5 Sweet Sixteen Bets to Make in 2018 March Madness

sweet-16-bets2018 March Madness has been great for fans of the unpredictable. This year’s tournament has seen:

  • Two No. 1 seeds fail to make the Sweet 16 for the first time in 14 years
  • The South Region’s top four seeds lose already.
  • A No. 16 seed beating a top seed the first time ever.

It’s been a crazy March for sure. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still navigate the betting market with accuracy. In fact, I see 5 enticing bets in this weekend’s Sweet 16.

I’m going to discuss 5 schools that have a great chance to cover. Also, keep in mind that you can bet on these teams as well as the entire Sweet 16 at GTBets.eu.

1. No. 5 Kentucky Covers -5.5 Against No. 9 Kansas State (Thurs, 9:37 p.m., CBS)

gilgeous-alexanderKentucky is the top seed left in the South Region after the top four seeds were upset. Many were expecting the Wildcats have to play No. 4 Arizona and Deandre Ayton, who’s considered the top NBA prospect heading into the 2018 Draft. But Buffalo dominated Arizona and, in turn, had the same done to them against Kentucky.

John Calipari’s squad now faces Kansas State, which has been a solid team this season. The Wildcats will get a boost when Dean Wade returns to the lineup. However, I’ll don’t see this making enough of a difference.

K-State is quite possibly the most-predictable tournament team, because they beat teams they’re supposed to, and lose to superior opponents. Case in point: they were 10-1 against Big 12 opponents that were lower in the standings, and 0-7 against higher teams.

Add in the fact that Kentucky is playing their best basketball this season, and I don’t see this contest being particularly close. The Wildcats have won 9 out of their last 10, and they shouldn’t have any trouble continuing this impressive streak.

Score Prediction: Kentucky 82, Kansas State 68

2. No. 3 Texas Tech Covers +2 Against No. 2 Purdue (Friday, 9:57 p.m., TBS)

purdue-sweet-16-oddsPurdue had the best inside-outside game in college basketball. But they took a major hit when Isaac Haas got injured. The 7-footer was key to drawing defenders into the paint so that Purdue could get open shots on the perimeter.

The Boilermakers will attempt to use the same formula with backup center Matt Haarms, who had a good game against Butler. Purdue was able to make 11 of their 24 shots from behind the arc in the second round. And they’re going to need the same hot shooting to beat Texas Tech.

Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards, Ryan Cline, Dakota Mathias, and P.J. Thompson have all shot at least 100 three-pointers and made over 40% of their attempts. Even without Haas, this team will be tough to beat.

But the Red Raiders can also fill up the nets. This is especially the case now that senior point guard Keenan Evans is back on the court and healthy.

Evans has averaged 22.5 points in the first two rounds. While Purdue plays solid defense, Evans will likely once again score over 20 points.

Perhaps more importantly, Tech Tech has a long, mobile defense that can get out on shooters. Without Haas down low, this team will be able to roam around the perimeter even more and force Purdue off the three-point line.

This game is going to be close. But Texas Tech will be on the right side of their +2 spread.

Score Prediction: Texas Tech 73, Purdue 72

3. No. 2 Duke Covers -11.5 Against No. 11 Syracuse (Friday, 9:37 p.m., CBS)

duke-sweet-16-oddsThe Midwest Region has almost gone by script so far. But Syracuse is the one surprise in this region.

The Orange were the last team taken by the selection committee. Starting in a play-in game against Arizona State, Syracuse didn’t seem to have a chance of going very far. But they’ve now rattled off three wins to reach the Sweet 16.

Syracuse is a bad offensive team that leans heavily on Tyus Battle to score. But their strength is a zone defense that forces opponents to shoot just 37% from the field.

It’s no secret that Jim Boeheim’s club will look to slow this game down and make it an ugly affair, much like they did in an upset victory over Michigan State.

Duke has by far the more-talented team here. They feature a starting lineup full of first-round NBA picks, including Marvin Bagley, Grayson Allen, Gary Trent Jr, Wendell Carter, and Trevon Duval.

The Blue Devils can easily turn this game into a blowout if they get out in transition. The same is true if they can speed the contest up.

But what if Syracuse manages to slow this game down as planned? Odds are that Duke will be better at this too.

Duke already beat Syracuse in the same style of game in late February, winning 60-44. The key to this victory was the talented Blue Devils’ talented shutting down Syracuse’s already inept offense. Expect a repeat of the same on Friday.

Score Prediction: Duke 66, Syracuse 41

4. No. 4 Gonzaga Covers -5.5 Against No. 9 Florida State (Thurs, 10:07 p.m., TBS)

josh-perkins-gonzagaThe Zags have exceeded expectations this year, coming off the heels of a national title appearance and losing four of their top eight players. The Bulldogs feature strong guard play with Josh Perkins and Silas Melson. They also like to get up and down the court quickly.

This should make for an interesting matchup, because Florida State also plays at a fast pace. The Seminoles have well-distributed scoring, with their top scorer averaging 12.9 PPG.

