With one weekend down, March Madness is now in full swing with the Sweet 16 arriving this weekend. The opening rounds were filled with stunning upsets and unbelievable finishes, but this is just the beginning of all the insanity that comes with the NCAA tournament.
As we now look ahead to the sweet sixteen, some of the hottest teams in college basketball square off for their chance to stay alive for another weekend. With the betting lines already out, it is a perfect time to have a betting preview on the slate of games.
This article will list my favorite betting picks for the Sweet 16.
Purdue -12.5 vs. Saint Peter’s
While I am rooting for this year’s Cinderella team to make the elite eight, I believe Saint Peter’s run ends emphatically against Purdue.
The Peacocks made it further than anyone could have expected, taking down juggernaut Kentucky in the round of 64 and Murray State afterward. Despite the team’s lack of height, they are exceptional at defense and securing rebounds in the toughest situations.
They are a thrilling team to watch, but I believe Saint Peter’s is in for a rude awakening this Friday. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is slated to be a top-five pick in this year’s NBA draft and caused fits defensively in crunch time against Texas. On top of that, seven-foot Zac Edey will be a nightmare against the Peacock’s undersized frontcourt.
Do not be afraid to take Purdue and the points, as I see this being a blowout.
Miami -2.5 vs. Iowa State
Both Miami and Iowa State were moneyline underdogs for the first two games, yet both find themselves here in the Sweet 16. Iowa State put up impressive wins against six-seed LSU and Big 10 regular season champion Wisconsin. Despite this, I will take the Hurricanes in this matchup.
Miami runs their offense through three guards and plays a five-out offense. This is especially difficult to cover since all starters can shoot the lights out, including their seven-foot center.
Kam McGusty performed like one of the best players in the country the first weekend, which included a 20 point outing in an 18 point win against two-seed Auburn. Guards Isaiah Wong and Charlie Moore have also been lights out, which should be enough to take down the Cyclones this weekend.
Providence +7.5 vs. Kansas
While I believe Kansas wins this game, 7.5 is simply too many points. The Providence Friars participate in one of their best seasons in school history, finishing 27-5 and winning the Big East regular-season title. They dominated in their two tournament games so far, winning both games by a combined 37 points.
On the other hand, Kansas is a one seed for a reason. The Big 12 champions have put together another title contender under coach Bill Self, reaching the sweet sixteen for the 17th time in school history.
This game is a test to see how serious Kansas is, and I expect it to be close until the final buzzer.
Duke +1 vs. Texas Tech
It seems as if there may be some magic to Coach K’s final tournament run. Duke survived a potential trap game against Michigan State, who found themselves with a lead late before Duke stormed back.
Forward Paolo Banchero is shooting up draft boards with his tournament performances, including a 19 point outing in their most recent game.
On the other side, the Red Raiders are not a team to look past. However, their offense was uncharacteristically slow against Notre Dame in their 59-53 win. Duke puts out a similar defense as the Fighting Irish, so I expect more of the same struggles.