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NCAAB Sweet Sixteen Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

NCAAB Sweet Sixteen Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 3 days ago #502773

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Monday 3/25/19
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NCAAB Sweet Sixteen Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 3 days ago #502774

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Early bettors hit Michigan odds for March Madness clash vs. Texas Tech
Patrick Everson

Michigan coach John Beilein will have a worthy adversary in Texas Tech's Chris Beard for a Sweet 16 battle Thursday night. The Wolverines opened -1 Sunday evening and were quickly bet up to -2.

Forty-eight teams packed their bags over the past four days of March Madness, leaving only sixteen to play on. Covers checks in on the opening lines, early action and odds movement for a quartet of the Sweet 16’s eight games, with insights from John Murray, director of the SuperBook at Westgate in Las Vegas.

No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-1)

Michigan easily advanced in the Big Dance with a pair of double-digit victories in the West Region. After rolling over No. 15 seed Montana on Thursday, the Wolverines (30-6 SU, 21-15 ATS) dispatched No. 10 seed Florida 65-49 as 5.5-point favorites Saturday.

Likewise, Texas Tech had little trouble reaching the Round of 16, winning and covering in the first and second rounds. The Red Raiders (28-6 SU, 17-16-1 ATS) coasted past No. 14 Northern Kentucky, then punched out No. 6 seed Buffalo 78-58 as 3.5-point faves Sunday.

“I think the best game of (next) weekend is Texas Tech-Michigan,” Murray said of this 9:35 p.m. ET clash on Thursday. “It’s a pick ‘em game to me. Two of the very best coaches in all of college basketball.”

The SuperBook opened the Wolverines at -1 Sunday evening and got to -2 within about an hour.

No. 4 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (-8)

Duke is extremely fortunate to be playing in this 9:35 p.m. ET Friday tipoff in the East Region. On Sunday, the Blue Devils (31-5 SU, 18-17-1 ATS) trailed late against No. 9 seed Central Florida, regained the lead in the waning seconds and survived a jumper and tip-in attempt by UCF to snare a 77-76 win laying 13 points.

Virginia Tech already owns a win over Duke, winning and cashing as a 3.5-point home pup a month ago, though the Blue Devils didn't have Zion Williamson and will have him this time. The Hokies (26-8 SU, 17-15-1 ATS) got a stern test from No. 12 seed Liberty on Sunday, pulling away in the second half for a 67-58 victory giving 9.5 points.

“This will be a heavily bet game for sure. A lot of moneyline parlays with Duke in them next week,” Murray said. “We opened it a little high at -8, because we know Duke money will come. Duke was very lucky to escape (Sunday), and I definitely give the coaching edge to Virginia Tech and Buzz Williams.”

No. 12 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers (-7.5)

Oregon came from the No. 6 seed to win the Pac-12 tournament and now finds itself in the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed in the South Region. The Ducks (24-12 SU, 21-15 ATS) blew all of a 12-point halftime lead plus two Sunday against No. 13 seed UC Irvine, then went nuts over the last 12 minutes to win easily 73-54 as 4.5-point favorites.

Virginia, which as a No. 1 seed last year shockingly got knocked out by No. 16 seed Maryland-Baltimore County, got through the first weekend this time around, though not without incident. The Cavaliers (31-3 SU, 24-10 ATS) trailed No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb 36-30 at half, then clamped down for a 71-56 win as hefty 22.5-point faves Friday.

On Sunday against No. 9 seed Oklahoma, Virginia was up nine at the half and notched a relatively uneventful 63-51 win as 10.5-point chalk.

“Oregon-Virginia is a terrific coaching matchup,” Murray said of Thursday’s 9:55 p.m. ET meeting. “Two great defensive teams. We opened 7.5 and total of 119. I love Dana Altman, and Payton Pritchard is a steady point man, but this should be the end of the road for the Ducks.”

No. 5 Auburn Tigers vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (-5.5)

North Carolina got a surprisingly stern test in its Midwest Region opener, then had much less trouble in the second round. The Tar Heels (29-6 SU, 22-11-2 ATS) trailed No. 16 seed Iona 38-33 at recess, then put up 55 second-half points to win 88-73 as healthy 24.5-point favorites Friday. Roy Williams’ troops then blasted No. 9 seed Washington 81-59 giving 11 points Sunday.

Auburn built on its run to the Southeastern Conference tournament title with two more wins, running its win streak to 10 (6-4 ATS). After squeaking past No. 12 seed New Mexico State 78-77 as 5.5-point faves Thursday, the Tigers (28-9 SU, 19-16-1 ATS) rumbled over No. 4 seed Kansas 89-75 laying 2 points Saturday.