Florida State scored an impressive victory against No. 1 seed Xavier. They were able to hold Muskateers stars Trevon Bluiett and Quentin Goodin to a combined 14 points on 31% shooting.

As good as the last victory was, though, Florida State just doesn’t have enough prime-time tournament experience to get past Gonzaga. Furthermore, they’re a middle-of-the-pack tournament team that’s run its course.

Score Predcition: Gonzaga 82, Florida State 73

5. No. 1 Villanova Covers -5 Against No. 5 West Virginia (Friday, 7:37 p.m., TBS)

milal-bridges-villanovaVillanova and West Virginia are widely viewed as one of the most-competitive games in the Sweet 16.

The Mountaineers feature a tough defense that can suffocate opposing teams. They’re great at forcing turnovers, ranking 11th in the nation in this category. And Bob Huggins’ team causes real fits for opponents with their full court press.

One interesting matchup in this contest will be between West Virginia’s Jevon Carter and Villanova’s Jalen Brunson. But while the Mountaineers may match up well here, they’ll have a real struggle to also contain Mikal Bridges. Wesley Harris or Esa Ahamd will take turns trying to handle the future NBA lottery pick.

If they’re not up to the task, then the Wildcats could walk away with this one. And I don’t see Jay Wright’s team having much trouble breaking West Virginia’s press.

Score Prediction: Villanova 80, West Virginia 72

2018 March Madness Odds – 7 First Round Bets You should Make

The first rule in sports betting is that there’s no such thing as a guarantee. This is especially the case with March Madness, where teams from all over college basketball are matched up against each other.

But I see a few 2018 March Madness bets that are definitely worth making. Keep reading as I cover 7 first-round wagers you should consider. And don’t forget to check out the odds of all the games right here at GTBets.

1. No. 10 Oklahoma (+2) Covers against No. 7 Rhode Island (Thursday, 12:15pm on CBS)

The Sooners aren’t exactly coming into the 2018 NCAA Tournament with a head of steam. The’ve lost 11 of their final 15 games, dropping them to a double-digit seed.

But make no mistake about it, this bubble team is still rather dangerous. Furthermore, Trae Young will be the best player on the court for either team. Combine this with how Rhode Island hasn’t played well since their 16-game winning streak earlier in the year, and I see Oklahoma winning by at least 3.

2. No. 3 Tennessee (-12) Covers against No. 14 Wright State (Thursday, 12:40pm on truTV)

It’s never easy to cover 12 points in a March Madness contest, especially when it’s not a No. 1 vs. 16 matchup. But I still like the 3-seeded Vols to blow out Wright State.

When Tennessee wins, they win big. 10 of their 25 victories were by 12 points or more. These include wins against teams that were better than the Raiders.

3. No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) Covers against No. 12 Davidson (Thursday, 7:10pm on CBS)

gilgeous-alexanderBetting on the No. 12 seed is always a popular move. This is especially the case when dealing with a familiar high seed like Davidson. But the Wildcats also get priced higher than they deserve due to their famed 2008 Elite Eight run with Steph Curry.

John Calipari hasn’t lost a first-round game since taking over as the Kentucky coach in 2009. He’s not going to lose this one either, and I look for the victory to be by double digits.

4. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (+1.5) Covers against No. 6 Miami (Thursday, 3:10pm on truTV)

loyola-miami-oddsLoyola-Chicago is one of the hottest teams in 2018 March Madness, because they’ve won 10 straight games. They’ll be facing a Miami team that’s missing their top all-around player in Bruce Brown.

I’m a bit worried that sportsbooks have already priced in these factors, meaning Loyola isn’t being given a true underdog spread. But I’m still confidently putting money on the Ramblers.

5. No. 4 Arizona (-8.5) Covers against No. 13 Buffalo (Thursday, 9:40pm on CBS)

deandre-ayton-arizonaBuffalo has never seen the likes of DeAndre Ayton, a 7’1″ freshman who can do virtually anything on the court. The future top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft will decimate the Bulls early and often.

The Wildcats also have a motivational factor going for them, after ESPN reported that the FBI is investigating head coach Sean Miller. He denied all charges, and his team has used when they see as a major slight to fuel five straight wins.

6. No. 16 Penn (+13.5) Covers against No. 1 Kansas (Thursday, 2pm on TBS)

Kansas is looking to avenge the past two years, when they had title-worthy squads that came up short of the Final Four. But their first opponent will be trickier than most think.

Penn trailed Harvard in the Ivy League Championship by a score of 30-17. They went on a 28-2 run afterward to grab a commanding lead. This come-from-behind victory was all due to the Quakers’ ability to shoot the lights out.

Kansas is certainly different than playing Harvard. But I like Penn’s chances of keeping this one under 13 points due to their shooting touch.

7. No. 10 Butler (-1.5) Covers against No. 7 Arkansas (Friday, 3:10pm on truTV)

kelan-martin-butlerThe Bulldogs have been to the Big Dance six times since 2010. And not once have they failed to get at least one victory in their tournament appearances.

