Sweet 16 Betting Tips – Best Value Bets for Each Region

March Madness has been more tame than usual, with only one double-digit seed (No. 11 North Carolina State) making it to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The upsets were found in Round 1 as No. 3 seed Kentucky and No. 4 Auburn departed early.

The tournament resumes Thursday with the first of two days featuring four games each day, and we’re here to find some value among the options for betting on the NCAA Tournament.

WEST: Top two region seeds to win, +102

Arizona's Caleb Love
Image: Twitter/Sports Illustrated

In what has been a non-traditional tournament, with the favorites winning at a much higher rate compared with years past, the best teams in the West Region are the Nos. 1-2 seeds North Carolina and Arizona, respectively.

Both teams are favored in their games, to be played Thursday in Los Angeles.

The Arizona Wildcats continue to hold “favorite” status among all West Region teams despite being seeded No. 2 behind North Carolina.

That feels like we have a No. 1 and a No. 1A for wagering purposes.

We’ll take both, thank you.

North Carolina found its game in a Round 2 romp over Michigan State, 85-69, and now faces an unpredictable Alabama Crimson Tide team that had some trouble eliminating 12-seed Grand Canyon last weekend.

Alabama has trouble defending talented big men, and North Carolina has one of the nation’s leaders, Armando Bacot, who should be a nasty presence all night against the Crimson Tide.

The BetOnline spread is only four points, and, according to Vegas Insider’s money trends, 89% of the bets and 93% of the money is coming in on North Carolina.

So we all can agree on a Tar Heels victory, right?

The other West Region semifinal is Arizona vs Clemson in a catfight (Wildcats and Tigers). The Wildcats are a seven-point favorite but we feel a little uneasy about coughing up that many points.

In a coincidental twist, Arizona guard Caleb Love must have a great game to help the Wildcats move on to a possible matchup with Love’s former team, North Carolina, in Saturday’s region championship game.

Love is a big-game specialist and is the spark Arizona didn’t have last season when, as a No. 2 seed, it suffered an upset to No. 15 seed Princeton.

Love this play: Let’s take a parlay that yields plus money.

North Carolina and Arizona moneyline parlay (+102) is available at BetOnline.

EAST: UConn (-11) to cover vs San Diego State

UConn Huskies during win over Northwestern
Image: Twitter/Connecticut Post

UConn appears every bit as good as advertised, and the Huskies are favored to capture their second consecutive NCAA Tournament title.

As for value bets, though, the +210 is not enticing enough to grab.

After establishing early dominance against Northwestern in Round 2, UConn let up and allowed the Wildcats to threaten the 13- or 14-point spread but ultimately covered the number in a 17-point victory.

The line for Thursday’s game against San Diego State is only 11 points.

Seems like an opportunity because, while SDSU did make it to the national title game last year, it has lost its elite defensive numbers and a good portion of 3-point shooting success.

UConn appears just as strong as it was last season, and the Northwestern game provides a teachable moment for Huskies coach Danny Hurley – a guy who insists everyone must play with a chip on their shoulder.

Hurley’s teams are also 11-3 against the spread in NCAA Tournament games, the best mark for a coach since the seeding era began in 1979.

Motivation is not likely to be a concern here, and a UConn blowout is the right way to see this one.

UConn -11 over San Diego State is available at BetOnline.

MIDWEST: Efficient offenses, over 154.5

Purdue's Zach Edey
Image: Twitter/Purdue Men’s Basketball

The top seed in this region, Purdue, has lived up to expectations against relatively inferior competition, winning and covering the best sportsbooks’ number in both of its games.

In the Boilermakers’ second game, a rout of 8-seed Utah State, big man Zach Edey scored 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

He’s likely to find a similar number of high-percentage shots against Gonzaga, the No. 5 seed.

Edey is the primary target on virtually every offensive possession, and Gonzaga is among the poorer teams in defending post-ups (ranked 202nd in defensive efficiency according to Action Network statistics).

We’re looking for a quick pace from Gonzaga, seeking to score early in the shot clock, coupled with the slower-paced Boilermakers’ offense running more efficiently – leading to more scoring.

Gonzaga has myriad options to score, including big guys Graham Ike and Anton Watson.

The Bulldogs like to push the ball on the fast break and a good day from 3-point range would push the total toward 160 or better.

The over is 40-25-1 in Gonzaga coach Mark Few’s 66 NCAA Tournament games in which he has coached, according to Action Network, even better after the first round (28-14 to the over).

Purdue-Gonzaga total over 154.5 (-105) is available at BetOnline.

SOUTH: A 1-2 punch to win Friday, +105

Marquette's Tyler Kolek
Image: Twitter/Sports Illustrated

The Houston Cougars certainly received a scare from Texas A&M, somehow prevailing in overtime as four of the Cougars’ starting five players fouled out.

Coach Kelvin Sampson will have a few productive sessions with his team, which is set to turn up the heat on No. 4 Duke, a team with emerging talent but holes to fill.

Houston should dig deep on defense and turn back the Blue Devils.

In the other South semifinal, the magical run is coming to an end.

North Carolina State, which wasn’t even on the NCAA Tournament radar entering its conference tournament, won five games in five days to capture the ACC tourney title and then took out sixth-seeded Texas Tech and No. 14 Oakland.

The conference tournament championship win over North Carolina stands out, but is probably going to mark the high point in performance for the Wolfpack.

The Marquette Golden Eagles are peaking now, and standout leader Tyler Kolek showed his value in the hard-fought win against Colorado.

Kolek hit 10 of his 14 field-goal attempts, leading the team with 21 points. He’ll steady the ship when NC State tries to push its chaos on Marquette.

Not trusting the Golden Eagles to cover the 6.5-point spread, we’ll parlay the Marquette moneyline with the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars’ moneyline to produce a plus-money parlay in the South.

Houston moneyline parlay with the Marquette moneyline (+105) is available at BetOnline.

Find the best odds for Sweet 16 betting at BetOnline.

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Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert

Jay is a Sports Betting Writer at Techopedia.com, and has been working in US sports for more than 20 years. He's worked for Daily Racing Form, the Arizona Republic, The Athletic and FanDuel among other sports and gambling positions.