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Sweet 16 Odds 2016: Teams To Bet Your Money On Right Now

Sweet 16 Odds

At the end of the day, sports are only really good for two things. What are those two things? Drinking too much while yelling at your television and gambling. Because really, everything is so much better when you gamble on it. Don’t believe me? The next time you have to do anything you don’t want to do, gamble on it. Have to go to your little sister’s tap dancing recital? Bet your dad $15 the girl all the way on the left will mess up first. Have to go to Ikea with your girlfriend? Bet her $20 that you can open five pieces of DIY furniture before an employee asks you what you’re doing. In the spirit of gambling your life away, here are my picks for the upcoming eight games of the Sweet 16. Why should you listen to me? Not sure, but can you do better? (All spreads via OddShark.)


Thursday, March 24th

Miami vs. Villanova

Miami: +4.5 , -110
Villanova: -4.5 , -110

On paper, Villanova seems like a no-brainer. Formerly a one seed, the Wildcats are sitting pretty at a two seed after handily dismantling UNC Asheville and Iowa by 20+ points each. That being said, UNC Asheville was a 15 seed that baffled experts when selected to for competition and personally, I think Iowa was a slightly overseeded. On the other hand, Miami is a three seed that barely scraped by in the first round against 14 seed Buffalo and only beat 11 seeded Wichita St. by 12. When taking into account the four and a half point spread, I do think that Nova is the better bet here, mostly because the organization has more backhalf tournament experience. A surefire bet? Well, no bet is, but this one isn’t bad. I don’t see Miami coming out of this one victorious at all, especially since pretty much everyone has been saying that Nova is due for a loss, they have so far amassed a 40 point margin between them and their opponents in only two games. As for taking either moneyline, I wouldn’t bother. If you’re going to go for broke, at least go broke.


Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

Texas A&M: +2 , -110
Oklahoma: -2 , -110

I’m going to be honest, this game has the potential to either a bank rolling two hours or a dumpster fire fueled by hot garbage. This is for two reasons. While this game sees a two seed taking on a three seed, both of whom had very successful regular seasons, both of these teams have also had a rough go of it in the tournament. After gliding through the first round, Texas A&M had to go to double OT to polish off 11 seed University of Northern Iowa (who, granted, was looking great up until the final minutes) while the Sooners only managed to beat VCU by four points in regulation. Taking both of these into account, I’d jump on the A&M bandwagon on this one. Between getting two points and proving themselves a formidable fourth quarter team, the Aggies are the better bet and give gamblers the world over a nice little cushion.


Maryland vs. Kansas

Maryland: +7 , -110
Kansas: -7 , -110

Ah, a seven point spread. Large spreads always freak me out a little bit. Mostly because they’re harder to cover. With this one, though, I’m not sure if the worry is that warranted. For one, Kansas has been on an absolute warpath. They dominated 16 seed Austin Peay in the first round 105-79. Yep, they scored over 100 points in tournament game? You know who does that? Teams that get seven point spreads going in a Sweet 16 game. On the other hand, Maryland barely beat South Dakota St. in the first round before being forced to rally in the second half against University of Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors. I think Kansas is a very safe bet here, but I also think that you could stand to win a mountain of money on Maryland if they play like they haven’t played before. While maybe we should be a bit nervous about the seven point spread, Kansas has scored 182 combined points this tournament thus far, I’m sure they can find 8 points lying around to let you keep your money.


Duke vs. Oregon

Duke: +2.5 , -110
Oregon: -2.5 , -110

For the sake of honesty, I don’t like Duke. Yes, Coach Kay is a legend and they have all kinds of legacies in their hallowed halls. But at the end of the day, I find it pretty easy to root against them. That being said, there’s a 100% chance I’m taking the Dukies in this one. Yes, Oregon is a one seed, but they barely beat St. Joe’s in the second round while Duke has pretty easily beat both of their previous opponents. Also, Oregon has 160 points the last two games while Duke has 164. Again, different games and different teams, but I really don’t see the Ducks walking out of that arena dry eyes, as much as I hate to see it.


Friday, March 25th

Iowa State vs. Virginia

Iowa State: +4.5 , -110
Virginia: -4.5 , -110

This one is pretty cut and dry. Why? Well, selfishly, I chose Virginia to win my bracket, but that’s not to say I was just throwing darts at a board. As a one seed, Virginia has cleaned house thus far, scoring nearly double the points that Hampton scored in their first round game before easily beating Butler by 11. Iowa State, for their part, have beaten both of their opponents easily, but also haven’t really been playing Virginia’s caliber of competition thus far. Even with the four and half point cushion, I do not think that Iowa State will be able to topple Virginia.


Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame

Wisconsin: +7 , -110
Notre Dame: -7 , -110

A seven point spread on this game is BEE-OLD. Wisconsin has been the upset mastermind this tournament and Notre Dame is only ranked a single seed higher than them. Plus, Notre Dame barely squeaked out both of those victories. Without even a thought Wisconsin should be the move on this one.


Gonzaga vs. Syracuse

Gonzaga: -5 , -110
Syracuse: +5 , -110

This game is a bit more up in the air than the other ones. Mostly because of the unknowns. To begin with, Syracuse has done nothing but exceed expectations after the entire sports world raised absolute hell when they were selected to compete. After an underdog victory over Dayton, Cuse took down Middle Tennessee, the 15 seed who took down Michigan St. Also, Gonzaga upset Seton Hall pretty easily and upset third seeded Utah even easier. However, if that one has been exceeding more expectations, I’d say the Orange. For a team that supposedly never had any business being in the tournament, they sure have proven their eligibility. And, the kicker, I have a feeling this game is going to go down to the absolute wire, so having a 6 point cushion definitely won’t hurt your wallet.


Indiana vs. UNC

Indiana: +6.5 , -107
UNC: -6.5 , -107

I feel like the Hoosiers are an inescapable entity at this point in American culture. They have the Gene Hackman movie. They routinely make the tournament. Even the Pacers threw them some love and wore their jerseys this season. And here they are again, at the bottom of my list but the top of my other list. Specifically, my “Bets I Want to Make but Have No Clue Whether It’s a Good One or Not” list. While a one seed, UNC has not won either of their games by margins typical of a one seed. They only beat 16 seed Florida Gulf Coast by 16 and had a rough first half against Providence before ultimately besting them. On the other hand, Indiana decisively beat Chattanooga in the first round and toppled Kentucky in the second round. The safe bet here is obviously UNC, but if you’re feeling bold, the Hoosiers are a nice pick. Plus, with the Hoosiers, you have 7 points to play with, which goes along way when UNC inevitably backs off a tad if taking a commanding but shrinkable lead.

  • TJ KingCOED Writer