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NCAA Tournament Handicapping: Updated Futures Odds Sweet 16
by - 3/25/2013

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Casey Prather of the Florida Gators

It took the First Four, the Round of 64 and the Round of 32, but the original field of 68 teams for this season’s NCAA Tournament has been pared down to the Sweet 16. This year’s Big Dance has its fair share of top seeds left with only one No.1 and one No.2 sent packing, but there also a few Cinderella’s trying to hold off the stroke of midnight, which for the first time in tournament history includes a No.15 seed.

The following is an update of Bovada’s latest odds for the final 16 teams to win their particular region as well as this year’s National Championship.

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South Region

No.1 Kansas
Region: 5/2
National Title: 12/1

No.3 Florida
Region: 4/5
National Title: 19/4

No.4 Michigan
Region: 5/2
National Title: 11/1

No.15 Florida Gulf Coast
Region: 15/1   
National Title: 75/1

Florida may have been a lower seed than Kansas in this region, but it opened the tournament at 7/1 to win it all verses the Jayhawks 10/1 odds as the top seed. The Gators’ current odds have now been impacted even more favorably in light of Friday’s matchup against Florida Gulf Coast as a 13-point favorite. Kansas is a slight 1.5-point favorite over the Wolverines in a game that could physically take its toll no matter which team wins.

As much as everyone would love to see the upstart Eagles soar over the Gators to the Elite Eight, it is not going to happen. Stick with Florida to enjoy the ride all the way to Atlanta by staying true to its odds.

East Region
    
No.1 Indiana
Region: 1/1
National Title: 5/1

No.2 Miami, FLA
Region: 2/1
National Title: 15/2

No.3 Marquette
Region: 7/1
National Title: 40/1

No.4 Syracuse
Region: 15/4
National Title: 20/1    

There were a few minor upsets along the way, but the East was the only region to go chalk into the Sweet 16. Marquette needed a minor miracle to advance in its first game against Davidson, and Indiana got a serious scare from Temple this past Saturday. However, for the most part, everyone took care of business to get here.

Indiana has been opened as a 5.5-point favorite over Syracuse, and Miami is favored by the same spread over Marquette in this Thursday’s games. The Orange should be able to put up a good fight against the Hoosiers, but moving forward the East Region is still Indiana’s to lose.

Midwest Region

No.1 Louisville
Region: 5/7
National Title: 3/1

No.2 Duke
Region: 11/4
National Title: 12/1

No.3 Michigan State
Region: 7/2
National Title: 14/1

No.12 Oregon
Region: 9/1
National Title: 33/1

By now everyone knows, even the NCAA Selection Committee, that Oregon was not seeded properly, so you can pretty much ignore the No. 12 in front of its name. The Ducks are 10-point underdogs in Friday’s matchup against Louisville. The way they are playing right now, this spread is a gift. However, when it comes to futures odds, the real value in this region is still with Michigan State. The Spartans are two-point underdogs against Duke for this Friday’s game.

While you will probably want to go chalk in the first two regions listed, it is well worth the risk to take a small flyer on Michigan State to win the Midwest. The only thing you need to keep an eye on is the health of Keith Appling’s shoulder, which was slightly injured in this past Saturday’s game.

West Region

No.2 Ohio State
Region: 1/1
National Title: 15/2

No.6 Arizona
Region: 2/1
National Title: 18/1

No.9 Wichita State
Region: 13/2
National Title: 40/1

No.13 La Salle
Region: 9/1
National Title: 66/1

It is a shame that La Salle and Wichita State have to play one another this Thursday as each of these teams is more than capable of beating the higher seeds in this region. The Shockers are favored by four points and should get a shot at Ohio State in the Elite Eight, which is also a four-point favorite to win Thursday’s game against Arizona.

The safe route to go in the West is to ride the Buckeyes all the way to Atlanta, but there is something about Wichita State that just screams “Cinderella”. There are bound to be a few more shocking results in this tournament before it is all said and done, so why not make a play on the biggest shockers of them all at 13/2 to earn a spot in the Final Four.

Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of free member’s March Madness picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top college basketball handicappers. Click here for more details and to take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.

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