💸 March Madness Sweet 16

• 9 min read
💸 March Madness Sweet 16

The NCAA tournament rolls on, with the sweet 16 set.  

As with every year, there have been some unexpected shake ups in this year's tournament.  Here were the biggest upsets:

Second Round:

  1. No. 8 Loyola Chicago 71, No. 1 Illinois 58
  2. No. 11 Syracuse 75, No. 3 West Virginia 72
  3. No. 15 Oral Roberts, No. 7 Florida
  4. No. 12 Oregon State 80, No. 4 Oklahoma State 70
  5. No. 7 Oregon 95, No. 2 Iowa 80
  6. No. 6 USC 85, No. 3 Kansas 51

First Round:

  1. No. 15 Oral Roberts 75, No. 2 Ohio State 72 (OT)
  2. No. 12 Oregon State 70, No. 5 Tennessee 56
  3. No. 9 Wisconsin 85, No. 8 North Carolina 62
  4. No. 13 North Texas 78, No. 4 Purdue 69
  5. No. 10 Rutgers 60, No. 7 Clemson 56
  6. No. 11 Syracuse 78, No. 6 San Diego State 62
  7. No. 13 Ohio 62, No. 4 Virginia 58
  8. No. 11 UCLA 73, No. 6 BYU 62
  9. No. 14 Abilene Christian 53, No. 3 Texas 52

Phew, this tournament has been wild.  

Here are some prop bets that paid out (and still might):

Will a 12 seed advance past a 5 seed?

  • Yes -370
  • No +290

Not great value - but hey, it happens nearly every year, and it did this year with Oregon State toppling Tennessee.

Will any First Four team make the Sweet 16?

  • Yes +285
  • No -375

The "First Four" are contested between teams holding the four lowest seeded automatic bids and the four lowest seeded at-large bids.  This year they were:

  • Drake
  • UCLA
  • Norfolk State
  • Texas Southern
  • Wichita State
  • Michigan State
  • Appalachian State
  • Mount St. Mary's

UCLA advanced to the Sweet 16 - so this paid out.

Odds of each seed winning the tournament

  • 1 seed -159
  • 2 seed +440
  • 3 seed +900
  • 4 seed +950
  • 5 seed +1300
  • 6 seed +1300
  • All other seeds +1750 or higher

6 of the remaining teams are a 7 seed or higher.  This might be a prop to find some value.

Sleeper Pick:

Syracuse is +4200 to make the final four, and +15000 to win the tournament.  Looking for value?  This one may be it.  

Side note - the last two times that Syracuse has been a double-digit seed, they have gone to the Final Four and Sweet 16.  Make this #3.

Hot Streak Status:

Last week we mentioned some teams that were on a hot streak - let's see which of those remain:

  1. Alabama.  They've been rolling and seem to be on a one way track to face Michigan, and then potentially Gonzaga.  
  2. Houston.  They'll have an interesting test again Syracuse in their next matchup.
  3. Loyola-Chicago. They beat the Big Ten Tournament winner and #1 seeded Illinois.  That hot streak continues.

3 out of 7 hot streak teams mentioned continue their run.  Not bad.

Sleeper Teams Status:

The only of our 5 sleepers remaining is Florida State (#4). What we said previously: FSU has been inconsistent, but led the league in scoring (78.9 ppg) and three-point percentage (39%), and held teams to a league best 39.8% from the field.  That is a recipe that can make for a run.

Here are the dates to watch (in EST):

  • Sweet 16 — Saturday, March 27 (2 p.m.) and Sunday, March 28 (1 p.m.)
  • Elite Eight — Monday, March 29 (7 p.m.) and Tuesday, March 30 (6 p.m.)
  • Final Four — Saturday, April 3 (5 p.m.)
  • NCAA championship game — Monday, April 5 (9 p.m.)

Remaining Team Odds:

Not a lot of faith in the marketplace that Creighton can topple the Zags.  We have some interesting matchups here.  

The Sharp Money

The sharps are heavily favoring Baylor, Oregon State, Syracuse, Florida State, and Alabama to cover their spreads.

They are also heavily favoring Baylor, Oregon State, Michigan, Gonzaga, and Alabama to win outright on the Moneyline.  

We'll continue to monitor and give you updates on betting odds as we get them.

Subscribe to our paid newsletter to find out where the sharp money is laying on each of these NCAA games heading into the games on 3/27 and 3/28.  Subscribe to premium at https://www.bettorsecrets.com/subscribe/.  Only $10 a month (usually a $200 A MONTH value).  You can't get this data anywhere else for less.

Now, onto some picks.  This is who the experts are picking:

March Madness Picks:

From Sporting News:


  • Loyola Chicago (-6.5) over Oregon State: The Ramblers are allowing the fewest points per game in college basketball (56.1) and rank No. 1 overall in defensive efficiency per the KenPom rankings.
  • Syracuse (+6) to cover vs. Houston: One of the Cougars' best players, DeJon Jarreau, is playing through a hip pointer.
  • USC (-1) over Oregon: USC won by double-digits against the Ducks earlier in the year.

Parlay Picks:

  • Creighton vs. Gonzaga OVER 158 and Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas OVER 159 (+255)

Gonzaga has scored at least 82 points in nine of their last 10 games played and leads the NCAA in scoring average at 92.3.  Creighton is averaging 76.5 points per game.  

