2023 March Madness odds, lines, point spreads: Best bets & parlays for picking the Sweet 16 games

The first weekend of the 2023 NCAA tournament lived up to its bill, with Farleigh Dickinson shocking a No. 1 seed at all as the second No. 16 seed, while Princeton kept a No. 15 seed’s streak in the Sweet 16 for a third year in a row.

Congratulations to those who won money on the FDU (+1600) and Princeton (+750) money lines this past weekend. We’ll tip our hats because those were the last two surprises we saw coming.

For bettors trying to gauge how to approach betting on this weekend’s Sweet 16 matchups, we’ve rounded up three best bets and two parlays for you to consider adding to your betting slips.

Whilst we would love to find a massive live underdog with money line odds north of 7-1, that is not the case with Sweet 16 as every spread is in the single digits meaning there are no crazy money line prices in the betting market gives . Princeton is the biggest underdog at +400, and while we could choose to ride the Red Hot Tigers, we think their Cinderella run against Creighton will end.

What are the best bets for the Sweet 16? Sporting News has you covered with our advice and tips on what to risk as March Madness gears up for its second weekend.

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March Madness Odds for Sweet 16

Below you can find the latest March Madness odds for the Sweet 16, including point spreads, moneylines and over-under totals for each game, via BetMGM.

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Game spread money line over under
State of Kansas vs. State of Michigan State of Michigan -1.5 (-115); State of Kansas +1.5 (-105) State of Michigan -130; State of Kansas +110 137.5
Connecticut vs. Arkansas Connecticut -3.5 (-115); Arkansas +3.5 (-105) Connecticut -185; Arkansas +150 140.5
Tennessee versus Florida Atlantic Tennessee -5.5 (-115); Florida Atlantic +5.5 (-105) Tennessee -275; Florida Atlantic +210 130.5
UCLA vs. Gonzaga UCLA -2.5 (-110); Gonzaga +2.5 (-110) UCLA-135; Gonzaga +115 145.5
Alabama vs. San Diego State Alabama -7.5 (-105); State of San Diego +7.5 (-115) Alabama -375; State of San Diego +280 136.5
Houston vs. Miami Houston -7.5 (-105); Miami +7.5 (-115) Houston -350; Miami +260 137.5
Creighton versus Princeton Creighton -9.5 (-115); Princeton +9.5 (-105) Creighton -550; Princeton +400 140.5
Texas vs. Xavier Texas -4.5 (-105); Xavier +4.5 (-115) Texas -190; Xavier +155 148.5

March Madness best bets for Sweet 16

Tennessee -5.5 (-110) vs Florida Atlantic

Tennessee is in a great position to advance to its first Final Four in school history, even without lead guard Zakai Zeigler (knee) directing the Vols offense.

Though the Volunteers have the 196th-best field goal percentage in the nation (50.2 percent), Tennessee’s elite defense can lead the Vols to a multi-possession win over the Owls.

Tennessee still has the nation’s most efficient defense per KenPom (87 points allowed per 100 possessions) as their elite perimeter and center defenses likely give the Owls seizures for over 40 minutes.

Florida Atlantic is the smallest team in the field relative to its average size, and while we’ve seen the smallest team in D-1 defeat top-seeded Boilermakers in the Round of 64, we won’t see Florida Atlantic Sandwich Tennessee’s frontcourt Plays like Zach Edey’s FDU. Tennessee just has too many bodies and characters to wear the owls down over the course of the game.

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While the Owls’ 33-3 record might deter wetters, they have yet to face a top-10 KenPom team as Tennessee (KenPom No. 6) is the most complete team the Owls have faced to date.

Kansas State Moneyline (+110) vs. Michigan State

We won’t make the mistake of fading Jerome Tang’s Wildcats into Sweet 16, even if Kansas State takes on a multi-year NCAA tournament powerhouse program in Michigan State.

While the Spartans impressed in the first weekend, beating No. 10 USC with 10 and Marquette at No. 9, Kansas State will have the top two players on the court in All-Big 12 first-team selections Markquis Nowell and Keyonate Johnson .

We’ll want to side with Nowell and Johnson at the crucial time as their superb ability to create shots should put pressure on the Spartans’ defense in the final minutes. Michigan State is a tough team to fade right now, but we still can’t forget their non-appearance in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament against Ohio State less than two weeks ago.

Gonzaga +2.5 (-110) vs. UCLA

Thursday night’s game between the Bulldogs and the Bruins is going to be a winner and what better way to make the game than betting on it?

It’s rare to see the Zags in the underdog role, as Thursday marks only the third time the Bulldogs will be “dogs” this season. Gonzaga has taken a straight 2-0 lead in those games (in Texas, in Saint Mary’s), but neither has been on neutral ground. Yes, the Bruins had money coming in early, moving them from -1.5 to -2.5, but we’re letting off steam and betting on the team that’s rarely seen as an underdog.

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We understand that this year’s Gonzaga team doesn’t have as high a ceiling as they have in previous seasons, but at the end of the day, they’re still Gonzaga. We like the Zags’ chances of making a deep tournament run now that most of the nation is counting them out, and getting 2.5 points in a game that we think should be closer to a pick ’em, is an automatic bet for us.

Sure, a lot has changed since these schools met at the 2021 Final Four and last non-conference season in Las Vegas, but in those games, the Zags finished at neutral as 14.5- and 7-point favorites for both games Terrain. UCLA is one hell of a team that’s going to take the Zags to the abyss, but we’ll take the Bulldogs and the points.

UCLA Gonzaga | Michigan State Kansas State | Houston-Miami

March Madness best parlays for Sweet 16

State of Kansas-Michigan ABOVE 137.5 and Arkansas-Connecticut UNDER 140.5 (+256)

For the bettors out there, we have a two-legged parlay that pays 2.56-1. While Michigan State’s average offensive possession length is well below the D-1 mean, we believe Kansas State’s fast offense will force the Spartans into a track meeting, making the OVER 137.5 a tempting bet might.

Conversely, in Arkansas-Connecticut, we expect more of a half-court game where it’s difficult to get consistent shots. Arkansas’ offense hasn’t been great this season, but the Razorbacks are relentless on defense and rank 15th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Though Connecticut has the nation’s third-most efficient offense, Arkansas has enough length to disrupt them, and we don’t think the Huskies will maintain their elite three-point shooting performance they enjoyed last weekend. The Hogs will find a way to throw Jordan Hawkins out of his rhythm, a welcome sign for bettors below 140.5.

Kansas State Moneyline and Gonzaga Moneyline (+351)

We’ve already detailed why we like Kansas State and Gonzaga, so why not throw both teams into an underdog moneyline game that pays 3.51-1?

It could be argued that both teams should be preferred, so we like to use the plus sign next to both teams’ names.

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