Sweet 16 Parlay Betting Picks
Just in case March Madness hasn’t already been exciting enough, one way to boost your winnings is to stack two of your game wagers into parlay picks. We’ve looked at all of the Sweet 16 matchups and put together our primo parlay pick for Thursday and for Friday, so check out our March Madness betting picks before you lock in your own wagers.
Sweet 16 Parlay Betting Picks
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) March 20, 2017
Thursday, March 23: West Virginia over Gonzaga / Kansas over Purdue
The way West Virginia opened their win over Notre Dame is textbook Bob Huggins: the Fighting Irish opened 0 for 5 from the floor, and West Virginia swarmed their way to an early 10-0 lead. The Mountaineer press bothered Notre Dame for the first eight minutes of the game — and then the last 11 minutes of the first half. The Irish turned the ball over six times in those first eight minutes, and the sheer pacing of the game seemed to wear down the Irish, as V.J. Beachem’s flat jumper looked like his legs were already Jell-O. The second half opened better for Notre Dame, as they closed to within four, but then Press Virginia struck again, taking turnover after turnover. West Virginia did shoot an uncommonly hot 57 percent from downtown (they shot 36 percent from behind the arc for the season), so I don’t expect them to be that hot again, but Gonzaga looked like they got all they want from 8-seed Northwestern. I don’t see how they hold off the Mountaineers.
When Kansas takes on Purdue, all eyes will be on the Jayhawks’ stars Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson, and the Boilermaker’s big man, Caleb Swanigan. However, it has been the role players who have helped both teams reach the Sweet 16. Ole Miss transfer Dwight Coleby took the floor for just nine minutes for Kansas in their second-round game, but his three points and four rebounds gave center Landen Lucas a rest — and how about that baby hook that Lucas showed? If Kansas can rely on that high-low game, the perimeter shots will be even more open — and more devastating. Purdue lacks that inside-out potential, as Swanigan doesn’t have the same talent outside to ship the ball back to. That’s why I like Kansas to win this one.
Friday, March 24: North Carolina over Butler / UCLA over Kentucky
Here’s an interesting question — what would Kentucky’s record have been for the season if they were a Pac-12 team instead of an SEC team? The Pac-12 offers tougher travel and tougher competition than the SEC does, and Kentucky has shown, time and time again, that defense is optional. That’s how they almost lost that game to Wichita State in the second round. The Shockers had pulled within one before the Wildcats remembered to defend, and Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo delivered a pair of resounding blocks to hold off Wichita State. Kentucky’s problems don’t come on offense or on the glass; they come on the team’s failure to guard. It’s true that Wichita State shot just 39 percent from the floor, but late in the game, Kentucky almost ran out of answers — and UCLA has more weapons on offense than the Shockers do.
I don’t see North Carolina shooting just 29 percent from downtown again like they did against Arkansas, and I don’t see Joel Berry II going 2 for 13 again. I do see the Tar Heels dominating the glass again. They pulled down 18 offensive boards against the Razorbacks, including seven from Kennedy Meeks. Butler has some resilient guards, such as Kamar Baldwin, who can rain shots in from the outside but who can also penetrate to the rim. However, the Tar Heels have defenders in their backcourt and enough solid rebounding inside to make it to the Elite Eight.