NCAA Men’s Sweet 16 Betting Picks

by WagerHome Blog on March 23, 2022

The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament saw its share of upsets, but as the Sweet 16 tips off, there are still plenty of great basketball teams remaining in the field and great games for us to place wagers.

Thursday – March 24

No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (-8.5)

Yes, the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs were pushed to the brink by Memphis and actually trailed at halftime before a furious second-half comeback. But they did make that comeback, and they are simply going to be too much for Arkansas.

The Razorbacks don’t have the same athleticism that Memphis does, and the going in this round is going to be easier for Gonzaga because of it. Look for the No. 1 seed to cover the spread and advance.

No. 11 Michigan (+5) vs. No. 2 Villanova

In San Antonio, four years after Villanova beat Michigan there to claim the National Championship, these two teams are back, meeting for just the fourth time in history.

Villanova got over on Michigan then, and they are likely to do it again on Thursday. But the one-time sixth-ranked Wolverines are enjoying their role as underdogs, and they will keep this game close. The Wildcats experience wins in the end but look for Michigan to play tough and cover.

Friday – March 25

No. 15 St. Peter’s (+12.5) vs. No. 3 Purdue

Would it be crazy to bet on St. Peter’s to beat Purdue outright and make it to the Elite Eight?

Yes. Yes, that would be crazy. But what isn’t crazy is to think that Cinderella, after knocking off Kentucky and Murray St., can play the Boilermakers tough.

The game is in Philadelphia, just down the road from the St. Peter’s campus, and thousands of fans who had never heard of St. Peter’s a week ago will be in the arena and pulling for the Peacocks.

Purdue is too much, and the Cinderella story ends, but it will be a good game, and St. Peter’s has an excellent chance to cover.

NCAA Men’s Sweet 16 Betting Picks

No. 11 Iowa State (+2.5) vs. No. 10 Miami

A year ago, Iowa State had just two wins and were completely shut out in Big 12 play. Now they have the fifth-best defense in the country, allowing just 88.5 points per 100 possessions, and they force turnovers at the fourth-best rate in the country.

Miami has three good scoring guards in Charlie Moore, Kameron McGusty, and Isaiah Wong, but the Hurricane defense is abysmal.

They give up an FG rate of 52.9%, which ranks 298th in the country. That Miami deficiency, combined with Iowa State’s great defense, will help the Cyclones cover this spread and possibly win outright.

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WagerHome BlogNCAA Men’s Sweet 16 Betting Picks

NCAA Tournament First Round Betting Picks

by WagerHome Blog on March 16, 2022

Not to take anything away from the First Four and their claims to the NCAA Tournament, but real March Madness bettors know that the action doesn’t truly gets started until Thursday and Friday when we get 32 first-round games in 36 hours and the guarantee of at least five crazy upsets and four amazing buzzer-beaters.

No. 5 UConn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State (+6.5)

We all know there is going to be at least one No. 12 seed to get a win in the first round. Since the field was expanded in 1985 and 12 seeds were added to the mix, they have won 51 games, including 17 games since 2010.

This year’s 12-seed to keep an eye is New Mexico State. The Aggies play great defense, and in all four games in which they were the underdog this season, they won the game outright. UConn is just 3-11 in their last 14 against the spread, and this Thursday’s game has all the makings of a New Mexico State upset.

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 St. Peter’s (+17.5)

We’re not going to go crazy over St. Peter’s and pick them to win this NCAA Tournament game. Kentucky is one of the favorites to win the entire tournament for a reason. And normally, a 17.5 spread wouldn’t be too much for a No. 2 seed in the first round, but St. Peter’s isn’t a normal opponent.

The Peacocks have won seven straight games and play good, slow-tempo defense. They won’t have the offense to seriously challenge Kentucky for the win, but their pace of play and forced turnovers will keep this game under 17.5.

No. 5 Houston (-8.5) vs. No. 12 UAB

Another 12-seed getting love is UAB because of their nearly 80 points per game and seven straight wins heading into Friday’s game. Don’t get caught up in the hype.

Houston is one of the best teams in the country, playing some of the best defense anywhere in college basketball, and for some reason, this team has fallen out of favor with some bettors.

They win by an average margin of 17 points, and as the Cougars have done in seven of their last eight games, they will cover this spread.

No. 6 LSU vs. No. 11 Iowa State (+4.5)

Iowa State racked up a number of losses at the end of the season, but losing to the likes of Baylor, and covering, isn’t as bad as the record looks. The Cyclones, when they’re going, can play excellent basketball.

But really, this pick is about LSU and the turmoil at the top. The Tigers struggled down the stretch even before they fired head coach Will Wade, but now they are a mess and primed for a first-round struggle.

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WagerHome BlogNCAA Tournament First Round Betting Picks