavier improved to 12-3-1 ATS in the NCAA tournament since 2005 with their 70-58 comeback win against Lehigh on Sunday. That's the best record against the spread of any team over the last seven NCAA tournaments.
Baylor pulled away from Colorado on Saturday night to win 80-63 behind nine three-pointers from Brady Heslip. Xavier is just 12-18-3 ATS this season but they have covered the spread in three of their last four games. Baylor is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games.
#4 Indiana Hoosiers vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats (-9, 145½)
This is a rematch of one of the best games of the regular season. Indiana's Christian Watford hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired in Bloomington to hand Kentucky a 73-72 loss on December 10. Indiana was a 5.5-point dog in this game.
Kentucky opened as 8-point favorites for this game and the line is already up to -9 at some shops.
The Hoosiers are 18-10-1 ATS this season while the Wildcats are just 14-21 ATS. Kentucky has failed to cover the spread in four of their last five games.
Midwest Region, Friday March 23 at St. Louis
#13 Ohio Bobcats vs. #1 North Carolina Tar Heels (-10½, 143)
North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall fractured his right wrist in Sunday's convincing 87-73 win against Creighton. Marshall is left-handed and he has not been officially ruled out for this game but he will not be at 100 percent.
According to multiple media outlets, Marshall will have surgery on the injured wrist today. His status kept the line off the board until Monday morning when North Carolina opened at 10½-point favorites.
Ohio has been the biggest surprise in the NCAA Tournament thus far after beating Michigan and South Florida. The Bobcats have won their last six games and they're 2-0 ATS in this tournament. North Carolina is also 2-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament.
#11 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks (-8, 142)
North Carolina State has covered the spread in six straight games and bettors have noticed and quickly grabbed them and the eight points Monday morning. The line was down to Kansas -7½ for a while but now it is back to -8.
North Carolina State stunned Georgetown 66-63 last Sunday while Kansas failed to cover the spread as 8-point favorites in yesterday's 63-60 win agaisnt Purdue. Kansas is now 2-3 ATS in their last five games to fall to 17-16-1 ATS on the season.
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