The Arizona Wildcats are the biggest favorite heading in to the next round, and if you want my sage Sweet 16 betting advice then follow my prediction and hammer them against the Aztecs. If you read anything I said about Arizona over the weekend, you know I’m not their biggest fan. They’re a very good team and undoubtedly one of the best in the country, but I just don’t trust them in big pressure games. Recent losses against UCLA and Oregon still hover in my memory.
After seeing them pancake a feisty team from Gonzaga, however, I have a bit more faith. It’s weird for me to downplay the Wildcats in general because they were such a strong bet this year at 21-14 ATS overall, and I’m a freaking handicapper. Plus they literally have everything you could want when it comes to an inside-outside presence, and a stifling defense. Sweet 16 predictions haven’t been easy to make because the matchups are all very tight, but I’m taking the betting advice of the oddsmakers here and following their lead with this large number.
San Diego State hasn’t done a ton to really cement themselves as a cagey underdog play in my books. I tend to hate the Mountain West Conference in general because it’s a two horse race that involves a bunch of dead weight, and San Diego State is one of the stallions. Seeing them struggle against New Mexico State in a bare, overtime win in the Round of 64 did nothing for me except further my suspicions about their potential.
A win over North Dakota State, which was nothing more than a flirting Cinderella, didn’t amaze me either. In fact, I handed out betting advice to bet against the Aztecs in that specific game. My Sweet 16 predictions aren’t going to be influenced just because they beat the Bison by +19.0 points. Big deal.
Bonus Sweet 16 Predictions
- Stanford -3.0 vs. Dayton (STAN -3.0)
- Wisconsin -3.5 vs. Baylor (BAY +3.5)
- Florida -4.5 vs. UCLA (FLA -4.5)
- Michigan -1.5 vs. Tennessee (TEN +1.5)
- Iowa State -1.5 vs. UConn (ISU -1.5)
- Louisville -5.0 vs. Kentucky (UK +5.0)
- Michigan State -1.5 vs. Virginia (MSU -1.5)
My problems with Arizona are more so to do with the fact that they feel like a two man band. Now, when your leads are Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson, you’re pretty far ahead of the curve. They’re a fantastic team, but betting comes down to trust for me and Arizona struggles when their opponents start gaining momentum offensively. They are miles above the Pac-12 competition but they’re not that far ahead of the big dogs left in the Sweet 16. My prediction and betting advice on this game is relatively straight forward, but I’m not sure I can encourage a bet on Arizona in the Elite Eight or beyond.