Top NCAA seeds both favored big
Top seeds UConn and Pitt made it through Thursday and Louisville and UNC are both favored big to do the same Friday. But are they good bets on your Sweet 16 odds menu?
Midwest Region gambling odds
No. 12 Arizona Wildcats (21-13) vs. No. 1 Louisville Cardinals -9 (30-5) O/U 139.5 7:07 PM ET
Sportsbook.ag has the Cardinals as 9-point favorites with a total of 139.5 in this game and many believe this may be a horrible rout.
The Wildcats are the lowest seed left in the Big Dance and they come into this game after beating Cleveland State 71-57 in the second round, while the Cardinals beat Siena 79-72 to get into the Sweet 16.
The Cardinals are not a high-scoring team, as their leading scorer is Earl Clark (13.9 ppg), but they are great on the defensive end and Clark and F Terrence Williams are both averaging over 8 rpg.
The Wildcats have a legit frontcourt with forwards Jordan Hill (18.4 ppg 11 rpg) and Chase Budinger (17.9 ppg 6.3 rpg). Both teams apply a ton of pressure and the team that can break down that pressure will come out on top tonight.
The Cardinals are a fast and athletic team and they will force the Wildcats into many turnovers tonight. The Cardinals will also control the boards, as that will be key to them winning this game and moving onto the Elite 8.
We see the Cards pulling away early and extending the lead throughout - no back-door cover here.
No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks (27-7) vs. No. 2 Michigan State Spartans -1.5 (28-6) O/U 138.5 9:37 PM ET
In terms of Sweet 16 odds, online sportsbook Bovada has the Spartans as 1.5-point favorites in this game with a total of 138.5.
The defending champion Jayhawks come into this game after crushing Dayton 60-43 in the second round, while the Spartans beat USC 74-69 in their second round game.
Defense, defense, defense, as that is what the Spartans are all about. Their leading scorer is G Kalin Lucas (14.6 ppg), but the key player for them in this game may be C Goran Suton (9.4 ppg 8 rpg). Suton has to play good interior defense and control the glass.
The Jayhawks are led by G Sherron Collins (18.9 ppg), but, much like MSU, the key will be how their C plays in Cole Aldrich (14.8 ppg 11 rpg).
For KU to win this game Aldrich will have to win the center match up and the Jayhawks will have to find a way to score on the stingy Spartans’ defense.
Look for Aldrich to have a good game, which will be the difference, as the Jayhawks will win tonight in a minor upset and move onto the Elite 8.
South Region wagering lines
No. 3 Syracuse Orangemen (28-9) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners -1 (29-5) O/U 152 7:27 PM ET
This looks like the tightest match Friday with the oddsmakers at Bookmaker putting the Sooners as 1-point favorites in this game with a total of 152. Bovada is new to OddsShark.com, but not new to the online sportsbook scene as they have been one of the industry leaders since the mid-1990s.
The Orangemen come into this game after beating Arizona State 78-67 in the second round, while the Sooners come into the Sweet 16 after beating Michigan 73-63.
The Sooners are led by player of the year candidate F Blake Griffin (22.5 ppg 14.4 rpg) and G Willie Warren (14.7 ppg). The Sooners have a great inside out game, as if teams key on Griffin the Sooners’ guards can light it up from downtown.
The Orangemen are a high scoring team and every one of their starters averages over 10 ppg. Both F Paul Harris (12.2 ppg 8.1 rpg) and F/C Arinze Onuaku (10.4 ppg 7.3 rpg) have to hit the glass hard tonight and not let Griffin, who is the best offensive rebounder in college hoops, win the battle of the boards.
The Orangemen also have to play good perimeter defense, as Sooners’ G’s Willie Warren, Tony Crocker, Austin Johnson all average at least 34% from 3-point range.
Griffin will be too much for the Orangemen to handle tonight, as the Sooners will win this game and cover the spread.
No. 4 Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-5) vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels -8.5 (30-4) O/U 162 9:57 PM ET
The Tar Heels opened as big 8.5-point favorites in this game at SportsBetting.ag with a total of 162.
The Bulldogs come into this South region semifinal game after beating Western Kentucky 83-81, while the Tar Heels had an easier time beating LSU 84-70 in the second round.
The Tar Heels have a great all around game, as their five starters are all averaging at least 10 ppg led by F Tyler Hansbrough (21.2 ppg 8.1 rpg).
The Bulldogs also have a good inside outside game with F Josh Heytvelt (14.9 ppg 6.7 rpg) and Matt Bouldin (13.8 ppg). The Bulldogs will have to play great defense against the fast paced offense of the Tar Heels, who are averaging over 90 ppg.
The Tar Heels cannot let the Bulldogs drain the long ball tonight, as Gonzaga is shooting 39% as a team from beyond the 3-point line.
Look for the Tar Heels to play good perimeter defense tonight and their offense to be way too much for the Bulldogs to handle. With a win tonight the Tar Heels will be the all time leader in NCAA Tournament wins, as they will reach that mark easily winning this game and covering the spread.
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