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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Betting Tips / 2024 Sweet 16 Predictions: Find Latest Odds & Best Bets

2024 Sweet 16 Predictions: Find Latest Odds & Best Bets

Basketball Betting Tips · - ·

Publish Date: 03/26/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

There are not many big-time underdogs left in this year’s tournament with warm and fuzzy  stories. What we do have are the best teams competing to win a National Championship. This year’s Sweet Sixteen includes a rematch between UCONN and San Diego State; last year, UCONN dominated to win it all. Purdue vs Gonzaga is intriguing and Houston vs Duke looks to be a shootout of high-powered teams.

Midwest Region

Odds Gonzaga vs Purdue

  • Point Spread: Purdue -5.5
  • Moneyline Gonzaga +195
  • Moneyline Purdue -225
  • Over/Under 154.5

Gonzaga hasn’t been as dominant or consistent in previous seasons; at times they struggled, yet eventually found an extra gear. As for an underperforming team, going 11-1 over their last 12 games and reaching the Sweet 16 should not be seen as anything other than impressive. Check out our list of best basketball sportsbooks for betting on March Madness.

Starting off, size matters for both teams. Gonzaga boasts two 6-foot-10 players, Ben Gregg and Braden Huff, who should at least pose some difficulty against Purdue star Zach Edey. They each can score double-digit points, combine for at least ten rebounds and several blocks, and are responsible for ten fouls in total.

No, Zach Edey isn’t doing all this work for Purdue alone. Utah State presented a formidable opponent, yet the Boilermakers defeated them 106-67. Edey scored most of his points early, while the team defense was fantastic and the offense couldn’t miss for long stretches. Ball movement and energy levels were outstanding as well.

Gonzaga’s recent team isn’t your typical one – not great from the outside and not forcing enough turnovers – yet the Bulldog offence still finds ways to score easily on its inside drives, leading to positive outcomes. Gonzaga has gone 1-6 when failing to hit at least 48% of their shots.

Prediction: Purdue is the better team and when Gonzaga scores less than 77 points they struggle to win. look for Purdue guards to be the difference in this game.

Purdue 79  Gonzaga 71

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Purdue to Cover
  • Purdue -5.5
  • Zach edey is the best player in College Basketball
  • Boilermaker guards are improved
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Check out our Sweet 16 Betting Special

Video: March Madness Special: Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions for every game

March Madness Special: Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions for every game

Odds Tennessee vs Creighton

  • Point Spread: Tennessee -2.5
  • Moneyline Creighton +126
  • Moneyline Tennessee -152
  • Over/Under 143.5

Tennessee has not exactly excelled on its finishing kick and been extremely inconsistent over this season. After their rough win against Texas,the Vols must find some consistency against a good Creighton team if they want to advance.

So how do you beat the Vols? Hitting from three is key; that wasn’t an issue for the Bluejays who used a variety of different techniques to hit 15 threes during its double overtime victory against Oregon.

Creighton understands the need to maximize possessions through working the glass on both ends, and does so effectively. Yes, the Ducks put on a show during regulation; however, they didn’t reach the foul line in the second half until late. That may be partly because Creighton doesn’t commit fouls frequently enough.

Tennessee excels at controlling the defensive boards. Creighton can get on the glass from time to time, but is not considered one of the more physical teams. Tennessee wasn’t quite at their best from three-point range during a 62-58 win against Longhorns on Sunday night, but that doesn’t matter; Tennessee and head coach Rick Barnes advanced to the Sweet 16.

Prediction: Creighton shoots the ball well and they are solid on the glass and they don’t foul. To win this game the Volunteers will have to be consistent in all phases and they have not shown the ability to do that especially late in the season.

Creighton 74 Tennessee 69

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Creighton to Cover
  • Tennessee -2.5
  • Volunteers are too inconsistent
  • Creighton can shoot the ball from deep
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South Region

Odds Houston vs Duke

  • Point Spread: Houston -4.5
  • Moneyline Duke +152
  • Moneyline Houston -184
  • Over/Under 133.5

Duke just turned on the switch that can get them to the Final Four. Vermont showed some fight during their opening round match, until the second half started and something clicked for the Blue Devils.

The second half of Duke’s 64-47 victory was impressive, while its 93-55 triumph over James Madison was truly epic. While Duke got some some serious overall production – eight threes from Jared McCain were unfathomably prolific! – its dominant play overcame a formidable Dukes team like it only had four guys on court.

Duke found its playoff legs just in time.

Now it must contend with a Houston team that’s been unpredictable. Iowa State was too much for Houston in the Big 12 Championship; Longwood was Longwood; and Texas A&M scared the hell out of the Cougars in an incredible 100-95 overtime victory in round two.

Duke must keep the ball moving effectively and efficiently against Houston’s guards who will be looking to stop any three point shots by Duke. Avoid turnovers while increasing assists is what the Blue Devils will need to do.

Duke had 22 assists against James Madison and have now won 21 consecutive matches when dishing out 12 or more assists. Houston boasts an aggressive offensive attack.

