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March Madness Sweet 16 Betting – 2014 Futures Odds

2014 National Championship – Sweet 16 Lines

The NCAA Tournament picture looks considerably clearer following the first weekend. Several teams have tried on the Cinderella slipper, while some of the top seeds have asserted their dominance. [ad-4468020]

With the Sweet 16 on deck, here are six futures plays worthy of a closer look, one for each region, a possible title winner offering favorable odds, and a Most Outstanding Player candidate.

South Region

The top overall seed entering the tournament, the Gators have flexed their muscles in the early going, including a tough win over a woefully underseeded Pitt team. UCLA is a tough draw given how well Kyle Anderson has played, though a Bruins upset seems unlikely.

In the earlier game on Thursday, Stanford will take on Dayton in a battle of double-digit seeded Cinderella team. Dayton certainly has the glass slipper on, though Stanford appears to be underseeded. The team plays well inside and that will make them a tough out in a potential matchup with Florida.

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The Cardinal also split their regular season matchups with the Bruins.

The play: Stanford +500

West Region

Arizona is surely the class of the division, though it was rough watching them struggle against a 16-seed in their opening matchup. They got back on track in the Round of 32, though they’ve been vulnerable since Brandon Ashley went down given that they employ a short bench.

San Diego State is a tough draw in the Sweet 16. Baylor-Wisconsin pits a pair of strong defensive clubs against one another. The Bears obliterated dark horse Creighton in the Round of 32.

Baylor proved in the Big 12 tournament that they can excel in a 1-and-done format, and their explosiveness on offense could pose a problem for their more defense-oriented opponents.

The play: Baylor +500

Midwest Region

We’ll never get to see the Louisville-Wichita State matchup that everyone wanted to see, though Louisville-Kentucky is certainly a close second.
The Cardinals have obliterated opponents of late, and while their low seed that was expected to motivate the team through the tournament hasn’t exactly done that, they are through to the second round and into a favorable situation.

Kentucky is talented, but undisciplined, and that could be their undoing against an always tough Louisville squad. Michigan gets a double-digit seed in Tennessee in the early game, though they will likely see a Michigan team that beat them in the title game a year ago in the next round.

The play: Louisville +110

East Region

The East has certainly been the “Group of Death,” as it were. Four strong candidates to claim the region remain. Michigan State is considered by many to be the favorite, the don’t overlook Virginia, which has taken care of business in tournament games this year.

The Spartans should prevail on the back of a stronger offense, but these teams will take a lot out of one another.

With these games being played at Madison Square Garden, many are wondering if UConn’s Shabazz Napier can repeat the magic created there by Kemba Walker in 2011.

Iowa State has so many weapons on offense that they could potentially overcome even a brilliant performance by Napier, then outscore a beat up Spartans or Cavaliers squad in he next round.

The play: Iowa State +400


The loss of Georges Niang has led to many writing off Iowa State, but the Cyclones just have so many weapons offensively that they’re going to be a tough out for any opponent, and could shoot their way to a title.

As for the Most Outstanding Player award, many questioned Melvin Ejim getting the nod for the Big 12’s top award over teammate DeAndre Kane, who should get some retribution for by earning the tournament’s top individual award.

The play: Iowa State +1800, DeAndre Kane +3300

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