Good Value Bets for the Sweet 16

Good Value Bets for the Sweet 16

At this point in the season, the top teams are left in the NCAA Tournament and most of them are chalk. For the first time since 1979, all eight top-two seeds reached the Sweet 16. Last season boasted a Final Four with no teams seeded higher than No. 4 for the first time since 1979. Duke is a fourth seed and Illinois and Creighton are both third seeds.

(odds from Draft Kings)

If you believe in past trends and stats helping predict an outcome, then you might not want to pick Duke +2200 to win the NCAA Tournament. Why? Because the Blue Devils have not beaten a higher seed since 1994 and they face No. 1 Houston on Friday.

But if you are looking for a team to win the South Region, where Duke resides, Marquette is +220 and Duke is +380. Marquette has a feisty NC State team that shocked Texas Tech and then struggled to beat Oakland. Marquette is the No. 2 team for a reason and that is due to point guard Tyler Kolek. As well as Duke's play against JMU, they beat two mid-majors to get here in the Dukes and Vermont. At +1600, Marquette is also a solid value to win the entire tournament.

In the East, UConn (-230) has looked unbeatable and they should have faced Auburn, who lost to Yale. San Diego State took care of Yale with ease on Sunday, but the team to watch here is Iowa State (+425). I wouldn’t bet them to win the whole thing at +1800. Their defense is outstanding and they have some burly guys up front that can keep 7-2 Donovan Clingan out of the paint.

In the West, Arizona, with former Tar Heel guard Caleb Love, is the favorite (+120) over North Carolina (+170), who appears to be a soft Number one seed. But with veterans R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot, North Carolina has the size, guard play, two excellent transfers in Harrison Ingram (Stanford) and Cormac Ryan (Notre Dame) and a hungry team coming off a bad season (for them).

The Midwest has Purdue and while Gonzaga is tough, it’s tough to go against Purdue right now with Zach Edey dominating the paint and his guards helping him out. The Zags do have size, but the only team that appears to have anybody close to his size and skill level is UConn with the 7-2 Clingan. Purdue is +650 to win the whole thing and that looks pretty good right now.

I’d be looking at North Carolina (+1000) to win the NCAA Tournament when it comes to value. Purdue is strong and they may have the road to get there.

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW