NCAA Tournament 2021: Tips for Odds, Over-Under Scores for Sweet 16 Bracket

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 27, 2021

NCAA Tournament 2021: Tips for Odds, Over-Under Scores for Sweet 16 Bracket

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    No NCAA men's basketball tournament games have taken place since Tuesday, but March Madness is back in action Saturday. The Sweet 16 round is set to get underway with four matchups, followed by four more Sunday.

    While three No. 1 seeds remain alive in the tourney (Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan), there are plenty of underdogs looking to keep their Cinderella runs going. No. 11 Syracuse, No. 11 UCLA, No. 12 Oregon State and No. 15 Oral Roberts are all double-digit seeds that have defied the odds in reaching this point.

    Will the heavy favorites continue to roll through the tournament? Can the underdogs continue their improbable runs? Anything can happen during March Madness.

    Here's a look at the full Sweet 16 schedule, along with odds and picks for the games.

Sweet 16 Schedule, Odds, Picks

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Saturday, March 27

    No. 8 Loyola-Chicago (-7) vs. No. 12 Oregon State; Over/Under 125 points (2:40 p.m. ET, CBS)

    No. 1 Baylor (-8) vs. No. 5 Villanova; O/U 142 (5:15 p.m. ET, CBS)

    No. 3 Arkansas (-11) vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts; O/U 158 (7:25 p.m. ET, TBS)

    No. 2 Houston (-6.5) vs. No. 11 Syracuse; O/U 140.5 (9:55 p.m. ET, TBS)


    Sunday, March 28

    No. 1 Gonzaga (-13.5) vs. No. 5 Creighton; O/U 158.5 (2:10 p.m. ET, CBS)

    No. 1 Michigan (-2.5) vs. No. 4 Florida State; O/U 143.5 (5 p.m. ET, CBS)

    No. 2 Alabama (-6.5) vs. No. 11 UCLA; O/U 145.5 (7:15 p.m. ET, TBS)

    No. 6 USC (-2) vs. No. 7 Oregon; O/U 138 (9:45 p.m. ET, TBS)

    Picks in bold against the spread. Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Oregon State Capable of Another Upset Victory

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    One of the biggest storylines of the tournament has been the success of the Pac-12 programs, with four having reached the Sweet 16. That includes Oregon State, which has notched upset wins against No. 5 Tennessee and No. 4 Oklahoma State to reach this point.

    However, if the Beavers are going to keep their run going, they will have to knock off No. 8 Loyola-Chicago, which is coming off a huge upset victory of its own. The Ramblers knocked off No. 1 Illinois in the second round, and they are trying to make a run to the Final Four for the second time in four years.

    But Oregon State is playing well, having won eight of its past nine games. And the Beavers are capable of dominating the boards, as they did in the second round against Oklahoma State, when they out-rebounded the Cowboys 52-32.

    It should be a close game, and Oregon State will likely at least cover the spread as a seven-point underdog. But don't be surprised if the Beavers end the Ramblers' hopes of another Final Four run and put themselves one win away from reaching that point.

Gonzaga Should Notch Another Sizable Victory

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Gonzaga has been dominant all season, and that hasn't changed since the Bulldogs arrived at the NCAA men's basketball tournament. They have improved to 28-0 with convincing victories over No. 16 Norfolk State and No. 8 Oklahoma. And if they keep playing as well as they have been, there may be nobody that can beat them.

    Of its 28 wins, Gonzaga's margin of victory has been at least 10 points in all but one (an 87-82 victory against West Virginia on Dec. 2). The Bulldogs will look to keep their incredible season going when they face No. 5 Creighton in the Sweet 16.

    Gonzaga may be a heavy favorite to win again Sunday, favored by 13.5 points, but it's not looking past any opponent.

    "There are a lot of good teams out there, and when you play them on the biggest stage and it's just one game, it's not a seven-game series, anything can happen," Bulldogs coach Mark Few said, per Tim Booth of the Associated Press.

    But Gonzaga's season isn't ending here. Expect the Bulldogs to keep rolling with another double-digit win over the Bluejays.

Oral Roberts Likely to Cover Spread in Another Close Game

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Only two No. 15 seeds have ever reached the Sweet 16 of the men's NCAA tournament: Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 and Oral Roberts this year. However, Florida Gulf Coast lost once it reached that point, while Oral Roberts will be looking to extend its improbable run to the Elite Eight.

    The Golden Eagles have been the biggest surprise of March Madness, as they beat No. 2 Ohio State in overtime in the first round and No. 7 Florida in the second round. They will face a solid SEC opponent for the second successive round when they take on No. 3 Arkansas.

    The Razorbacks are a strong team, which is why they are 11-point favorites. But that line may not be giving Oral Roberts enough credit. The Golden Eagles are playing well, and they boast a strong duo in sophomore guard Max Abmas (24.5 points per game) and junior forward Kevin Obanor (19.0).

    Can Oral Roberts pull off a third straight upset? Possibly. But at the least, the Golden Eagles should keep it within 10 points and give Arkansas a competitive game.


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