Categories NCAAB

March Madness Best Bets: Friday Picks for the Sweet 16

March Madness action continues on Friday with a four-game slate of NCAA Tournament March Madness action. This article will examine the best bets for Friday and offer professional opinions and evaluations to assist you in making wise and well-informed betting choices, with the aid of OddsShopper’s college basketball odds and best bets resources. Nonetheless, onto our March Madness best bets and Sweet 16 predictions.

The legal gambling age is 21+ in most states. Gambling Problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER.

March Madness Best Bets & Sweet 16 Predictions

Alabama vs. San Diego State

Winner of the SEC, Alabama enters this game fresh off a pair of wins against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Maryland. On the other side, San Diego State also won their conference tournament before defeating Charleston and Furman on their way to a Sweet 16. ShotQuality graded San Diego State with a loss to Charleston in its opening round game. In this game, the Aztecs are fluctuating between a 7- and 8-point underdog.

Diving into the metrics, Alabama has advantages in almost every statistical category. However, the status of Brandon Miller continues to hang over their head. With that said, Miller played 35 minutes in the Round of 32, pointing to any absence from practice this week as pure precaution. Even in a worst case scenario, Alabama has one of the deepest rosters in College Basketball. There is a strong argument that Alabama is better than San Diego State even without Miller.

Regardless, Miller is going to play and Alabama ranks 35th in offensive efficiency and fourth on defense. On the other side, San Diego State ranks 105th on offense and 15th on defense. This doesn’t even consider a gap in strength of schedule, where Alabama ranks 10th and San Diego State 47th. Even with San Diego State ranking top 15 in defensive efficiency, they still rank 156th in interior defense, where Alabama ranks 34th on offense. Likewise, Alabama has a rebounding and height advantage, which should be more than enough to overpower an inferior roster in San Diego State.

March Madness Best Bet: Alabama -7.5 (-110) at BetMGM

The legal gambling age is 21+ in most states. Gambling Problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER.

Houston vs. Miami

Perhaps the toughest game to handicap on the slate, Houston sits as a 7.5-point favorite over Miami in a game with a 137.5 total. Houston defeated Northern Kentucky and Auburn on their way to a Sweet 16 after losing to Memphis in their conference championship. Miami lost to Duke in their conference tournament before beating Drake and Indiana to get to this point. Both teams have battled injury to star players to open the tournament, making this an intriguing matchup.

Overall, Houston ranks inside the top five in most metrics, including a top five offense and defense. However, 7.5 points is a lot to give another top-10 offense in Miami. Miami actually has the superior shooting both inside and out. The Hurricanes rank 36th in 2-point percentage and 39th in 3-point percentage. Conversely, Houston ranks 57th in 2-point percentage and 165th in 3-point percentage. However, Miami also ranks outside the top 100 in both interior and perimeter defense.

From a height perspective, Miami ranks 274th, while Houston is 248th. Both teams rebound well, despite their lack of height. Houston ranks fifth in rebounding, while Miami is 59th. Neither team turns the ball over and both teams have similar foul margins. Houston fouls often but generates plenty of fouls themselves. Meanwhile, Miami doesn’t commit or generate fouls with any frequency. Ultimately, a heathy Miami with elite shooting should be able to cover the 7.5 behind the play of their stud guards and Norchad Omier.

March Madness Best Bet: Miami +7.5 (-120) at BetMGM

Princeton vs. Creighton

Perhaps the most unlikely Sweet 16 matchup of the entire NCAA Tournament, 15 seed Princeton takes on Creighton as a 10-point underdog in a game with a 140 total. Winner of the Ivy League, Princeton upset two seed Arizona, before knocking off Missouri in the Round of 32. On the other side, Creighton defeated two quality opponents in North Carolina State and Baylor to get here. ShotQuality graded Creighton with an 81-75 loss to Baylor based on the shots taken on the floor. Ahead of this game, Creighton comes in as the rightful favorite, but the total looks a little more intriguing.

While Princeton entered the tournament as a 15 seed, the Tigers rank 64th in offensive efficiency and 77th in defensive efficiency. On the other side, Creighton ranks 32nd in offensive efficiency and 71st on defense. It should be noted that Creighton played the 12th most difficult schedule to this point, while Princeton’s strength of schedule ranks 173rd. Creighton also has a massive size advantage, ranking 20th in height, while Princeton is 234th. However, Princeton has already overcome much larger teams like Arizona to this point. As for other advantages, Creighton ranks 86th in 3-point percentage, while Princeton ranks 91st in 3-point defense. Conversely, Creighton comes in a little weaker at defending the 3, but Princeton only ranks 201st in 3-point percentage.

Despite all of the advantages in favor of the Bluejays, 10 points is a lot. Instead of backing one of these teams against the spread, the total looks a little more interesting. Mentioned above, both teams have the ability to score. Both teams play with a slightly above average pace, which has persisted well into conference play. For those taking a stab at a play in this game, the over looks slightly more efficient than a correctly priced spread.

March Madness Best Bet: Over 140.5 (-105) at BetMGM

Check out the best March Madness Sportsbook Promos with Stokastic!

Xavier vs. Texas

The final game of the Sweet 16, Texas takes on Xavier as a 4.5-point favorite in a game with a 148.5 total. Winner of the Big12, Texas defeated Colgate and Penn State to reach this point. However, ShotQuality graded both of their first two games as losses. On the other side, Xavier defeated Kennesaw State and Pittsburgh in a pair of relatively close games to reach this point.

Two of the most volatile teams left in the tournament, the total looks more intriguing than the spread in either direction. Currently sitting at 148.5, the over predictably continues to take money. Starting first with pace, both Texas and Xavier play well above the NCAA average of 70.0 possessions per game — Xavier averages 73.7 and Texas 72.9.

From there, both teams play elite offense. Xavier ranks 16th in offensive efficiency, while Texas is 40. The Longhorns do play quality defense, but Xavier’s defense comes in at 152nd, often leading to shootouts. Diving into the particulars of the Texas defense, the Longhorns rank 80th in defending the 3. Xavier ranks third in the country in 3-point percentage, creating a clear avenue for them to score. They also have a clear size and rebounding advantage, which they can use to their advantage on the offensive end.

March Madness Best Bet: over 148.5 (-115) at BetMGM

Featured Articles

Related Articles