Expert March Madness Sweet 16 Predictions

Posted by Eric Williams on Monday,March 21, 2016 2:58, EST in

If you’re excited about the upcoming round of Sweet 16 matchups and you’re looking for some crystal ball predictions that are sure to please, then you’re in for a big-time treat! Thanks to the bettor-friendly management at MyBookie.ag Sportsbook, you’re about to get a handful of potentially bankroll-boosting Sweet 16 picks that will all have a great chance of helping you cash in early and often as the 2016 NCAA Tournament steamrolls toward a fast and furious finish. Okay, with that said, let’s get started.

Expert March Madness Sweet 16 Predictions

No. 3 Miami vs. No. 2 Villanova

When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, March 24, 2016
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Line: Villanova -4.5
Total: Over/Under: 142.5

 

Analysis: Villanova (31-5 SU, 17-17 ATS) rolled all over No. 7 Iowa 87-68 in second round while Miami (27-7 SU, 19-13 ATS) beat No. 11 Wichita State 65-57 in second round. Both teams have covered the spread in each of their two tourney games.

 

Villanova may have the higher seeding in this matchup, but Miami will present plenty of challenges with an athletic backcourt that features one of the best floor leaders in the nation in Angel Rodriguez and a heady, if underrated, shooting guard in Sheldon McClellan. While Villanova has struggled this season against teams with good length and athleticism, they also have an outstanding backcourt with guards Josh Hart and Ryan Arcidiacono. For me, the play of both teams’ front court players will be the key to deciding the outcome of this intriguing matchup.

 

Villanova needs a great game from forward Daniel Ochefu and I can see that happening as Miami, despite all its length, is a below average rebounding program. If Ochefu, Kris Jenkins and Jalen Brunson can get the better of Miami forward Kamari Murphy and center Tonye Jekiri (which I believe they will) they’ll get the win

Villanova is the better statistical team on both sides of the ball and they play fast and loose while Miami plays it slow and steady. The Hurricanes are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games while Villanova has gone 34-16-2 ATS in their last 52 games against non-conference opponents.

The Pick: Villanova 76 Miami 70

 

No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 1 Kansas

When: 9:40 PM ET, Thursday, March 24, 2016
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
NCAA Betting Spread: Kansas -6½
Total: 145. O/u -110

Analysis: I absolutely love high-flying Maryland (27-8 SU, 16-17 ATS) and I wrote several times this season that the Terps can beat any team in the country on any given day. Unfortunately, the Terrapins are taking on a Kansas (32-4 SU, 23-11 ATS) team that is completely and utterly focused on the task at hand right now, despite a glaring lack of a big-time leader.

 

The Terps got a nice 73-60 win over Hawaii this past weekend, but Kansas is certainly not the same caliber of ballclub as Hawaii and will give the Terps all they can handle and then some. Maryland has a fine backcourt with Melo Trimble (14.8 ppg) and Rasheed Sulaimon (11.1 ppg) and Trimble is undeniably one of the game’s best clutch performers. The Terrapins are also solid up front with all three starting frontcourt players averaging at least 11.7 points per game at that could be where the difference in this contest comes.

 

Kansas forward Perry Ellis averages a team-high 16.9 points per game, but no other frontcourt player averages more than 5.5 points per contest. I like Kansas guards Wayne Selden, Frank Mason Jr. and Devonte’ Graham, but if Kansas gets beat on the boards, they’ll be on the wrong end of a huge upset.

 

Maryland is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 neutral site games while Kansas has gone 5-14 ATS in their L/19 games against teams from the Big Ten. Call me crazy, but something tells me the Terps cover – by getting the outright upset!

The Pick: Maryland 77 Kansas 76

 

No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 1 North Carolina

When: 9:57 PM ET, Friday, March 25, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Line: North Carolina -5.5
Total: Over/Under: 158.5

Analysis: After knocking off red-hot, talent-laden Kentucky 73-67 on Saturday, the impressive and underrated Indiana Hoosiers (27-5 SU, 19-16 ATS) will look to do likewise against another talent-laden ballclub when they face No. 1 seeded North Carolina (30-6 SU, 17-18 ATS) in this contest.

 

While Carolina will be on guard after watching Indiana dispatch Kentucky, I think it’s quite possible that the Hoosiers could very well win outright again. The Hoosiers have four double-digit scorers, including team leader Yogi Ferrell (17.1 ppg) and they’ve gotten some stupendous play from center Thomas Bryant through two games (16.0 ppg).

 

North Carolina has an elite player in forward Brice Johnson (16.8 ppg) and three more players that all average at least 12.0 points per game, but the Tar Heels are also pretty young and inexperienced and it often shows at the worst time possible. Indiana has the statistical edge in scoring, points allowed, field goal and three-point shooting and steals, but the Tar Heels are the better team on the glass.

 

I also love Indiana head coach Tom Crean and believe he can out-coach Roy Williams just like he did in outdoing Kentucky’s John Calipari this past weekend. The Hoosiers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.

 

North Carolina is 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an SU win and 5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games, but the Tar Heels are also just 2-6 ATS in their last eight NCAA Tournament games and 0-4 against Indiana in the last four meetings.

The Pick: Indiana 82 North Carolina 79