NCAA Men's Tournament: Sharp Bettors Backing Two Underdogs on Sweet 16 Sunday

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo shares the latest information for two plays for bettors to target among Sunday's Sweet 16 action
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The Vegas Whispers sharps information, shared directly by SI’s Vegas Insider Frankie Taddeo, went 4-1 ATS in our underdog plays shared last week here at SI Gambling. This followed up Alabama (+220), Illinois (+375) and Georgia Tech (+2500) all delivering conference tournament championship victories in the SEC, Big Ten and ACC respectively for all SIPRO members.

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For sports bettors who love to back the underdogs in the men’s NCAA tournament, 2021 has once again been a solid investment. In the first round, favorites went 21-11 straight-up (SU) but more importantly for the wallets of sports bettors, underdogs posted an 18-13 (58.1%) ATS mark. (Note: Oregon vs. VCU ruled a no contest)

In the second round, favorites went 10-6 SU and 9-7 ATS in thrilling second-round action that witnessed No. 15 Oral Roberts (+330), No. 12 Oregon State (+225), No. 11 Syracuse (+155), and No. 8 Loyola Chicago (+285) pull outright upsets that sees them playing this weekend in the Sweet 16.

Thus far through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, favorites are ahead 31-17 SU while underdogs lead the way at 25-22 ATS.

We will have full betting breakdowns of all the sharp action from Vegas for Saturday’s Sweet 16 tomorrow.

READ MORETwo Sweet 16 Games Bettors Should Target on Saturday

Note: This year, there will be no travel as all games will be played at multiple sites within the state of Indiana, and also, the Sweet 16 will tip-off on Saturday (March 27) as opposed to the traditional commencement on Thursday afternoon.

                                                               Image courtesy of March Madness

                                                               Image courtesy of March Madness

Historical Sweet 16 Trends

Last 10 Tournaments the BETTER Seeds:

  • Straight-up (SU): 53-27 (66.3%)
  • Against the spread (ATS): 38-38-4 (50%)

Last Two Tournaments the BETTER Seeds:

  • Straight-up (SU): 8-8 SU (50%)
  • Against the spread ATS: 5-11 (31%)

Betting Odds & Breakdowns

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Michigan

Spread: No. 4 Florida State +2.5 (-110) | No. 1 Michigan -2.5 (-110)
Total: 143.5– Over (-110) | Under 143.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Florida State +118 | Michigan -139
Game Info: Sunday, March 28, 2021 2:00 pm EST | CBS
Records: FSU: 18-6 (SU); 12-10-2 ATS | MICH: 22-4 (SU); 18-8 (ATS)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The line has ticked down since the opening number of a full three points, now displaying No. 1 Michigan (22-4 SU; 18-8 ATS) as 2.5-point favorites over No. 4 Florida State (18-6 SU; 12-10-2 ATS) at DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 1 Michigan, who many were projecting to possibly struggle to play without star guard Isaiah Livers (stress fracture), have proven their doubters wrong thus far. Juwan Howard did a masterful job last weekend guiding the club to an impressive 86-78 win over LSU as 4.5-point favorites. There is still no word on whether Livers will return for the Sweet 16 matchup with Florida State.

If the Wolverines are once again without their experienced leader and best outside scoring weapon, they will need to establish freshman center Hunter Dickinson (14.2 points per game / 7.5 rebounds). However, that endeavor will not be easy against a stout Seminoles front line. Case in point, Florida State put the clamps down on a potent Colorado offense in the second round, limiting the Buffaloes to just 6 of 25 (24%) from beyond the arc. The Wolverines have been hit or miss for bettors going 3-4 ATS over their last seven games.

No. 4 Florida State covered for the first time in their last five games last round when they defeated Colorado, 61-49, as 1.5-point favorites. The Seminoles, who beat UNC Greensboro in the first round, were 0-3-1 ATS over their previous four games before their win over Colorado. Leonard Hamilton will need to devise a plan to improve their offensive efficiency and limit their high turnover rate (14.4 per game) if they hope to defeat the East Region’s No. 1 seed.

The early sharp money in Las Vegas is backing Florida State to dominate Michigan with strong front-line dominance. We shared with the SI PRO community earlier this week to back the Seminoles when the line stood at +3.

Play: Florida State +3 (-110) (Line has since dropped to +2.5)


No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 6 USC

Spread: No. 7 Oregon +2 (-110) | No. 6 USC -2 (-110)
Total: 138– Over (-110) | Under 138 (-110)
Moneyline: Oregon +108 | USC -127
Game Info: Saturday, March 27, 2021 6:45 pm EST | TBS
Records: ORE: 21-6 (SU); 15-12 ATS | USC: 24-7 (SU); 18-13 (ATS)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The line has bounced around since the opener displaying No. 6 USC (24-7 SU; 18-13 ATS) as 1-point favorites over No. 7 Oregon (21-6 SU; 15-12 ATS) at DraftKings Sportsbook to a line now reflecting the Trojans as 2-point favorites.

No. 7 Oregon received a win via "no contest" in the First Round when VCU was forced to forfeit due to positive COVID-19 results. The Ducks, who have won 13 of their last 15 games, did not waste their 'free pass' advancement taking down Luka Garza and No. 2 Iowa, 95-80, as 5-point underdogs in the second round.

It is fair to surmise that basketball fans are perhaps only just beginning to see what this Oregon club can do after COVID-19 pauses limited team cohesion. Down the stretch of the regular season and in their win over the Hawkeyes, we witnessed an electric offense led by senior guard Chris Duarte, averaging 17.0 points per game while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. Oregon has been outstanding for bettors to back, posting a 6-1 ATS mark over their last seven games.

No. 6 USC, led by projected NBA lottery pick Evan Mobley (16.5 points per game/ 8.8 rebounds), have won five of their last six games. Included in that span are two straight up, and ATS wins over Drake (-7.5) and Kansas (-1.5) in the NCAA tournament. The Trojans headed into the NCAA tournament on a 1-5 ATS run before their two impressive SU, and ATS tournament wins that have resulted from outscoring their opponents 157-107 (an average of 25.0 points per victory).

The two Pac-12 foes met once in the regular season (the second matchup didn't occur due to COVID-19 positive issues among the Oregon staff and players). On Feb. 22, USC came away with a 72-58 victory as 3.5-point home favorites, which resulted in Oregon's only loss over its final 11 regular-season games.

This line opened with USC as 1-point favorites and soared up to 2.5 in some reputable Las Vegas shops before settling back down at its current offering of Oregon +2. The Vegas Whispers sharps are backing the Ducks and grabbing the points in this battle of Pac-12 rivals in the Sweet 16.

Play: Oregon+2 (-110)

2021 Vegas Whispers NCAA Tournament Record: 4-1 ATS 

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