At times it may get lost because of their style of play, but for all their great defense and toughness, when this team wants to score they often do so in bunches. Jamal Shead can create his own spectacular moments when needed, yet everyone gets involved when things start moving quickly. However, this game should be about the Cougar defense who should put on an impressive show.

Attack, attack. When this D is on its game, it doesn’t allow the other O to catch their breath. Duke has generally managed to overcome games when its turnovers become excessive; however, double-digit turnover games have sometimes presented problems for them.

Houston has only failed to score 10 or more tuenovers in four games this year.

As long as the Cougars prevent Duke from settling into its rhythm and make this a physical battle on both ends, tempo and style will stay consistent.

Prediction: Duke is better defensively than they are given credit for and that will become obvious in this game. The Blue devils are hot while the Cougars are struggling.

Duke 75  Houston 72

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Duke to Win
  • Houston -4.5
  • Duke is hot
  • Houston has been inconsistent
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NC State vs Marquette

  • Point Spread: Marquette -6.5
  • Moneyline NC State +235
  • Moneyline Marquette -295
  • Over/Under 150.5

Few teams can genuinely claim that “everyone doubted us”, but NC State certainly can. The Wolfpack made an unlikely run to an ACC Championship two weeks ago and followed it with victories against Texas Tech and Oakland to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015. So how did the Wolfpack suddenly become such an impressive college basketball team? Their shooting has improved, their free throws are falling and overall they just play better as a unit.

Moving the ball better has generated easier shots, and the defense has grown drastically stronger. NC State has held opponents to under 39% from the floor in each of their last four wins during this seven-game winning streak.

How can Marquette be defeated? By keeping them from finding their shooting groove. When hitting at least 44% of its shots, Marquette is 25-2, while it falls to 2-7 when not. Stopping the three-point shots was the key to the Wolfpack’s first two tournament wins. Over the last five games, no team—including Oakland—has managed to hit 35% from three.

Marquette boasts an average three-point shooting percentage of 35.8% and as a team is 14-0 when making 38% or better from three. They know exactly how to create baskets. NC State excels at attacking the ball and forcing mistakes, yet doesn’t turn it over often. To win, NC State must do what it does best: move it around efficiently while looking for easy shots. Their fast-paced style requires patience as they wait their turn in taking what opportunities arise. Can NC State pull off one of the best Sweet Sixteen upsets of all time?

Prediction: Yes, NC State has been on fire over the last seven games, Marquette has been consistent all season. That consistency will lead Marquette to the Elite Eight.

Marquette 81 NC State 72

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Marquette to Cover
  • Marquette -6.5
  • NC State is hot
  • Marquette has been consistent
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East Region

UCONN vs San Diego State

  • Point Spread: UCONN -10.5
  • Moneyline San Diego State +490
  • Moneyline UCONN -720
  • Over/Under 135.5

Can the Aztecs duplicate their three-point shooting performance against Yale and take it with them to Boston? At its worst, hitting from outside has been a constant problem for he Aztecs; 13 of 27 shots from three were made during an 85-57 win against Yale. To stay competitive though San Diego State will have to make three-point shots somewhat consistently.

The Aztec defense will always stand tall against their adversary, while their experienced backcourt is adept enough to attack and hold their own in battle. They must force turnovers, the defense must come through with every rebound, and this must all come together into an evenly-matched contest with low scoring and little momentum swings.

UConn doesn’t boast an extremely deep team, nor does it force an abundance of mistakes from its opponents. Accept that UConn may go on a run or two the Azrecs cannot let those runs be extended.

UConn not only boasts offensive firepower and national championship swagger, as well as size all across its roster, but Donovan Clingan stands out among them as an aggressive inside player with enough power and skill to compete with SDSU star Jaedon LeDee and even outplay him.

San Diego State was on fire against Yale. While they possess the talent for some hustle and rebound plays, these Huskies will simply outmuscle San Diego State. And once on an 8-0 run they won’t have any answers!

Excellent inside, outstanding on the perimeter in finding assists for easy plays, no issues turning over the ball…

Everything is in place to make this yet another rout for the Huskies.

Prediction: San Diego State is a good team, UCONN is bordering on being a great team. The Aztecs will keep it close for awjile and then UCONN will slowly pull away.

UCONN 81 San Diego State 65

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: UCONN to Cover
  • UCONN -10.5
  • UCONN has been dominant
  • Rematch of National Championship Game
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Illinois vs Iowa State

  • Point Spread: Iowa State -1.5
  • Moneyline Illinois -105
  • Moneyline Iowa State -116
  • Over/Under 145.5

Iowa State overcame Washington State 67-56 behind some key shots late in the second half, as is typical of their playstyle. Played solid three-point defense and hit timely shots while forcing 13 turnovers with multiple scores off them. This team has a practical, distinct style of play. They insist on forcing other teams into stress. But don’t be fooled into thinking this team only plays grinding defense; they can score.

Illinois thrives when it gets the ball moving, whether that means scoring fast break points or turning defensive rebounds into scoring opportunities. What it does poorly, however, is force takeaways—it ranks 348th nationally for mistakes caused—and it doesn’t always bring defensive intensity and focus.

