The NCAA Tournament remains on hiatus today as we count down until the Sweet 16 starts this weekend. Luckily, bettors still have the CBI Championship, 11 NBA games and 5 NHL games to choose from on Wednesday. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET to go over all of today's action in greater depth.
In yesterday's newsletter we discussed three Sweet 16 games receiving early line movement. Let's continue by looking at three more matchups garnering sharp action.
Sunday 5 p.m. ET: Florida State vs Michigan
This East Region matchup features 4-seed Florida State (18-6) against 1-seed Michigan (22-4). Florida State has breezed through the tournament thus far, beating 13-seed UNC Greensboro 64-54 and then crushing 5-seed Colorado 71-53. Similarly, Michigan has looked impressive throughout the tournament despite missing star Isaiah Livers. The Wolverines crushed 16-seed Texas Southern 82-66 and then edge 8-seed LSU 86-78. This game opened with Michigan listed as a 3-point favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the short spread with top seed Michigan. However, despite this lopsided support we've seen the line remain frozen at 3. Some shops are even juicing up the Florida State + 3 to -115, signaling a possible fall to 2.5. Essentially, all respected money and liability seems to be on FSU plus the points. Ken Pom has Michigan winning by four points, which means the market is more bullish on the Seminoles than the advanced analytics. We've also seen some under money show up, dropping the total from 145 to 143.5.
Sunday 7:15 p.m. ET: UCLA vs Alabama
This East Region matchup pits 11-seed UCLA (20-9) against 2-seed Alabama (26-6). UCLA is the only team in the Tournament with a 3-0 record. The Bruins beat 11-seed Michigan State 86-80 in the play-in game, then took down 6-seed BYU 73-62 in the first round before crushing 14-seed Abilene Christian 67-47 in the second round. Meanwhile, Alabama has won both of their two matchups by double-digits, beating 15-seed Iona 68-55 and then dismissing 10-seed Maryland 96-77. This line opened with Alabama listed as a 5.5-point favorite. The public is split and doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. However, we've seen this line rise from -5.5 to -6 and some shops are even hinting toward a move to -6.5. This signals some respected money laying the points with the Crimson Tide. If the line continues to creep up, expect UCLA to have some inflated line value. Ken Pom has Alabama winning by four points, which provides some actionable value on UCLA plus the points. UCLA also has value as a slow paced dog (20-16 ATS, 56% this Tournament).
Sunday 9:45 p.m. ET: Oregon vs USC
This West Region showdown is the late game on Sunday's slate. It's a Pac-12 grudge match between 7-seed Oregon (21-6) against 6-seed USC (24-7). Oregon won their first round game over VCU by a forfeit and then shocked 2-seed Iowa 95-80 in the second round. They will now face a red-hot USC squad who beat 11-seed Drake 72-56 and then crushed 3-seed Kansas 85-51. This line opened with USC listed as a short 1.5-point favorite. Respected money has poured in on the Trojans, pushing USC from -1.5 to -2.5. Ken Pom has USC winning by four points, which provides an actionable edge. Bettors wary of laying multiple points could also target USC on the moneyline (-145). Ken Pom has USC ranked 6th and Oregon 17th. USC will lean on their smothering defense in this one (only allowing 64.4 PPG) and the Trojans also have an edge on the boards. USC is 30th in the country in rebounding. Oregon is 309th. These teams met back on February 22nd and USC won 72-58.