Cinderella rules the South region of the NCAA tournament, where Loyola-Chicago will take on Nevada in a Sweet 16 matchup Thursday night in Atlanta. Where does the betting value lie in a game like this?
March Madness point spread: The Wolf Pack opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total is at 143.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
March Madness betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 72.8-69.2, Ramblers (March Madness picks on every game).
Why Loyola-Chicago can cover the spread
The Ramblers are a team that went 15-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, then won the conference tournament to earn their first NCAA tournament bid since 1985. Loyola then reached this Sweet 16 by shocking Miami in the first round of this NCAA tournament 64-62, then tipping Tennessee in the second round 63-62.
The Ramblers got a long three-pointer from Donte Ingram at the buzzer to beat the Hurricanes, then a short jumper from Clayton Custer with three seconds left to beat the Volunteers. Loyola shot 47 percent from the floor against Miami and hit eight of 21 from long range. They then shot 50 percent against the Vols and hit eight of 20 from three-point land.
With their two wins/covers in this NCAA tournament the Ramblers are now 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS this season against teams that made the Big Dance.
Why Nevada can cover the spread
The Wolf Pack are a team that went 15-3 in the Mountain West this season, then advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament, losing to San Diego State. Nevada then reached this Sweet 16 by outlasting Texas in the first round in overtime 87-83, then rallying to upset Cincinnati 75-73 in the second round.
The Pack trailed the Bearcats by 12 at the half and 22 with 11 minutes to go, then ended the game with a 32-8 run for the shocking outright victory as eight-point dogs. Two days prior Nevada trailed the Longhorns by 14 early in the second half but rallied to force OT and won.
The Wolf Pack shot 51 percent from the floor against Texas and committed just seven turnovers; they then shot 49 percent and committed just two turnovers against Cincinnati.
With its two win/covers in this tournament Nevada is now 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS against teams that made the Dance.
Smart betting pick
Loyola owns a 12-game winning streak, and they outplayed Tennessee. The Wolf Pack, meanwhile, may be 2-0 in this tournament but they've also trailed by considerable margins in both games. Smart money here rides the Ramblers.
March Madness betting trends
Nevada is 12-4 SU and 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games in March.
The total has gone over in Nevada's last three games.
Loyola-Chicago is 15-3 ATS in its last 18 games against teams with winning records.
All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.