Forget the players’ names and even the schools they represent. Likewise, throw out the names, backgrounds and history of their respective head coaches. None of that is needed as I break down the handful of teams that are currently offering NCAAB betting buffs the best value as the 2015 NCAA Tournament moves into closer toward the start of the Sweet 16.
In a sports world that has gone all ‘analytics’ crazy, I believe the following statistical break-down on the best value teams remaining in the field will put you on the path to making a series of potentially winning wagers over the remainder of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Okay, with tip-off time for the first Sweet 16 matchup just days away, let’s get started.
2015 March Madness Sweet 16 NCAA Hoops Betting Value Picks
Thursday, March 26
No. 7 Wichita State vs. No. 3 Notre Dame PK
Norte Dame may be favored to beat the battle-tested Wichita State Shockers in their Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday night, but college hoops gamblers should also know that the Fighting Irish have gone 0-2 ATS in their two tourney games so far. First, the Irish failed to cover their NCAA Tournament Odds as a 12-point favorite against Northeastern in their narrow 69-65 opening round win before failing to cover the spread as a 4.5-point favorite against Butler in their narrow 67-64 win on Sunday.
However, let it also be known that the Irish did manage to strike pay dirt in each of their five games prior to the start of the tournament. Wichita State snapped a three-game ATS skid by covering the spread as slight 1-point favorites against Kansas on Sunday.
No. 4 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Wisconsin -5.5
North Carolina snapped a modest two-game ATS skid by overpowering Arkansas 87-78 in their Round of 32 showdown to cover the spread as a 5-point NCAAB betting favorite. The Tar Heels also cashed in against recently dispatched No. 2 Virginia, No. 4 Louisville and Boston College in the ACC conference tournament just prior to making their tourney debut against Harvard. College hoops gamblers should know that the Heels are also just 4-6 SU and ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog of 6-points or less.
No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 1 Kentucky -13
West Virginia may be 14-point underdogs against mighty No. 1 Kentucky, but the Mountaineers have also compiled an encouraging 4-1 ATS mark in their last five games heading into this affair. West Virginia has covered the spread in each of its two NCAA Tournament games so far, cashing in as a 4.5-point favorite against Buffalo in their opener before ‘upsetting’ Maryland 69-59 to cash in as a 1.5-point favorite the last time out.
The Kentucky Wildcats, on the other hand, have failed to cover the spread in each of their two March Madness affairs so far and never really stood a chance of cashing in as 16.5-point favorites against Cincinnati the last time out just as I expected. Kentucky is 1-2-1 ATS over their last four games. Now comes the interesting part. If you don’t know….the West Virginia Mountaineers are 0-10 SU and just 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog of eight points or more.
No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 2 Arizona -11
‘Unheralded’ Xavier may be going into their Sweet 16 affair against No. 2 Arizona as a double-digit underdog, but the Musketeers are also 2-0 ATS in their pair of NCAA Tournament matchups so far and a bankroll-boosting 4-1 ATS over their last five games overall. The bad news for Musketeers betting backers is the fact that Xavier is 0-6 SU and just 2-4 ATS in their last half-dozen games as an underdog of eight points or more and face similar odds against Arizona.
Friday, March 27
No. 11 UCLA vs. No.2 Gonzaga -9
While many college basketball pundits ripped the NCAA Tournament selection committee for putting the UCLA Bruins into this year’s March Madness mash-up, the fact of the matter is that the Bruins are the only team in the Sweet 16 to have gone 4-0 ATS over their last four games. With Steve Alford’s ballclub going 8-2 ATS over their last 10 games overall, I say the Bruins could be the best bet on the board right now.
Gonzaga cashed in as a 6-point favorite in their convincing 87-68 beat-down of Iowa this past weekend after failing to cover the spread as huge, 17-point favorites against North Dakota State in their NCAA Tournament opener. The Bulldogs are 3-1 ATS over their last four games – even if most college hoops fans have their eyes on the ‘bigger name’ hoops programs right now.
No. 8 NC State vs. No. 4 Louisville -2.5
North Carolina State covered the spread as a huge, 10-point underdog in their stunning 71-68 upset win over No. 1 Villanova in their Round of 32 matchup on Sunday to snap a modest two-game ATS skid and improve to 3-2 ATS over their last five. The Wolfpack are also 7-3 ATS over their last 10 games and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog of 4 points or less. With Louisville posting a polar-opposite 3-7 ATS mark over the same span, I wouldn’t put anything past NC State at this juncture.
No. 5 Utah vs. No. 1 Duke -5
Duke has gone 2-0 ATS in their two tourney games and an impressive 4-1 ATS over their last five games overall. The Blue Devils cashed in as a whopping 22.5-point NCAAB betting favorite in their opener against Robert Morris before man-handling San Diego State 68-49 as a 9-point favorite in the Round of 32.
While Utah has gone 2-0 ATS in their two tournament affairs so far, the Utes are also just 5-5 ATS over their last 10 games and that just doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence – until I look at Duke’s dismal 2-7-1 ATS mark in their last 10 games as a favorite of six points or less that is.
No. 7 Michigan State -2.5 vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
You know, by now, you’d think that even the oddsmakers would have figured out that it doesn’t matter where the Spartans are seeded entering the NCAA Tournament. Tom Izzo’s ballclub is a virtual lock to reach the Sweet 16.
The Spartans have covered the spread in both of their NAA Tournament games so far while cashing in three times in their last five games overall. Michigan State covered the spread as a 6-point favorite against Georgia in their opener before ‘upsetting’ Virginia as a 4.5-point underdog (as I predicted) on Sunday. By the way, the Oklahoma Sooners have put together a pitiful 2-8 ATS mark over their last 10 games, making them a virtual lock to fall to the Spartans in my estimation.
So there you have it, the Sweet 16 teams that are offering a ton of value – and those that are either struggling to cover the spread or finding it extremely difficult to do so. Now…why don’t you take this March Madness ATS ‘analytics’ information all the way to the bank?