Oral Roberts should also be able to score. They rank 11th in the NCAA in 3-point percentage this year at 38.5 percent.  

  • Loyola Chicago (-6.5) AND Baylor (-6)

As mentioned above, LC is a solid pick.  But Baylor has beaten both of their NCAA Tournament opponents by 13+ points so far this year.  Parlay them here.

  • Syracuse (Moneyline) AND Alabama (-5.5)

Syracuse should have a chance to keep it close with Houston if Jarreau isn't at 100 percent.  You can pair them with one of the favorites with a solid point spread. In this case, Alabama is the choice.  

We've talked about Alabama before - they might be one of the favorites to win the tournament and have been crushing competition so far.

From CBS/SportsLine:

  1. Loyola Chicago beats Oregon State -- One side of the spread hits 50 percent of the time.
  2. Baylor beats Villanova -- One side of that spread hits 55 percent of the time.
  3. Arkansas beats Oral Roberts -- One side of that spread hits 56 percent of the time.
  4. Houston beats Syracuse -- One side of that spread hits 52 percent of the time.
  5. Gonzaga beats Creighton -- One side of that spread hits 59 percent of the time.
  6. Michigan beats Florida State -- One side of that spread 50 percent of the time.
  7. Alabama beats UCLA -- One side of that spread hits 55 percent of the time.
  8. Oregon beats USC -- One side of that spread hits 57 percent of the time.
  9. The SportsLine model has made the call on which team covers in each Sweet 16 game. It says UCLA (+5.5) stays within the spread against Alabama.

From Sports Illustrated:

Writer: Pat Forde

Forde's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Alabama
Forde's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Jeremy Woo

Woo's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Oregon State, Alabama
Woo's champ: Baylor

Writer: Molly Geary

Geary's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Florida State
Geary's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Jason Jordan

Jordan's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Alabama
Jordan's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Kevin Sweeney

Sweeney's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Alabama
Sweeney's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Elizabeth Swinton

Swinton's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Houston, Michigan
Swinton's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Michael Shapiro

Shapiro's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Alabama
Shapiro's champ: Gonzaga

Writer: Nick Selbe

Selbe's Final Four: Gonzaga, Baylor, Loyola Chicago, Michigan
Selbe's champ: Gonzaga

From ESPN:

Reseeded teams in the Sweet 16:

  1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
  2. Baylor Bears(Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
  3. Michigan Wolverines(Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide(Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 1)
  5. Loyola Chicago Ramblers(Original seed: No. 8. Reseed: No. 2)
  6. Villanova Wildcats(Original seed: No. 5. Reseed: No. 2)
  7. Florida State Seminoles(Original seed: No. 4. Reseed: No. 2)
  8. Syracuse Orange(Original seed: No. 11. Reseed: No. 2)
  9. Houston Cougars(Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 3)
  10. Arkansas Razorbacks(Original seed: No. 3. Reseed: No. 3)
  11. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles(Original seed: No. 15. Reseed: No. 3)
  12. USC Trojans (Original seed: No. 6. Reseed: No. 3)
  13. Oregon Ducks(Original seed: No. 7. Reseed: No. 4)
  14. Oregon State Beavers(Original seed: No. 12. Reseed: No. 4)
  15. UCLA Bruins(Original seed: No. 11. Reseed: No. 4)
  16. Creighton Bluejays(Original seed: No. 5. Reseed: No. 4)

Now that we've covered March Madness - let's dig into a few more lines outside the NCAA tournament:

Find out where the sharp money is laying.


Pulled from sportsinsights.com


Pulled from sportsinsights.com


Pulled from sportsinsights.com

How to look at this:

  1. This shows you where the bets (#) and the amount of money ($) are laying down across different bets.
  2. The interesting stuff is when the number of tickets and the amount of money differs.  

Do with it what you will!

Now for a hot take.

Hot Takes 🔥

These are the hot takes that can seem to come out of left field.  Right or wrong?  Time will tell.  But one thing is for sure - these are spicy:

We can use process of elimination to make our Hot Take pick this week.  We can't very well see Alabama or Gonzaga losing in the Sweet 16 round.  They've just been too dominant (and the sharp money agrees with us).

Houston being favored by -6, however, is just too much.  This is a Syracuse team with some surprises up their sleeves.  Syracuse just brushed off a tough West Virginia #3 seed.

At the very least, we can see Syracuse covering, but we give them the edge to win outright on the moneyline as well.  

As mentioned above, one of Houston's best players, DeJon Jarreau, is playing through a hip pointer.  If he is less than 100%, Jim Boeheim will find a way to exploit the matchup.  His son, Buddy Boeheim, can flat out play, and showed he could keep cool under pressure in the waning minutes against West Virginia.

With Syracuse about +260, this might be a good place to find some value.  

Here are the other lines for the events happening across the sports and eSports worlds.

Prime Cut - Highlighted Lines

NBA: (lines for Mar. 24 '21)

Lines reposted from reddit


Pulled from Bovada.lv and sportsinsights.com

UFC 260: Miocic vs Ngannou 2 – One More Shot


Counter Strike: Global Offensive

You can check out the streams for these here: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Counter-Strike%3A Global Offensive

Call of Duty League:

That's just a taste.  You can see so many more matches out there at your local sportsbook.  Want to see more?  Write us at michael@bettorsecrets.com.

We'll see you again next week.  Good luck out there!

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