Stuckey & Randle’s NCAA Tournament Value Bets Heading Into the Sweet 16
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama Crimson Tide standout Herbert Jones.
Your bracket is busted and looking for something to root for in the NCAA Tournament entering this weekend's Sweet 16.
We've all been there.
Gonzaga is the easy route as the favorite at +155 odds, but we're looking a little deeper down the board for a slightly bigger payoff.
Our college basketball experts give out the teams they're looking at on the oddsboard, with value heading into Saturday's Sweet 16 games.
In regard to tournament futures, I think Baylor has a bit of value if you can find +450 odds or better, which is out there. This is a team that was neck and neck with Gonzaga in my power ratings and futures market before it dealt with severe COVID-19 issues that caused an extended pause to team activities.
Upon return, Baylor just didn’t look like the same team, especially on the defensive end. I wasn’t sure if we would ever see that same pre-pandemic elite Bears' squad. However, I believe we saw that team last weekend against Wisconsin. If that’s the case, the Bears are right there with Gonzaga and have a decent path to the championship.
I loved Alabama at 20-1 odds before the tournament, and I still love it at 10-1 in the Sweet 16.
The Crimson Tide have one of the most favorable paths to the Final Four as a favorite against UCLA, followed by either Florida State or short-handed Michigan. Head coach Nate Oats' squad is now fully healthy, with both forward Jordan Bruner (5.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG) and guard Josh Primo (8.2 PPG, 39.4% from beyond the arc) back in the lineup.
Alabama has the third-most efficient defense, per KenPom, and dominated both sides of the 3-point line in SEC play. Alabama shot 37.8% from three as a team and held its conference opponents to just 25.9% efficiency from beyond the arc. Both numbers led the the conference.
The Crimson Tide's perimeter defense and elite dribble-drive ability on offense are a dangerous combination to a potential matchup with overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga. There is a strong chance that the eventual national champion is the winner of that game.
If this Sweet 16 was played 10 times, I truly believe Alabama wins it more than once, making 10-1 odds fantastic value.