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Here we go, hoops fans! The Sweet 16 is up next after another great Opening Round weekend for the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament.

Fun fact: it’s only the fifth time since March Madness started way back in 1979 that all the number 1 and number 2 seeds advanced to the Sweet 16. So there’s plenty of star power on the floor – and we’re ready for all of it.

Bovada’s Sweet 16 odds are all set, giving you the edge whether you like making your picks early or if you’re more of a buzzer-beater.  


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Alabama (#4) vs North Carolina (#1)

Oddsmakers like this to be a high-scoring affair, setting the Over/Under at 173.5, almost 20 points higher than the next-highest O/U in the entire Sweet 16.

The teams combined to score a cool 199 in their opening-round wins, so there’s a good reason for the big number of buckets expected. The Crimson Tide are favored at -180, while the underdog Crimson Tide – who had a tougher game than expected against little Grand Canyon even to reach the Sweet 16 – are currently at +155.

The Tar Heels – legends in March Madness already – were only 20th in the nation in team scoring during the regular season but they can get hot in a minute. Witness their 23-3 run last weekend to seal the game early against Michigan State.

And here’s another fun fact for fans who like their March Madness with a bit of extra craziness: just 16 months ago, these two teams played each other in a four-overtime thriller, with ‘Bama ultimately winning by two points.

Clemson (#6) vs Arizona (#2)

The Clemson Tigers are headed to only their second Sweet 16 in their Men’s March Madness history, coming off a win over higher-seeded Baylor which they never trailed.

In this battle of the big cats, they’ll be in tough against the Arizona Wildcats’ defense, which so far has allowed opponents to shoot only 36% from the field. It’s this D, combined with the veteran Caleb Love and his 18 points per game and March Madness experience, that has oddsmakers giving the heavy nod to Arizona at -300, making them the second-most favored team in the Sweet 16.

Illinois (#3) vs Iowa State (#2)

The Iowa State Cyclones (-130) come into their matchup against the Illinois Fighting Illini as the least-favored favorites, but they’ve got a good track record recently. They are 5-0 straight up against the spread in their last five games.

The Cyclones also won the Big 12 Tournament ahead of March Madness, knocking off tough #1 seed Houston to take the title.

The Fighting Illini (+110), meanwhile, won’t go down without a fight (see what we did there?). They won the Big 10 Tournament recently and are on a 6-0 run of their own. This is likely why they’re the strongest-ranked underdog in the Sweet 16.

San Diego State (#5) vs Connecticut (#1)

If it happens, the biggest upset in the March Madness tournament would have to be the San Diego State Aztecs taking down the Connecticut Huskies.

The Sweet 16 odds for this one are the longest in the tournament at the moment. It’s the Huskies at -600 versus the Aztecs at +425. UConn ended the regular season as the number-one team in the country, having lost just three games all year.

It’ll take a strong bettor to go with San Diego State here. They advanced to the Sweet 16 by beating a 12th seed and a 13th seed, while the Huskies won their two games by a combined total of 56 points. They’re also the Big East champs and are currently on a 9-0 run.

NC State (#11) vs Marquette (#2)

For underdog Sweet 16 odds, you won’t find a lower-seeded team left in the tournament than the North Carolina State Wolfpack. But do they have any energy left to hunt down the second-seeded Golden Eagles? NC State (+235) won five games in five days at the ACC tournament and had to go to overtime to take down Oakland just to make it to the Sweet 16.

Marquette (-285) hits the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013, and they did it on the shoulders of Tyler Kolek, one of the top players in the country. He’s a big banger, though, so despite his 21 points, 11 boards, and 5 assists in their opening weekend win over Colorado, bettors might want to watch closely to see how healthy he is on just a few days’ rest.

Gonzaga (#5) vs Purdue (#1)

Possibly the tournament story – and there are still Sweet 16 stories to be written soon – is Gonzaga’s destruction of the 4th-seeded Kansas Jayhawks last weekend. The Bulldogs won by 23 points and sent John Calipari’s squad home much earlier than expected.

Purdue, meanwhile, has the reigning National Player of the Year in Zach Edey, and they are coming off a massive 41-point win of their own. The Boilermakers are pretty heavy favorites here at +200, with the team’s November battle going in their favor as they won by 10 points.

Creighton (#3) vs Tennessee (#2)

Do the Creighton Bluejays have any gas left in the tank after their epic double-overtime win in the second round of March Madness? Oddsmakers might be tempted, but they’ve given the slight edge to the Volunteers – they’ve put the Bluejays at +125 versus Tennessee’s -145.

The spread (+/-2.5) is the second-lowest of the Sweet 16 though, so bettors might like the drama of March Madness for the upset. Anything can happen when the spread is less than a buzzer-beating trey in the dying seconds. Especially if Creighton gets hot, they can shoot the lights out. They won by 17 and 13 (despite the double-OT) in their first two matches.

Duke (#4) vs Houston (#1)

The number 1-seeded Houston Cougars have possibly the toughest defense in the country and are definitely in the Sweet 16. They’re the reason that this matchup against the Duke Blue Devils has the lowest O/U in the Sweet 16, at 134 points.

The spread, meanwhile, is currently at a fairly tight four points. It’ll be tempting for some bettors who know that stars like Kyle Filipowski can get hot for the Blue Devils at any given moment.

And then there’s just the Duke vibe as a perennial March Madness juggernaut: the Blue Devils have the third-most March Madness wins in tournament history and the third-most Final Four appearances. This might have Duke’s current +160 odds looking pretty attractive to March Madness betting fans.

With some of the best talent in the country making it to the Sweet 16 this year, we can’t wait for tipoff! We’re ready for everything March Madness has in store, and we’re loaded with all the lines you need plus tons of props for every game.


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