The People’s Parlay, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Edition: A 28-1 Four-Teamer

The People’s Parlay, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Edition: A 28-1 Four-Teamer article feature image
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Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson (left) talks to his players. Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

  • As we do each week, the four of us from the Action Network Colleges Podcast each come up with our favorite moneyline parlay piece.
  • Double-digit favorites are not eligible, so everyone must select either an underdog or single-digit favorite.
  • For this week's Sweet 16 edition, our four-team moneyline parlay includes three underdogs — and pays 28-1!

It’s time for another four-team moneyline parlay, aka The People’s Parlay — tournament-style.

For those who tuned into the latest episode of The Action Network Colleges podcast, you already know which four teams we have selected. For those who didn’t, or for those just looking for more insight, we will detail the reasoning behind each of our selections.

Our Sweet 16 parlay consists of three underdogs and one favorite, which means it pays out handsomely at over 28-1. Three of the games are on Friday, but we do have one tip tonight between Michigan (-1.5) and Texas Tech. Let’s get things started there.

YTD: 1-4 +3.75 units


Randle: Texas Tech +110

  • Spread: Texas Tech +1.5 vs. Michigan 
  • Over/Under: 125.5
  • Location: Anaheim, CA
  • Date: Thursday, Mar. 28
  • Time: 9:39 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

The Red Raiders and Wolverines will bring us an elite defensive battle, but it’s the Tech’s balanced offense that will be the difference.

Texas Tech struggled to score during the early part of the season, but caught fire from 3P toward the end of Big 12 play. Chris Beard’s bunch shot 43.1% as a team from deep during their last three conference wins.

Sophomore Jarrett Culver (18.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.8 apg) will be the best player of the floor and an impossible matchup. Culver is averaging 25.5 points per game over his past four contests. Davide Moretti (11.5 ppg, 45.4% 3P) and Matt Mooney (10.9 ppg, 38.1% 3P) also provide additional high-level efficiency from beyond the arc.

Michigan has had a fantastic season, but the Red Raiders’ style of play is most similar to Michigan State, which defeated the Wolverines three times this season. Both defenses are stout but Texas Tech’s offense, led by Culver, will send the Red Raiders back to the Elite Eight.


>> All odds as of Saturday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time CBB odds and win probabilities on your bets.


Wilson: North Carolina -220

  • Spread: North Carolina -5 vs. Auburn
  • Over/Under: 164.5
  • Location: Kansas City, MO
  • Date: Friday, Mar. 29
  • Time: 7:29 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

Auburn is the hottest team in the tournament. The Tigers put their style of shooting 3-pointers and forcing turnovers on full display in a route of Kansas to secure their spot in the Sweet 16.

Auburn arrives in Kansas City with the nation’s 64th highest Adjusted Tempo, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Tigers have had their most success of late when playing at a lightning pace. They’ve scored at least 78 points in seven of their past 10 games.

That is fantastic news for a North Carolina team that ranks sixth overall in Adjusted Tempo. The Heels are absolutely elite in transition and love playing as fast as humanly possible.

That said, rebounding will be the difference in this contest. The two teams that came within one possession of beating Auburn during its current winning streak were New Mexico State and Florida, which both out-rebounded the Tigers. The Heels should be able to easily do the same, as they rank 16th or better on both ends of the glass.

Even if the Heels have an off-shooting night, they should gobble up every offensive rebound and get some easy putbacks. Auburn can’t afford the same luxury, as the Heels should get plenty of defensive boards, which will lead to their fantastic transition offense.


Stuckey: Virginia Tech +300

  • Spread: Virginia Tech +7.5 vs. Duke
  • Over/Under: 144
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Date: Friday, Mar. 29
  • Time: 9:39 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

There is just way too much value to pass up here on a Hokies team that I have as one of the 10 best in the country with a healthy Justin Robinson.

The Hokies also have the formula to exploit Duke’s biggest weakness: its 3-point shooting. Buzz William’s squad will go under every screen and aggressively help to prevent penetration, which usually leads to a perimeter jumper. In fact, only Monmouth had a higher opponent 3P rate on the season of all 353 D-1 teams.

Virginia Tech is going to force the Blue Devils make shots. And maybe they hit them, but I’m willing to bet against it.


Eli: Houston +140

  • Spread: Houston +3 vs. Kentucky
  • Over/Under: 134
  • Location: Kansas City, MO
  • Date: Friday, Mar. 29
  • Time: 9:59 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

This contest might come off as a David vs. Goliath, but Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson has plenty of NCAA Tournament experience, including a trip to the 2002 Final Four with Oklahoma. Don’t expect Houston to be fazed by the tall task of facing a blue blood.

Although 6-foot-8 PJ Washington shed his walking boot, his status (foot sprain) hasn’t been determined. Even if he suits up in a limited fashion, the Cougars’ interior defense has stymied numerous frontcourts this season.

They have allowed the 50th-lowest 2-point scoring rate (45.4%) in the country. Houston has the personnel to hold both Washington (if he plays) and fellow big Reid Travis in check.

Houston also has the shooters to take advantage of Kentucky’s leaky perimeter defense (59th-highest opponents’ 3-point scoring percentage). Its multitude of ball handlers creates plenty of mismatches, giving the Cougars enough of a lift offensively to keep pace with the ‘Cats.


Moneyline Parlay Summary

  • Texas Tech +110
  • North Carolina -220
  • Virginia Tech +300
  • Houston +140

Pays: 28-1


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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