Iowa State doesn’t make mistakes. It relies on its defense, believing its patience and efficiency will carry over into its offense. Size will be an issue. Iowa State thrives when taking down guard-oriented teams on the perimeter. Illinois can run, while being immensely tall makes its presence known.

Illinois has a long team ranging from 6-6 and taller, including Terrence Shannon, who will later go on to play in the NBA. Everyone found ways to contribute on the boards. Iowa State does rebound, but not nearly enough on the defensive glass—likely due to opponents’ lack of shots in Cyclone games.

Illinois may find itself powering through Iowa State’s defense, as they possess enough firepower to subdue it and become the dominant team in this match-up.

Iowa State’s rebounders average 13 offensive rebounds and over 41 boards per game on average, and have won 16 consecutive matches when they allowed no more than 29 rebounds to their opponent.

Prediction: Illinois should dominate the boards as this is a bad matchup for the Cyclones. Illinois has too much fire power for Iowa State.

Illinois 71 Iowa State 68

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Illini to Won
  • Iowa State -1.5
  • Illinois too big
  • Iowa State will struggle on the boards
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West Region

Alabama vs North Carolina

  • Point Spread: North Carolina -3.5
  • Moneyline Alabama +146
  • Moneyline North Carolina -178
  • Over/Under 173.5

Welcome Alabama defense! Grand Canyon scored only 61 points and hit 2-of-20 three-point shots against the nation’s 346th-ranked scoring D, but when the time came for an aggressive surge, they did that.

The Bama defense will not be able to do the same to the Tar heels, but holding serve occasionally might suffice.

North Carolina basketball teams have always excelled when pushing up the energy and shooting. If you prefer an exhilarating and action-packed experience, North Carolina teams are at their finest when ramping up energy and shooting. Bama has won 16 consecutive times when scoring 89 or more points, which will undoubtedly thrust Carolina into an offensive contest.North Carolina is unbeaten when scoring at least 84 points.

UNC is unbeaten when making 48% or more of its shots and 27-4 when hitting 38% or better. Alabama’s offensive firepower puts UNC under immense pressure; making shots should not be considered optional when competing against them. UNC’s record when making more than 48% is 11-0 while 27-4 when hitting more than 38% is achieved.

Alabama allows teams to shoot 44% or better from the field. It is now up against an opponent that can do everything from feeding the inside, attacking the rim, and hitting timely threes – much better than Bama in many respects.

North Carolina will take advantage of any Alabama turnovers to turn them into points. Alabama dominates on offense, while few can match UNC at hitting the defensive glass as they can – leading to Bama scoring an abundance of points on offense and defense alike. Bama will score plenty against UNC.

Prediction: These teams will score a lot, and this will be a tight game with many lead changes. Bama is the better-coached team and showed against Grand Canyon they can turn up the defensive heat when needed. Expect a close game and take the points.

Alabama 92  North Carolina 90

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Bama to Cover
  • North Carolina -3.5
  • Expect a lot of points
  • Expect a close game take the points
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Clemson vs Arizona

  • Point Spread: Arizona -6.5
  • Moneyline Clemson +240
  • Moneyline Arizona -295
  • Over/Under 152.5

Recall when everyone had New Mexico beating Clemson in the opening round?  Remember when everyone assumed Baylor would steamroll through its opponent in the second round?

Clemson struggled terribly down the stretch and was quickly eliminated from the ACC Tournament took out both Lobos and Bears with ease, blowing past both.And everything fell perfectly from the free throw line. Over the past several weeks, the team has found an array of ways to advance into the Sweet 16.

Clemson possesses the size to compete against Arizona for an entire 40 minutes—something Arizona might find hard to do. Although their guards may be smaller in stature, this team excels on defensive boards and is excellent inside.

Now, THIS is the Arizona we were waiting for. Arizona is a team looking to shake off self-imposed inhibitions after not getting out of the first weekend last year, this victory against Dayton was crucial. make sure you check out our top basketball betting apps for March Madness.

The offense successfully distributes the ball more effectively, while the defense has taken steps forward from three. When it’s time to turn up, they do it. Arizona may experience a prolonged slump, but against a Clemson defense that doesn’t force enough mistakes or effectively stop teams from moving the ball around, the Wildcats should be able to continue working their ball inside.

Arizona can be deadly when they’re moving the ball, but that’s not Clemson. Arizona wants to get going early, but if the game slows down too much, that’s when their size factor becomes a deciding factor.

When things begin to unravel and break down—and they inevitably will—the nation’s No. 1 rebounding team should have enough offensive rebounders on its roster to see them through it all on the boards.

Prediction: This game will be close most of the way, especially if Clemson consistently gets to the free-throw line. However, Arizona will ultimately win this game on the boards.

Arizona  77  Clemson 69

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Tip: Arizona to Cover
  • Arizona -3.5
  • Clemson needs to get to the Free Thrown line
  • The Wildcats will dominate on the boards
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