The 2016 NCAA Tournament has seen its share of upsets, but most of the top seeds advanced past the first weekend of March Madness. With the Sweet 16 set for Thursday and Friday, a few of the favorites to win the national championship could be eliminated before the weekend begins.
All four No.1 seeds are favored to reach the Elite Eight, though none are favored by more than 6.5 points after they rolled to the Sweet 16. The two remaining No.2 seeds are slight favorites in their upcoming contests, and a No.6 and No.11 seed are favored to advance to the regional finals.
Below are picks against the spread for every Sweet 16 game in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas casinos, via vegasinsider.com.
No.3 Miami (+4.5) vs. No.2 Villanova
The Wildcats have been overlooked in the tournament because of two straight early-round exits, but they are the better team. Villanova has been extremely consistent, only suffering losses to tournament teams. Miami lost two of their last three games before the tournament, and point guard Angel Rodriguez could be due for one of his poor performances after totaling 52 points last weekend.
Prediction ATS: Villanova
No.3 Texas A&M (+2) vs. No.2 Oklahoma
The Aggies are fortunate to be in the Sweet 16 after Northern Iowa’s epic collapse, but they have what it takes to reach the Final Four. Texas A&M is 6-2 against the spread in their last seven games against Oklahoma, via OddsShark, and they are 7-1 straight up against teams with winning records. Buddy Hield carried the Sooners against VCU, but they’ll need more from the rest of their team to reach the Elite Eight.
Prediction ATS: Texas A&M
No.5 Maryland (+6.5) vs. No.1 Kansas
The Jayhawks continue to prove that they are the best team in the country, and should roll to the Elite Eight. Kansas has beaten seven of their last eight opponents by at least seven points, and Maryland could struggle after beating two double-digit seeds. The Terrapins are talented, but Bill Self's squad is too disciplined to not earn a convincing win.
Prediction ATS: Kansas
No.4 Duke (+3) vs. No.1 Oregon
The Blue Devils are one of the best offensive teams in the country, but their poor defense will prevent them from advancing beyond the Sweet 16. Duke gave up 85 points to UNC Wilmington, and Oregon’s Dillon Brooks could have another big game after putting up 25 points against St. Joseph’s on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Oregon
No.4 Iowa State (+5) vs. No.1 Virginia
Virginia is the best defensive team in the tournament, but Iowa State is one of the few teams that has a chance to put up points against the Cavaliers. The Cyclones might not have enough to defeat the No.1 seed, but they are 9-3 against the spread as underdogs of 5.5 points or less, and they should keep it close for most of the way.
Prediction ATS: Iowa State
No.7 Wisconsin (+1) vs. No.6 Notre Dame
The Badgers have reached the Sweet 16 because of their defense, but they won’t keep winning if Nigel Hayes continues to play so poorly. The team’s leading scorer has missed 35 of his last 42 field goal attempts, and Wisconsin’s luck might run out against a Notre Dame team that’s scored at least 70 points in four of their last five games.
Prediction ATS: Notre Dame
No.11 Gonzaga (-4.5) vs. No.10 Syracuse
Syracuse might have beaten a No.15 seed in the second round, but they are playing extremely well. The Orange can beat most teams in the country when they are hitting their threes, and the emergence of Tyler Lydon off the bench makes them a force in the Midwest region. Syracuse could have a difficult time coming up with an answer for Domantas Sabonis, but they’ve got a good chance to win outright.
Prediction ATS: Syracuse
No.5 Indiana (+5.5) vs. No.1 North Carolina
Indiana was impressive against Kentucky on Saturday, but they probably don’t have enough to defeat the Tar Heels. Brice Johnson and North Carolina’s frontcourt could have a big day against the Hoosiers. Roy Williams’ teams usually make it out of the Sweet 16, as the Tar Heels have gone 6-1 in regional semifinal games under the famed head coach.
Prediction ATS: North Carolina