Unless you had a crystal ball that could see into the future, your NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket is probably in shambles like the rest of us as a result of last week’s shocking upsets. You may not win the company office pool this year, but this Thursday and Friday’s Sweet 16 matchups offer some solid value if you like to wager on individual games.
The following is a NCAA Tournament Betting Guide that takes a closer look at some of the remaining teams in the field that have paid huge dividends over the course of both the regular season and month of March when it comes to winning against the spread.
The Michigan State Spartans had to settle for a three-way share of the Big Ten regular season title after suffering a couple of bad losses down the stretch, but a solid performance in the conference tournament helped secure the No.1 seed in the West Region. The Spartans kicked-off their run for the Sweet 16 with Friday’s 89-67 win over No.16-seed LIU-Brooklyn as 19-point favorites. While Michigan State failed to cover as a 7.5-point favorite in a tighter-than-expected 65-61 third-round victory over No.9-seed St. Louis, it is still 4-1 ATS in its last five games and 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral-site games. Heading into this Thursday’s showdown against No.4-seed Louisville as 4.5-point favorites, the Spartans have covered in eight of their last 10 games following an ATS loss.
The Cincinnati Bearcats finished the regular season tied for fourth in the Big East standings, but were able work their way to a No.6-seed in the East Region with a 71-68 victory over Syracuse in the conference tournament semifinals as eight-point underdogs. The Bearcats have fully capitalized on the opportunity so far with a second-round 65-59 victory over No.11-seed Texas as three-point favorites and an impressive 62-56 upset over No.3-seed Florida State as two-point underdogs in Sunday night’s third round. Cincinnati heads into Thursday’s matchup against No.2-seed Ohio State with an 8-1 record ATS in its last nine games. It is now 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following both a SU and ATS win.
Another Sweet 16 entry from the Big East is the Marquette Golden Eagles, who advanced to the West Region semifinals with an 88-68 second-round romp over No.14-seed BYU as five-point favorites and a 62-53 victory in Saturday’s third round as a five-point favorite over No.6-seed Murray State. The Golden Eagles come into this Thursday’s contest against No.7-seed Florida as two-point favorites. Marquette is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a favorite and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. It is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games following an ATS win and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games following a SU win.
One of the higher seeds in this year’s Sweet 16 is the Midwest Region’s No.11-seed North Carolina State Wolfpack. They came into this tournament with some solid momentum after almost beating North Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament with 69-67 near miss as 9.5-point underdogs. This left the Wolfpack 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games. NC State then beat No.6-seed San Diego State 79-65 as a 2.5-point favorite and No.3-seed Georgetown 66-63 as a four-point underdog in its first two games of this tournament to run its record to 7-0-1 ATS in its last eight games. Next up is a region semifinal showdown against No.2-seed Kansas. The Wolfpack come into this game against the Jayhawks with a 5-2 record ATS in their last seven NCAA Tournament games and 20-8 record ATS in their last 28 neutral-site games.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.