Sweet 16 Predictions: Best Underdogs Left in Field
by Indian Cowboy - 3/26/2013
The NCAA Tournament field is now dwindled down to the Sweet 16. The First week of the Big Dance came with its expected excitement as much as it did its unexpected upsets. Sent home were No 1 seed Gonzaga, No. 2 Georgetown and No. 3 New Mexico. Of the remaining teams left dancing, this article examines the best trio of sleeper schools that have found a way to win at the betting window all season long. Here is a look at the top three underdogs and their successful ATS records along with some Sweet 16 predictions.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles: 6-0 ATS
It doesn’t get any better than perfect. That’s what we’re talking about in terms of this year’s Cinderella. The Atlantic Sun’s own still has its dancing shoes on after knocking off two-seed Georgetown and seven-seed San Diego State. And being that these Eagles play in such an unknown league for the most part, it wasn’t until March that lines were released for FGCU, the lone exception being covering against Duke in November really early on in the nonconference.
This team may be a mid-major, but there is nothing middle-of-the-road about these guys. They beat the Miami Hurricanes in November, and with wins over the Hoyas and Aztecs, it’s about time the general public validate this relatively unknown school from the Sunshine State.
Wichita State Shockers: 17-14-2 ATS
While Florida Gulf Coast may have come out of the woodwork this week, Wichita State might have registered the most impressive victory of the NCAA Tournament through the first two rounds. Cynics can say what they want about the Gonzaga Bulldogs and their legitimacy as a No. 1 seed. However, Mark Few’s team was legit. The Shockers just played a great game and did well to send the ‘Zags home.
After their upset over the Bulldogs to gain entry to the second weekend of the Big Dance, Wichita State is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games. Playing in the ultra-competitive Missouri Valley Conference, it’s understandable why the Shockers’ record against the spread isn’t anything to write home about. But playing in arguably one of the toughest mid-major leagues in the country prepared them well for such a test as a top seed such as Gonzaga.
The Shockers are 8-3 ATS this season against nonconference opponents. They will get the chance to improve their impressive mark when they take the court in their Sweet 16 game.
Oregon Ducks – 15-18-1 ATS
Speaking of those Ducks, its Oregon who has made sure they let everyone know how they felt about a very poor 12 seed they received in this tournament. Eugene’s U of O went on to knock out a very talented Oklahoma State squad in their first game, and then went on to eliminate a very impressive team in Saint Louis who was full of momentum after finishing the regular season inside the Top 15 after winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
And the Ducks will be 9.5-point underdogs (5Dimes) when they clash with overall No. 1 seed Louisville in the Sweet 16. This will be yet another chance to prove their worth and prove doubters wrong when they meet the Cardinals in the second week of the Big Dance.
No doubt the Ducks have picked up where they left off to finish their conference tournament. Having won five straight before they started the NCAA Tournament, Oregon has covered its last four games and won each of those past four contests by an average of 14.5 points.
Indian Cowboy has gone 17-9 (65 percent) in March Madness and he looks to continue the phenomenal run as it includes 3 straight winners including California +7.5 over Syracuse on Saturday, Kansas -6 over North Carolina on Sunday and Southern Miss -8 over Louisiana Tech on Monday. Look for IC to continue his streak the rest of March Madness as he seeks to hit 60%+ for the 2nd year in a row in the Madness!
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