“Auburn-North Carolina is the complete opposite of Oregon-Virginia – all offense,” Murray said of this 7:25 p.m. ET Friday matchup. “Two coaches I don’t think much of, to say the least. But that should be a fun watch. We will likely need the Under. The total is sitting at 161 now.”

That’s up a point from the opener of 160, while the line dipped from Tar Heels -5.5 to -5 Sunday evening.
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NCAAB Sweet Sixteen Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends 3 weeks 3 days ago #502825

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Who's Hot and Who's Not

Week of March 25th

Now that the excitement and intensity of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in the rear-view mirror, it's time to take a step back during these next 48 hours or so and look at the bigger picture. The first four days of the NCAA Tournament saw underdogs rule the day ATS-wise in the opening round, but favorites came storming back on the weekend with a perfect 16-0 straight up record for the chalk, the first time that's ever happened since the field was expanded for this event in the mid-1980's.

While the outright success of the favorites is the freshest thing in the minds of many, heck, someone out there even still has a perfect bracket alive entering the Sweet 16 for the first time ever, it's not the only thing to keep in mind.

Now that it's Sweet 16 time, those of you who are fans of seeding trends – like the #12 to upset #5 which connected three times this year – history can provide us with some perspective that maybe the rest of this tournament may not be as chalky as the Round of 32 was.

Who's Hot

Playing 'Over' the total in Sweet 16 games involving #1 seeds – 61% blind the last six years (11-7 O/U)

All four of the #1 seeds have moved on to the Sweet 16 this year, and if you points and backing 'overs', it's the games involving these teams that you probably want to look at for Thursday/Friday action.

Starting with the 2013 NCAA tournament, blindly betting the 'over' in Sweet 16 games has cashed at a 61% clip, and for those of you that are futures bettors, you may want to wait until this Sweet 16 round is done to further your position in that sense.

That's because each of the past four years, a No. 1 seed that cashed an 'over' ticket in the Sweet 16 went on to at least make the championship game, with the past two seasons (Villanova in 2018, UNC in 2017) seeing these top-seeded teams cut down the nets.

(2016 saw UNC go 'over' in their Sweet 16 game and lose in the title game, and it was the same story in 2015 with Wisconsin).

Given that this year's tournament features three of the four No. 1 seeds being offense-first teams (Duke, UNC, Gonzaga), chances are we see at least one 'over' from these top seeds again – there has been at least one 'over' cash in this scenario every year since 2013 – and even a sub-120 total for the Virginia/Oregon game could have a shot at sailing above their number.

Backing 'unders' is something I tend to look for in the Elite Eight as it is, as programs feel that enormous pressure of trying to make the Final Four, and whether part of this 'over' run for top teams comes from a bit of relief on making it through the first week – Duke fans are still probably exhaling today – going above these totals is something to look for as the work week comes to a close.

So, come Friday evening, it might be best to take an assessment of the futures odds with who's remaining – if at least a few No. 1 seeds advance – as them cashing an 'over' ticket in the Sweet 16 may provide a nice little historical edge to your handicapping.

Who's Not

Backing ALL of the higher seeds to get through the Sweet 16 round – Only happened once in last 11 years

As chalky as the Round of 32 was this year with the favorites going 16-0 SU and the higher seed winning 15 of those 16 games (only No. 5 Auburn beat No. 4 Kansas), I'm not sure we see that kind of run for the higher seeds advancing to the Elite Eight.

That's because only the 2016 NCAA tournament saw all eight of the higher seeds in the Sweet 16 games move on to the Elite Eight over the past 11 years, with nine of those 10 years seeing at least two lower seeds getting through this round and having a shot at getting to the Final Four.

Last year we had No. 3 Texas Tech knock off No. 2 Purdue, No. 9 Florida State beat No. 4 Gonzaga (a rematch this year), No. 9 Kansas State beat No. 5 Kentucky, and the darling No. 11 Loyola-Chicago edge out No. 7 Nevada. That was the second time in the last five NCAA tournaments where four lower seeds in the Sweet 16 advanced, with the peak during this span being five squads back in 2011.

Since that 2008 NCAA tournament that started this run for lower seeds in the Sweet 16, 27 of the 88 teams that came into that game as the lower seed have advanced, and with all eight lower seeds this year – Purdue, Florida State, Texas Tech, Oregon, LSU, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and Houston – opening up as underdogs in some capacity (Purdue is now listed as a pick'em in some places), backing a few of these underdogs SU and ATS should prove fruitful.

With at least two of these lower seeds moving on in nine of the past 11 years, and in conjunction with the topic above regarding No. 1 1 seeds hopefully advancing through 'over' games, it may be best to look hard at those Sweet 16 underdogs that aren't up against a top seed. That would consist of backing teams like Purdue, Texas Tech, LSU, and Houston this week, and with three of those four games having spreads of +3 or lower, oddsmakers expect things to be tight in these contests as well.
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