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Sunday Sweet 16 Sharp Report

March 28, 2021 03:44 AM

The Sweet 16 wraps up today with four more NCAA Tournament games. We also have 4 NBA games, 6 NHL games and a pair of NIT matchups. For extensive Sunday betting analysis and line move updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by VSiN contributor Will Hill and our good friend Thomas Gable at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

On Saturday we saw Sweet 16 dogs and favorites split 2-2 ATS. Favorites went 3-1 straight up. The big story of the day was the continued dominance of unders, which went a perfect 4-0. Unders are now 32-21 ATS (60%) this NCAA Tournament. This speaks to the value of going contrarian this time of year. The market is flooded with public money and the vast majority of bettors will lean to the over. Why? Because it's more fun to root for points. No one wants to sweat an under. However, the oddsmakers know this public tendency and will shade numbers toward the over, providing excellent value to go the under way and buy-low on inflated unders. You also have the added edge of neutral courts, unfamiliar sightlines and the pressure of postseason play. 

Will unders continue their hot streak today? We shall see. 

In the meantime, let's discuss where money is flowing for today's Sweet 16 games.

2:10 p.m. ET: Creighton vs Gonzaga

This West Region showdown features 5-seed Creighton (22-8) against 1-seed Gonzaga (28-0). Creighton barely got by 12-seed Santa Barbara 63-62 in the first round and then handled 13-seed Ohio 72-58 in the second round. Meanwhile, Gonzaga won and covered both of their first two games, crushing 16-seed Norfolk State 98-55 and then taking down 9-seed Oklahoma 87-71. This line opened with Gonzaga listed as a 13.5-point favorite. The public respects Gonzaga but is also hesitant to lay this big number. We've seen this line remain frozen at 13.5 and some shops have dipped to 13. This line has never risen to 14. Reading between the lines, it looks as though all liability is on the side of Creighton plus the points. Ken Pom has Gonzaga winning by 12 points, which provides an actionable edge to Creighton at the current number. Madness dogs that see the line stay the same or move in their favor are 18-10 ATS (64.3%) this NCAA Tournament. The under also seems to be taking in some respected money. The total opened at 158.5 and has either stayed the same or fallen to 158 despite heavy public betting on the over. Creighton has cashed the under in four straight games. 

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 fall from 3 to 2.5. Some shops are even down to 2. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Florida State, with wiseguys grabbing the points with the dog. Madness dogs with a line move in their favor are 11-7 ATS (61%) this NCAA Tournament. 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 under money show up, dropping the total from 145 to 143.5. 

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 -6.5. This signals sharp money laying the points with the Crimson Tide. Ken Pom thinks this one will be a bit closer. He has Alabama winning by four points. 

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 hit the Trojans early, pushing USC from -1.5 to -2.5. We saw some buyback on Oregon at + 2.5, which dropped the line back down to 2. Ken Pom has USC winning by four points, which provides an actionable edge to USC. Bettors wary of laying multiple points could also target USC on the moneyline (-130). 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. Wiseguys have also targeted this under, dropping the total from 139 to 138. 

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