What a wild weekend. From the first win by a No. 16 seed in tournament history to SEVEN five-plus-point underdogs winning outright to multiple buzzer beaters. (I still don’t know how Michigan beat Houston). Now that your bracket is probably busted like mine, it’s time to solely focus on the Sweet 16 betting matchups.

 

In today’s piece, our staff of experts will take an early look at all eight Sweet 16 games from a betting perspective. Make sure you check back later in the week for more in-depth betting guides for both Thursday and Friday.

All spreads as of Monday morning.

THURSDAY

#11 Loyola-Chicago vs. #7 Nevada (-2.5)

7:07 p.m. ET on CBS | Atlanta, GA

Analysis: Nevada’s offense is built on interchangeability and embracing “pace and space” in an NBA-style spread pick-and-roll scheme. While Loyola doesn’t have a lot of height, head coach Porter Moser’s club can switch 1-4. As a result, the Ramblers have a phenomenal ball-screen defense, led by guard Ben Richardson, and the versatility of forward Aundre Jackson, guard Marques Townes, guard Donte Ingram, and guard Lucas Williamson. The Ramblers are ultimately built to defend Nevada’s offense, which often goes 5-out. The Pack have a clear talent edge with the Martin twin forwards (Cody and Caleb), guard Kendall Stephens, and guard/post Jordan Caroline, but Loyola thrives with a cohesive team defense. The Ramblers have also shut down both high major pick-and-roll offenses it has faced in the tourney so far.

Loyola has a well-deserved reputation as a team of sharpshooters, but the Ramblers’ offense is built on working inside out. In fact, Loyola attempts shots at the rim at a top 50 rate nationally. It should have success inside against a Pack defense that has had issues defending at the rim all year. The Ramblers’ ability to defend Nevada’s versatility in pick and roll and exploit the Pack’s glaring weakness defensively leads me to think Sister Jean and Loyola will keep the upsets coming.

Early ATS lean: Loyola Chicago +2.5
Early bracket lean: Loyola Chicago — Jordan Majewiski

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