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Watch These Betting Trends in the Sweet 16

Scott Morris | March 26, 2024
NCAA basketball tournament sweet 16 trends betting

The first weekend of the 2024 NCAA tournament offered many surprises. March Madness is always full of, well, madness and 2024’s first two rounds didn’t disappoint. One of the biggest surprises is something that has only happened five times since the NCAA expanded the tournament in 1985. All four No. 1 and No. 2 seeds advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The last time it happened was in 2019.

There are a number of March Madness betting trends to take into account heading into the Sweet Sixteen this coming weekend. Keep these in mind as you plan your NCAA tournament wagers.


Love Those Top 4 Favorites

The top four seeds in the first weekend of the tournament went a combined 26-4 straight up. One of the biggest losses by a top four seed was No. 3 Kentucky getting stunned by Oakland, 80-76 in Round 1. The other big one was Yale shocking No. 4 Auburn in the East Regional, 78-76.

No. 4 Kansas lost to No. 5 Gonzaga in the Round of 32, but the Bulldogs were actually favored to beat the Jayhawks, who played without leading scorer Kevin McCullar Jr. In their 30 combined games, the top four seeds went 21-9 ATS.

There are No. 1-No. 4 matchups in both the South Region (Houston-Duke) and the West Region (North Carolina-Alabama) in this weekend’s Sweet Sixteen games. Interestingly, Alabama is 1-7 as an underdog this season and UNC is 8-1 SU in its last nine as a favorite. Both Houston and Duke have seen the Under cash in seven of their last 10 games.


Double Digit Favorites

Bettors see several double-digit favorites, especially in Round 1 games where a mid-major faces an outstanding Power conference team. There were 17 such games over the first two rounds of this year’s NCAA tournament. Double digit favorites ended up 14-3 ATS and 15-2 SU. A $100 bettor who just blindly bet on all of the favorites in the Round of 32 would be up nearly $1000.

Purdue, which faces Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Friday, faced double digit spreads in each of its first two games. The Boilermakers were 27-point favorites against Grambling State and won by 28. Purdue was an 11.5-point favorite in its second game against Utah State at SBA Odds and wound up beating the Aggies by 39.

It’s been a great tournament for public bettors who typically back favorites in general. Betting favorites are 30-22 ATS so far in the tournament. Will that trend continue? UConn, last year’s NCAA champion, is the only double digit seed in the Sweet 16. The Huskies are an 11-point favorite over San Diego State.


Sweet 16 Trends

Sweet 16 trends betting - what to bet March 27, 2024Last weekend was the best performance by public bettors in the opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Public backed favorites went 38-13 ATS over the first four days of March Madness. That’s the best the public has ever done in the NCAA tournament in history.

As we head into the Sweet 16 this coming weekend, keep an eye on a few of these trends. One such trend involves Clemson, a team that most thought would get beat by New Mexico in Round 1. The Tigers are ranked No. 23 by KenPom and are Top 40 in both Adjusted Offense and Adjusted Defense. Seven of Clemson’s last nine games have gone Under the total, which is relevant since their Sweet 16 opponent, Arizona, has played to the Under in five straight.

Illinois will take on Iowa State in the East Regional. The Cyclones are a 1.5-point favorite right now at and the total is set at 146.5. This Sweet 16 matchup will be a matchup of contrasting styles. Iowa State is one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Cyclones rank No. 4 in points allowed per game (61.2). Illinois is the ninth-ranked offense, averaging 84.6 points per game.

What’s interesting is that the Illini have seen the Over hit in five straight games. Illinois scored 85-plus in all four of the five and scored over 90 twice. The Illini have now played seven neutral site games this season. They have won them all (6-1 ATS) and all seven have gone Over the total.



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