Sweet 16 Free Betting Picks
As we approach the Sweet 16, it is safe to say we are gaining a grasp of which teams have momentum and which have snuck their way through to Sweet 16 play. Two No. 2 seeds have been eliminated in Kentucky and Auburn, which has opened the field to lower seeds to make a run at the Final Four. The first two rounds are also a great indicator as to what teams have been under seeded and which teams offers bettors a ton of value moving forward. This round will separate the contenders from the pretenders. Below are a few games I like, where I think you can get a lot of value.
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Gonzaga (-9.5) vs Arkansas (+9.5)
Arkansas needs to see a drastically different offensive output if they are going to hang around with Gonzaga. Gonzaga has been able to score effortlessly on most teams in the country but will allow teams to go back and forth with them as seen last week with Memphis. Arkansas does have a knack for keeping games close, The Razorbacks have never been more than a 6.5-point underdog this season and are 3-0 ATS in games where they are 6-plus-point dogs. As dominant as Gonzaga has been this season, they are not great against the spread, the Zags are 0-2 in ATS so far in the NCAA Tournament, and they also have a record of 6-9 ATS in nonconference games this year. I don’t not expect Arkansas to win but expect them to be scrappy and put up a good fight with long patient offensive possessions and pestering defense. Look for Arkansas to keep it within 10 points.
Villanova (-5) vs Michigan (+5)
The under is a very attractive bet in this matchup, as the pace of the game should be slow, and both defenses have strengths that could cause turnovers. From a pace perspective, Villanova is excellent at controlling the pace on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. In other words, they typically dictate the tempo. The Wildcats rank 348th in average offensive possession length, as their goal is to generate an excellent shot attempt by forcing the defense to defend their sharp offense. They are also excellent in transition defense, ranking in the 95th percentile, so Michigan fast-break chances will likely be few and far between. Villanova’s first two tournament games featured 61 and 59 possessions, so we’re likely to see that again.
UCLA (-2.5) vs N. Carolina (+2.5)
I am rolling with momentum in this matchup and believe North Carolina will be able to keep it within a possession against UCLA. UNC has won 14 of their last 17 and has seen a dramatic improvement on defense, which has been their biggest struggle all year. Since the start of the NCAA Tournament, he Tar Heels' opponent average shooting percentage this season is 42.8%. However, over their last three games, that number has dropped to 37.4%, which proves just how dominant they've been in March Madness. UNC has looked like one of the strongest No. 8 seed we have seen in recent years. Take UNC with the points.
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