Despite the thin spread here, Butler would likely have to lose to avoid covering. That said, I recommend wagering on the Bulldogs notching another tournament win and extending their streak.

5 March Madness 2018 Upsets to Look for

new-mexico-state-clemson-oddsThe most-exciting thing about March Madness is the big upsets. Every year a No. 15, 14, 13, and/or 12 seed knocks off a giant in the first round. And if you can pick these upsets, then you’re going to win some big bets.

If you’re looking for some quality 2018 March Madness upset bids, then keep the following five games in mind. Also note that you can find all of the odds on these games and other 2018 March Madness contests at GTBets.eu.

1. No. 12 New Mexico State over No. 5 Clemson

  • New Mexico State & Clemson Odds
  • Clemson -4.5 (-110)
  • Clemson moneyline -215
  • New Mexico State moneyline +185
  • Over/under 133 (-110)

The Tigers played a brutal ACC schedule. And while this prepared them well for the tournament, it also resulted in the loss of second-leading scorer Donte Grantham in late January.

New Mexico State, meanwhile, has all of their main contributors healthy. Perhaps more importantly is that they also notched impressive wins over Illinois, Davidson, and Miami.

Zach Lofton is a very good scorer who could carry his team to victory over Clemson. The Wildcats also feature Jemerrio Jones, the nation’s top defensive rebounder per possession (37.1%).

Last year, many tabbed Middle Tennessee to beat Minnesota in a No. 5 vs. 12 matchup. And that came to fruition. Don’t be surprised if this year’s likely upset pick also happens.

2. No. 11 Loyola over No. 6 Miami

  • Miami & Loyola Chicago Odds
  • Miami -1.5 (-110)
  • Miami moneyline -125
  • Loyola moneyline +105
  • Over/under 132.5 (-110)

loyola-miami-oddsThis is another game where the favorite comes in with a major injury. Miami has been struggling ever since losing Bruce Brown, who’s their best to all-around player with 11.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 4.0 assists. Brown suffered a left foot injury in late January, and the team has been 7-4 without him on the floor.

Perhaps the Hurricanes’ talent would still shine through against a normal No. 11 seed. But Loyola is anything but this.

Currently on a 10-game winning streak, they’re really good at sharing the ball. Case in point, the Ramblers have five players who are averaging double figures.

One more good thing that Loyola does well is shoot, hitting 40% from three-point range as a team. If they can keep the shooting touch against Miami, then it’s very possible that the Ramblers will be going to the second round.

3. No. 13 Charleston over No. 4 Auburn

  • Auburn & Charleston Odds
  • Auburn -9.5 (-110)
  • Auburn moneyline -500
  • Charleston moneyline +400
  • Over/under 148 (-110)

The Midwest Regional has a high pedigree, with Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State all in this stacked bracket section. The rest of the region leaves something to be desired, though, including Auburn.

Obviously the Tigers did something right to earn a No. 4 seed. And they’re a large favorite on the betting lines right now. But I have my doubts that they’re the strongest fourth seed in the tournament.

They’re really good at defending the rim, thanks to Anfernee McLemore (2.7 blocks). However, they’ve also struggled to mesh as a team down the stretch, losing four of their last six games.

In comes Charleston, which plays a frustratingly slow pace that directly contrasts Bruce Pearl’s style. Given how good the Cougars are at limiting game possessions, Auburn won’t have much room for error here.

4. No. 10 Providence over No. 7 Texas A&M

  • Providence and Texas A&M Odds
  • Texas A&M -3 (-110)
  • Texas A&M moneyline -155
  • Providence moneyline +113
  • Over/under 138 (-110)

Providence is getting hot at the right time, making it to the Big East Final, where they lost to the potential championship team in Villanova. Nobody will fault them for the Villanova loss, and this was an excellent final opponent to prepare them for the rigors of March Madness.

The SEC seems overrated, which doesn’t give me much confidence in No. 7 Texas A&M. I feel like these two teams are on more equal footing than the seeding suggests.

The Aggies are only 4-7 on the road and 3-2 when playing on neutral courts. This doesn’t bode very well for an upcoming road game in the tournament.

A&M built their reputation through tough defense. But based on their road record, the Aggies’ defensive abilities seem to take a downturn away from the home crowd.

5. No. 10 Butler over No. 7 Arkansas

  • Arkansas & Butler Odds
  • Butler -1.5 (-110)
  • Butler moneyline -123
  • Arkansas moneyline +103
  • Over/under 133 (-110)

kelan-martin-butlerHere’s another SEC school that I’m not so sure about. Arkansas is good at applying pressure and forcing turnovers. But I can’t see them being able to rattle this Butler team.

The Bulldogs have good guard play and strong post players, led by Kelan Martin (20.8 PPG). Guard play will come in handy, because Butler ranks 28th in turnover percentage and should be able to beat the Razorbacks’ pressure.

But can we really call this an upset if Butler wins? After all, GTBets and other sportsbooks have shifted the line in their favor after heavy betting action on the Bulldogs.