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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Tar Heels Head Into Sweet 16 as 4-1 Favorites to Win NCAA Tournament, Kansas & Arizona Both 9-2

Five Handicapping Hints to Win During Sweet-16

Win Surprising 50-Unit Bet on 3-0 NCAA Thursday

By Kelso Sturgeon

There are 32 teams competing in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday and Friday and while some teams have a better chance to win than do others, every remaining team has what it takes to win and/or cover the number. Las Vegas bookmakers have made #1 seeded North Carolina the 4-1 favorite to win it all.

Bookmakers have said the first two rounds of the tournament attracted the heaviest action ever and they expect it to continue. With #1 seed Villanova and #2 Duke, two teams heavily bet in futures wagering losing in the second round, bookmakers had at least a small smile on their faces. Las Vegas sports books were holding scores of five-figure bets on them to win the tournament.

While nobody is talking much about futures heading into the Sweet Sixteen, there are two isolated futures bets from two heavy hitters that have attracted a lot of attention. Derek Stevens, owner of The D and Golden Gate hotels and casinos, has a $12,500 bet at the Golden Nugget on Michigan at odds of 80-1 that will return more than $1 million if the Wolverines win.

A second futures bet of interest was made by professional gambler Lance Blankenship who wagered $8,680 on Purdue at odds ranging from 28-1 to 50-1 and he will collect just under $400,000 if the Boilermakers get there. Good luck to both of them.

Current Odds To Win NCAA Tournament
North CarolinaTar Heels4-1
West VirginiaMountaineers18-1
South CarolinaGamecocks75-1

5 Important Sweet-16 Handicapping Hints

As noted there are no teams that as a member of the Sweet-16 combine that have no chance to win the national championship. High seed, low seed, favorite, underdog – they are all alive to win or cover every time they take the floor. That includes #11 seeded Xavier which has already beaten higher seeds, #6 Maryland, 76-65, and #3 Florida, 91-66, in the tournament, both has the underdog.

For the record no 11th seed has ever won the tournament but three teams made it to the Final four – LSU in 1996, George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011. The lowest seed to ever win the title was #8 Villanova in 1985. Against this background, here are five handicapping hints that might help you pick a winner on Thursday and Friday.

  1. Trust that the betting lines are more accurate now that at anytime during the season. Bookmakers make absolutely no mistakes at this point.
  2. Give an edge to a team that is playing its best basketball right now. Remember the purpose of betting is to cover the number and not necessarily to win outright.
  3. Remember there are several ways to bet a game and one must study if a bet on the over/under or on the money line.
  4. Give an edge to teams that have both won and covered on the road or on neutral floors this season.
  5. Pay close attention to injury reports.

Thursday’s Sweet Sixteen Schedule

Midwest Regional Semifinals Played at Sprint Center, Kansas City
#1 Kansas (30-4) vs. #4 Purdue (27-7)
#3 Oregon (31-5) vs. #8 Michigan (26-11)

West Regional Semifinals Played at SAP Center, San Jose
#1 Gonzaga (34-1) vs. #4 West Virginia (28-8)
#2 Arizona (32-4) vs. #11 Xavier (23-13)

Friday’s Sweet Sixteen Schedule

East Regional Semifinals Played at Madison Square Garden, New York
#4 Florida (26-8) vs. #8 Wisconsin (27-9)
#3 Baylor (27-7) vs. #7 South Carolina (24-10)

South Regional Semifinals Played at FedEx Forum, Memphis
#2 Kentucky (31-5) vs. #3 UCLA (31-4)
#1 North Carolina (29-7) vs. #4 Butler (25-8)

50-Unit Winner Highlights Tonight’s 3-0 Sweet 16 Start

All four of tonight’s Sweet 16 game are attractive for bettors who have done their homework and in one of the games I have found enough hidden edges that I believe strongly will put us in the winner’s circle and I am releasing it as a 50-unit play. You can win this 50-Unit knockout, plus two of the other three games, for Just $35, charged to your major credit card or Pay Pal.It will be right back on Friday with another 50-Unit play on another 3-0 day.

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