NCAA Tournament: March Madness Sweet 16 Props to Target

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March 14

Betting upsets during March Madness always draw the allure of bettors. Who doesn’t like betting on a good upset? The rush of a plus-money hit is unbeaten, so we’ll be looking to provide that with a little patience. There is value to be had on teams to advance past the first weekend to the Sweet 16, so here are some of our favorite plays to provide that sweet hit.Virginia (+136)

The Virginia Cavaliers have a favorable first-round matchup in the East region against a 13-seeded Furman team that really isn’t anything special. Virginia’s defense will be the best opponent Furman has had all year, and if Virginia’s offense stalls, as we’ve seen at times, they could be in trouble. However, I’m not banking on it. I expect them to see San Diego State in the second round, which would be a low-scoring, grind-out game. Armaan Franklin has emerged for the Cavaliers offensively and should lift his squad over San Diego State. I picture them bailing out in the second weekend, but that’s enough to cash their Sweet 16 bid at plus money.

Creighton (+156)

The Blue Jays have been resilient all year. Starting the season with immense expectations and overcoming adversity, Creighton is in a great position. I don’t see them having difficulties in their opening game against NC State, who I don’t think deserves to have even made the tournament, with an expected clash with Baylor the following weekend. Baylor’s backcourt is special and will cause fits for Creighton defensively, but the length that the Blue Jays offer will set the pace and solidify the glass. I like their chances of taking down Baylor and advancing to the Sweet 16.

Miami (+194)

Miami definitely has a respectable first-round opponent in a Drake team that won the Missouri Valley Conference and won’t be a pushover. The books suggest that Drake could win this game as only +2.5 underdogs in a 5-12 matchup, but I don’t see it. Miami is extremely well coached, gets excellent guard play led by Isaiah Wong, and is consistent offensively. They are battle-tested, and their lack of length won’t outweigh the talent gap they possess over Drake. In round two, they’ll go up against a respectable Indiana team that’s shown inconsistencies this season. I see the Hurricanes moving on to the second weekend for a faceoff with Houston.

Michigan State (+270)

The Spartans are coming in angry after a frustrating loss to the then-surging Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament. USC is a nice team, but I value Tom Izzo’s March experience immensely and see Michigan State facing an excellent Marquette team in the Round of 32. Marquette is great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like this spot for them. The Golden Eagles are coming in on their high horse, winning out in the Big East tournament to fall to Michigan State. I love watching Michigan State’s efficient offense, and I picture this hypothetical Marquette-Michigan State being a nail-biter, enough to provide value to this play.

Oral Roberts (+920)

Before you call me crazy, hear me out. Duke is the hottest team in the country, I know. Every March Madness analyst is singing their praises, and they’ve become a popular Final Four tout. They’re playing great basketball and deserve the hype, but we saw this exact scenario last year. The 2022 Iowa Hawkeyes became the same trendy Final Four pick and bailed out in the opening round to 12-seeded Richmond. Oral Roberts is terrific, returning the main contributors that upset Ohio State as a 15-seed in 2021. They come in this year even better, going undefeated in conference play this year which is difficult to do regardless of the strength of the conference. Top scorer Max Abmas has been there before and can light it up with the best of them. I see them taking down the Blue Devils, who will get caught up in the hype like Iowa last year. I don’t like Tennessee in the second round, who I think is falling apart, losing seven of their previous 12 games. Oral Roberts is heading to the second weekend.

Odds Courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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