Busting Brackets To The Elite Eight – Pac-12 Sends Three Longshots
The Pac-12 continues it’s remarkable March Madness run with three teams in the Elite Eight. Two more advanced through the Sweet 16 as outright winners of more than 6-points as No. 12 seed Oregon State (+7) shut down another bracket buster No. 8 Loyola Chicago, 65-58. The best results for a majority of leading online sportsbooks was UCLA (+7) beating Alabama in overtime, 88-78. The Bruins overcame a beyond the NBA 3-point buzzer beater by Alabama to send the game to OT as time expired.
USC (-2) completed the Pac-12 trifecta with a dominating 82-68 win over fellow Pac-12 foe Oregon to send the Trojans to the Elite Eight. The reward? A chance to face undefeated and top seed Gonzaga.
All three No. 1 seeds flexed their muscles in the Sweet 16 as Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan won both SU and ATS by double digits, which was bad for the online sportsbooks. No. 2 Houston rolled over No. 11 Syracuse, 62-46 and No. 3 Arkansas escaped as a double-digit favorite against No. 15 Oral Roberts 72-70. The Golden Eagles close loss was another bad results for the sportsbooks, with the only Sweet 16 positive point spread for most sportsbooks being UCLA’s win and cover as underdog.
Sweet 16 favorites went 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS. Since 2015, No. 1 seeds are 18-1 SU and 14-5 ATS in the Sweet 16.
Elite Eight Match-ups and Odds
Lines from William Hill
No. 12 Oregon State vs No. 2 Houston (-7.5), total 129
No. 3 Arkansas vs No. 1 Baylor (-7.5), total 148.5
No. 6 USC vs No. 1 Gonzaga (-9), total 155.5
No. 11 UCLA vs No. 1 Michigan (-7.5), total 137
After watching these teams play and reviewing all their NCAA games, stats, box scores, opponents, game flow, KenPom efficiency numbers and keys to NCAA Tournament success, I’ve determined all three underdogs are worth a bet against the No. 1 seeds. Understand, the lines are tight at the leading online sportsbooks, but another quick turnaround and pressure mounting to make the Final Four also makes UNDER the total a preferred play in the Michigan/UCLA and Houston/Oregon State games. An OVER the total is a preferred play in the Baylor/Arkansas game.
The most interesting game is Gonzaga vs USC. The Zags No. 1 scoring offense, No. 1 efficiency offense and No. 1 two-point percentage shooting offense goes up against USC’s No. 4 efficiency defense and No. 1 two-point percentage defense.
Check out more of my Elite Eight update at Offshore Gaming Association.