Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle looks at some value bets for the Sweet Sixteen.
Four days of typical March Madness has seen the outright market, where you can bet on who’ll win the NCAA Tournament itself, separate into haves and have-nots. A look at Sports Interaction’s odds shows us Kansas a clear favorite at +250 as it’s the only #1 on that side of the bracket, +325/+350 on Ohio State and Duke, and then it’s +1600 the field. So if you can a pick for a winner other than those three #1 seeds, you’re in for a big payout when they cut down the nets.
Florida as a #2 seed is the tempting option in the Southeast, but was there ever as ... anonymous a #2 seed as Florida this year? Not the Gators’ fault of course, but it’s hard to believe in them.
Wisconsin is next favorite but every Tournament someone brings the magic and this year it looks like Butler. Butler as a +500 longshot to win the Southeast and return to the Final Four with Sports Interaction is the pick.
For the Tournament outright itself, the real tempters are those big prices on UConn or North Carolina to win the tournament like a runner coming off the shoulder as he enters the final straight while running the mile. That long run in the Big East should have taken it out of the Huskies’ legs but there’s no evidence that it’s had any effect other than positive, and the Huskies have one of the stars of the NCAA in Kemba Walker. Connecticut to win March Madness 2011 at +1600 with Sports Interaction is the pick.
Looking at the Sweet Sixteen matchups themselves, -8.5 points seems a big lay on a Duke team that only just escaped Michigan by the skin of their teeth. Duke is the clear favorite to progress but -8.5 is a hammering. Arizona +8.5 against Duke with Sports Interaction is the pick.
We spoke about Florida earlier as the most anonymous team. The Gators face the team with the biggest – and best – name in basketball in the Sweet Sixteen, Jimmer Fredette. Fredette’s heroics have made people forget about Brandon Davies’ suspension, but it’s going to catch up with BYU sometime. My dollar says it’ll be in New Orleans against the Gators. Florida -3 against BYU with Sports Interaction is the pick.
Finally, while Connecticut is our value pick as a betting proposition, Ohio State does look the dominant team at the Dance. The Buckeyes to cover -6 against Kentucky with Sports Interaction is the final pick of the week.