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I’ve already taken a position in two Sweet 16 games Friday in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. I’m adding a 3rd from the 15-seed Princeton Tigers versus 6-seed Creighton Bluejays in the South Regional.
After upsetting the 2-seed Arizona Wildcats, Princeton’s magical run continued with a 78-63 beatdown of the 7-seed Missouri Tigers in the Round of 32.
Creighton beat both of its 1st two NCAA tourney opponents by nine. First, the Bluejays crapped on the 11-seed NC State Wolfpack 72-63 in the Round of 64. Then Creighton beat the 3-seed Baylor Bears 85-76 in the 2nd round.
(Shameless Plug: My OutKick Bets podcast broke down all eight 2023 Sweet 16 games with fellow OutKick handicapper Dan Zaksheske).
Princeton vs. Creighton Odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
First of all, Princeton were 15-point underdogs vs. Arizona in the 1st round and Arizona is NOT five points better than Creighton on a neutral court.
The market is overreacting to the Tigers beating an Arizona team that pooped its pants and a Missouri team that sucked on defense. The SEC is notoriously awful from 3 as a conference and Missouri ranked 265th in defensive 3-point percentage.
Also, Princeton busted a bunch of brackets by upsetting Arizona and now the majority of the public is backing the Tigers. Per VSIN, more than 70% of the bets as of Friday afternoon are on Princeton.
There’s a saying in sports betting that goes “Public ‘dogs get slaughtered by sportsbooks”. Since the public typically bets favorites, it’s rare for the House to be rooting for the better team.
Make no mistake, Creighton is way better than Princeton. The Bluejays rank 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 22nd defensively out of 363 programs, according to KenPom.com.
Creighton does things I like when backing a big favorite. The Bluejays rank 14th in free throw percentage, 3rd in defensive free-throw-attempt rate, 13th in defensive rebounding, and 9th in defensive 3-point-attempt rate.
Bluejays 7-foot C Ryan Kalkbrenner is 2-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and Princeton doesn’t have the 3-point shooting to pull him out of the paint.
Princeton was one of the best stories in the 1st weekend of the NCAA Tournament. But, Creighton is a legit title contender and doesn’t have a weakness for Princeton to exploit.
BET: Bluejays -10 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
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