The NCAA Tournament now heads to the second weekend, and that means Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games are on tap. This is when things usually start to tighten up in each game, but there have been plenty of thrillers up to this point already.
There are eight games ready to take place in the NCAA Tournament, and that creates plenty of betting opportunities. When looking at the eight games, there are two games that really stand out in terms of betting.
After looking closely at the betting odds and the matchups, here are two Sweet 16 bets to make in the NCAA Tournament.
Arizona Wildcats -1.5 vs. Houston Cougars
The first game to focus on takes place late on Thursday night as the Arizona Wildcats take on the Houston Cougars in the South Region. Arizona is the number one seed, while Houston is at number five.
For some reason, Arizona is just a 1.5-point betting favorite in this game, and that just doesn’t feel right at all. Sure, Houston has been playing well in the NCAA Tournament, but Arizona might be the most complete team in the country.
Arizona is scoring close to 85 points per game on the year, and they have scored at least that many points in each game during the tournament. Bennedict Mathurin is one of the most elite scorers in the country, and Arizona is nearly impossible to slow down once they get on the break.
Houston is not a great offensive team, but they might be the best defensive team that is still left standing. The Cougars want to get this game in the 50s, and they will do all it takes to slow down the action on both ends of the floor.
The double-digit win over Illinois has everyone wondering just how good Houston can be, but that win isn’t actually that impressive. The Fighting Illini had some serious flaws, and Houston was able to expose them.
Arizona also struggled in the Second Round as they needed overtime to get past TCU. That might have some people questioning just how good Arizona is, but you shouldn’t fall into that trap.
The Wildcats have lost just three games all season long, and they are winning this game. Take Arizona -1.5 as they control this game and move on to the Elite Eight.
UCLA Bruins -2.5 vs. UNC Tar Heels
The second great betting opportunity takes place on Friday night as the UCLA Bruins are ready to square off against the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC is the number eight seed in the East Region, while UCLA was given the number four seed.
This game is hard to predict because both teams underachieved during the regular season, and the seeds are a bit off. UCLA was in the Final Four a season ago, and UNC already has a blowout win over Duke on their regular-season resume.
There are going to be some games that will be slowed down in the Sweet 16, but that won’t be the case in this matchup. Both the Bruins and Tar Heels are comfortable playing at a fast-paced, and this game might get into the 70s.
North Carolina was able to upset Baylor in the Second Round by shooting the ball well from deep, but they didn’t exactly play well. The Tar Heels blew a 25 point second-half lead and needed overtime to escape.
UCLA put together a great performance against a good Saint Mary’s team in the second round, and the Bruins are finally healthy. This UCLA team was a popular title pick before the season began, and they now look like that team again.
Take the Bruins -2.5 as they are able to get past the UNC Tar Heels.
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