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There are only two more weekends in the college basketball season with the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament tipping off Thursday with a 4-game slate.
Both the East Regional in Madison Square Garden and the West Regional in Las Vegas are on the docket for Thursday. The Elite 8 for both regions is Saturday.
I only have two looks for Thursday with two more coming down the pike for Friday. We’ll skip the East’s matchup of 7-seed Michigan State vs. 3-seed Kansas State and 3-seed Gonzaga vs. 2-seed UCLA in the West Thursday.
Sweet 16: 8-seed Arkansas Razorbacks vs. 4-seed UConn Huskies in the West Region at 7:15 p.m. ET
- Moneyline: Arkansas (+150), UConn (-175)
- Spread: ARKANSAS +3.5 (-105), UConn -3.5 (-115)
- Total — 139.5 — Over: -110, Under: -110
The Razorbacks have two strength-on-weakness edges over the Huskies in ball security and free-throw-attempt rate (FTr) on both ends of the floor.
They are 63rd nationally out of 363 programs in defensive turnover rate (TOV%) and UConn is 234th in offensive TOV%, per KenPom.com. Arkansas is 23rd in offensive FTr and the Huskies are 319th in defensive FTr.
Also, the Razorbacks have a higher dunk rate and attempts a higher rate of “close” 2-pointers than UConn, per BartTorvik.com.
Arkansas is 15th in average proximity from the basket on shots and UConn is 259th defensively in average proximity of shots allowed, according to Haslametrics.com.
Ken Pom makes the Huskies a -6 favorite over the Razorbacks. Everyone who bets college hoops looks at that website. But, if the betting market disagrees with Ken Pom, I’m going to side with the betting market.
Speaking of which, there is sketchy reverse line movement in the betting market. Per VSIN, roughly 75% of the action at DraftKings is on UConn but this line is moving towards Arkansas. Hmmm…
BET: Arkansas +3.5 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Sweet 16: 9-seed Florida Atlantic Owls vs. 4-seed Tennessee Volunteers in the East Region at 9 p.m. ET
- Moneyline: Florida Atlantic (+205), Tennessee (-245)
- Spread: FLORIDA ATLANTIC +5.5 (-110), Tennessee -5.5 (-110)
- Total — 130.5 — Over: -110, Under: -110
There was nearly value in the ‘dog when this game opened up for betting with Tennessee at -4.5. However, now that the Volunteers have been steamed up to -5.5, I’m ready to jump in on the underdog.
Tennessee is getting a lot of love for punking a young Duke team that had no NCAA tourney experience on the roster or coaching staff and was missing starting SF Mark Mitchell. That win had more to do with Duke not being ready for the moment.
The Volunteers were +6 in rebounding margin vs. the Blue Devils and +6 in turnover margin. But, Florida Atlantic is 64th in offensive TOV% (Duke is 193rd) and 44th in defensive rebounding rate, per Ken Pom.
Florida Atlantic’s offense is more dynamic than Duke’s and eventually the absence of Tennessee’s starting PG Zakai Zeigler will be a factor. All five of the Owls’ starters are able to knock down 3-pointers.
According to Haslametrics.com, Florida Atlantic has more momentum entering the Sweet 16, the Owls are more consistent and have better away-from-efficiency than the Volunteers.
Ultimately, I don’t see 5.5 points worth of difference between Florida Atlantic and Tennessee. I’d pass on this game if the Owls were only +3.5 ‘dogs but +5.5 is too good to pass up.
BET: Florida Atlantic +5.5 (-110) at DraftKings
Sweet 16 Gambling Looks Ft. Dan Zaksheske
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One CommentLeave a Reply
Hey, Musselman. Take off your shirt now.
Lose by 20+ in the Regional semi-final? Something else John Wooden never did.