NCAA Tournament Survivor Guide For the Sweet 16 (Friday)

Mar 21, 2023 - 10:13 AM

In a year where a No. 15 seed (Princeton) and only two No. 1 and two No. 2 seeds made the Sweet 16, you should be commended if you are still alive in your survivor pools. But, as if getting to this point did not take much planning, now the real fun begins.

In the first round, one had 32 teams to choose from over the two days. There will be fewer than eight teams to choose from for the next two days, given that some of the teams have already been utilized. So now is when survivor pool contestants have to master the trade of picking teams to advance, but not teams that will go too far so that there are still available selections once we get to the Final Four and beyond.

Throughout the tournament, one has to make eight picks: two from the First Round (one for each day played), two from the Second Round (one for each day played), and one from the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and National Championship.

As we did in the Round of 32, we rank all four Friday games in order of most confidence to least confidence and provide a short narrative for each.

Here is a list of odds for all the favorites to win their Sweet 16 matchups on Friday (odds courtesy of BettingPros consensus).

Round 2 Betting Picks & Predictions

Thursday Sweet 16 Picks & Predictions

Stop tracking bets manually and get sync your picks for a seamless sport betting experience >>

2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

Best Picks in Order of Most-to-Least Confidence

Creighton (-500)

Even if you believe Princeton has the same Elite 8 run in them that No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s had a year ago, almost out of necessity, one still needs to use Creighton in survivor pools for value’s sake in the Sweet 16. Creighton poses more problems for Princeton than Arizona or Missouri did in the previous two rounds. The Bluejays are much more adaptable to playing at either slow or fast tempos, and their defensive philosophy of playing drop coverage and funneling everything to one of the best rim protectors in the country (Ryan Kalkbrenner) makes things difficult, as opponents have to knock down mid-range jumpers consistently to beat them. In addition, Creighton allows the ninth-lowest 3-point attempt rate in the country, which could stymie a Princeton offense that shot 3’s at the Ivy League’s second-highest frequency.

Houston (-310)

We are splitting hairs with making Houston more confident of a pick than Alabama in this round. Still, we are doing so also because Alabama’s path to a national championship is more manageable, and thus there will be more opportunities to use the Crimson Tide. Houston put a scare into its futures backers when trailing Auburn by ten at halftime but turned in one of the most dominant second-half performances of the tournament, outscoring the Tigers 50-23. Marcus Sasser did not look hampered by his groin injury (he scored 22 points in 31 minutes). And when Tramon Mark added a team-high 26 points, we were reminded of just how high Houston’s ceiling is, considering it made a run to the Elite 8 last year with both players injured.

Get access to expert NCAA Tournament picks now >>

Alabama (-320)

Want an idea of how dominant Alabama is? Per OptaSTATS on Twitter, Alabama’s 22-point win over Maryland in the Round of 32 was the largest in tournament history by a team that shot worse than 40% overall and under 30% on 3-point attempts. San Diego State is a veteran squad that ranks 21st in D-I experience and 39th in minutes continuity from last year (the Aztecs lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year). Still, it does not have the offensive firepower to keep up with the No. 1 overall seed for 40 minutes.

Texas (-190)

If you have used Creighton in survivor pools in either the opening round or the Round of 32, we would be open to using Texas in this round to save Houston or Alabama. None of Xavier’s first two opponents (Kennesaw State or Pittsburgh) exposed the Musketeers’ loss of leading rebounder Zach Freemantle. But Texas center Dylan Disu is playing his best basketball of the season (coming off a season-high 28 points against Penn State), and the Longhorns are one of three teams left in the tournament that rank in the top 15 in both KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency metrics.

Get the FREE BettingPros sports betting app and start making winning bets with expert advice and picks >>

FanDuel Sportsbook Bet $20, Get $200 March Madness Offer

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | Breaker | Castbox | Pocket Casts

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Choose a Sportsbook — or head to more advanced strategy — like Which Sports Are Most Profitable to Bet? — to learn more.

Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

The post NCAA Tournament Survivor Guide For the Sweet 16 (Friday) appeared first on BettingPros.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!