Dogs bite, catching action in three of four Sweet 16 matchups

Thursday’s NCAA basketball underdogs were 3-1 against the spread (ATS) and that’s tempting bettors to test their luck Friday in three of four games on the college card


Betting underdogs last night in the first-half and half-time lines available from top online sportsbooks produced a 6-2 record but according to one source, the action is following an unfamiliar pattern Friday.


Oregon (60-percent), Michigan State (56-percent) and Florida Gulf Coast (72-percent) have all collected a higher percentage at the proverbial ‘ticket window’ with just four hours left until tip-off.


Normally, when chalk bettors have a bad night the tendency is for Joe Public to charge back towards the favorites with even more vengeance. Books are well versed in these habits and thus charge a higher price, often resulting in losing night for late chalk bettors who didn’t grab the best line. The chase is on!


Tonight it looks like dog bettors are not only grabbing all the points they can find, but are taking a nice shot on the money lines, too. It should be a great night of basketball.


No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Louisville

Line: Cardinals -10.5 and O/U 132

Louisville HC Pitino is 4-0 SU/ATS in this round his past four visits and the Cards are riding a 12-game win streak that started Feb. 14 against St. John’s. They are 10-1 ATS in their past 11 games and all 10 covers were by double-digits. Oregon is 5-0 straight-up (SU) in its past five and 4-1 ATS; all five games were played on a neutral court.


No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke

Line: Blue Devils -2 and O/U 134.5

Dogs are 10-7 ATS in this round when it’s a 3- vs. 2-seed and the Spartans have covered three-straight in this series including two games since 2010. With two good coaches and two good D’s it’s no wonder books report 75-percent action on the “Under”.


No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 1 Kansas

Line: Jayhawks -2 and O/U 136

This game has the most even split for side and moneyline betting out of the four, with 68-percent action going to the over. No. 1 seeds are only 15-19 ATS in the Sweet 16 vs. a 4- or 5-seed and the past 12 times a No. 1 seed was favored by -5 points or less they are just 6-6 SU and 2-9-1 ATS.


No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 3 Florida

Line: Gators -13 and O/U 136

With only two seniors in their lineup this will without a doubt be the biggest stage yet for the upstart Eagles. They have no doubt earned their right to play but the Gators have made a habit of blowing teams they ‘should beat’ out by double-digits, although it should be noted Florida’s overall record this season is a pedestrian 18-14 ATS. Dogs are now 14-6 ATS in the semis after last night’s three covers and the Eagles are playing with confidence but given the situation, we’d feel more comfortable laying the points in this contest.



For tonight’s big games our three picks are Michigan State-Duke Under 134.5, Michigan +2 and Florida -13 or less. Good luck with your plays and enjoy the action.


Our past seven plays are 7-0 ATS! Check out PickSixtySports on Twitter for daily updates and free picks

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Sweet 16 Games set to Tip-off Thursday

Louisville and Indiana rank among the top favorites but there is underdog value for those looking to think ahead of the curve


The NCAA March Madness continues Thursday with four games including Arizona vs. Ohio State (-3.5, O/U 134) at 7:45 pm eastern and Syracuse vs. Indiana (-5.5, O/U 135.5) at 9:45 pm eastern time (ET).


Each of those favorites is ranked No. 1 with sportsbooks to win their respective regions but with a couple games in hand; bettors are still offered an opportunity to predict some bracket buster value with NCAA futures odds offered today.



Louisville is paying back in the +250 to +280 range, depending where you look. It’s not that much less than the +450 odds bookmakers opened the tournament with and with the high power rating given to Louisville by top sports handicapping sites, perhaps this is still a tempting bet. But don’t overlook Michigan State.


The Spartans are not only paying +325 to win the Midwest but up to +1500 to win the championship. We don’t suspect Louisville will have much trouble disposing of Oregon but should Michigan State upset Duke (-2) on Friday – a high probability – anyone holding a 15 to 1 futures ticket in their pocket starts feeling pretty good about their opportunities to hedge.



Louisville, Indiana (+450), Florida (+525) and Ohio State (+800) are the top four teams favored to win the national title


For the top favorites, odds on winning their respective regions are only paying back around even money so here are some things to consider as you breakdown the Sweet 16 matchups.


Seeds No. 1 to No. 3 have won 30 of 34 recent college basketball championships and that stat narrows this year’s Sweet 16 group down to nine teams. Only seven teams ranked lower than sixth have reached the Final Four since 1985 so you can cross four more teams from your futures betting checklist and by process of elimination, that makes Arizona (+2000) the ‘Math Man’s’ value pick to win.


Incidentally, a seed ranked fourth or lower has only won four of the past 34 titles and if you are considering the Wildcats (+3.5) to upset Ohio State Thursday, it probably pays to wait on this and see if the line moves back to plus-4.


The biggest parlay books are getting bombed with this weekend involves Indiana (-240) to Miami (-240) to Louisville (-600) and a $100 wager pays back at +134. Our advice: Watch the lines on Syracuse (+5.5) and Marquette (+5) and consider betting the undervalued dogs against the spread (ATS).



One more thing that can’t be understated is the value of coaching. These are young adults playing on a huge stage with a short turnaround between games. The men involved with making adjustments and getting their players to buy into the gameplan are what upsets are made of. Check the boxscore from Sweet 16 games and previous conference and tourney games; look at second-half scoring margins and try find value on teams with great leaders.


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