college basketball

March Madness: The best betting props for the Sweet 16

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

March 26th, 2021

We’ve gone from 68 teams to 16 left standing in the NCAA Tournament. The Sweet 16 is where the contenders tend to separate themselves from the pretenders, though it’s not unprecedented for a double-digit seed to spring an upset this far down the line in March Madness.

Here are the five best prop wagers for this weekend’s Sweet 16 games.

Baylor Bears Total Points (Over/Under 74.5)

The Villanova Wildcats managed to make it to the Sweet 16 without Collin Gillespie, but they beat two double-digit seeds to get to this point (No. 12 Winthrop and No. 13 North Texas). Their luck appears to have run out as they drew a matchup with the one-seed Baylor Bears this Saturday.

Baylor is fifth in the country in points per game this season (83.8), with phenomenal guards Jared Butler (16.9 points per game), MaCio Teague (16.1) and Davion Mitchell (14.1) leading the way. Villanova is 74th in points allowed per game at 66.7, and 257th in opponent three-point percentage (35%). That spells trouble against the Bears, who are tops in the nation in shooting the three-ball (41.5%).

Bet on Baylor to eclipse their team total this Saturday.

NCAA pick: Over

Houston Cougars Total Points (Over/Under 73.5)

Saturday’s late-night tilt between the Syracuse Orange and Houston Cougars could be the most lopsided of the weekend.

The Cougars are 42nd in points per game (77.9) and fifth in total rebounds per game (41). By contrast, the Orange are 186th in points allowed per game (70.4) and 293rd in rebounds per game (37.6).

Houston’s 63-point output against Rutgers last Sunday looks like a fluke, as they shot just 37.3%, by far their worst night from the floor in a five-game stretch.

NCAA pick: Over

Syracuse Orange Total Points (Over/Under 66.5)

Buddy Boeheim and company have been playing out of their minds thus far in the tournament, making over 50% of their shots. But they’ve shot just 44.4% from the floor all year, 154th in the country.

The Cougars are second in field goal % against in 2021 (37.1%). They should hold Syracuse to fewer than 67 points.

NCAA pick: Under

Gonzaga Bulldogs Total Points (Over/Under 85.5)

Gonzaga could have a hard time covering a 13-point spread against the Creighton Jays, but their scorers shouldn’t struggle on Sunday.

The Bulldogs boast the best offense in the country, averaging 92.3 points per game. Corey Kispert leads the team (19.2), with Drew Timme close behind (18.8). They’ll face a Jays defense that’s 112th in points allowed per game (68.1).

NCAA pick: Over

UCLA Bruins Total Points (Over/Under 69.5)

The total for UCLA’s matchup with the Alabama Crimson Tide has crept steadily upward for a reason. This game promises to be an exciting shootout between two hot offensive teams. The Bruins offer the slightly better prop bet with the lower team total.

UCLA’s leading scorer – Johnny Juzang – has been on a roll since the tournament started, scoring 22.3 points per game. Opponents have mustered fewer than 31 rebounds per game against the Bruins, suggesting that UCLA will get their fair share of second chance opportunities and clear the 70-point threshold.

NCAA pick: Over