It’s safe to say that few Final Four predictions are fully intact after the first weekend of March Madness 2018. Only seven of the top 16 teams advanced to the Sweet 16, and two No.1 seeds have already been eliminated from contention.
Below are picks against the spread for every Sweet 16 game in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
No.11 Loyola-Chicago (+1.5) vs. No.7 Nevada
Loyola’s Cinderella story was made possible with two wins over teams that have trouble scoring at times. Let’s see how they fare against the sport’s eighth-ranked offensive team that managed to put up 75 points over Cincinnati’s No.1 ranked defense.
Prediction ATS: Nevada
No.7 Texas A&M (+3) vs. No.3 Michigan
The way Texas A&M played against No.2 North Carolina in the second round is how they looked before conference play started. The Aggies can beat anyone in the country when they’re at their best, though they haven’t been able to sustain that level of play in 2018. Don’t be surprised if Michigan runs away with this one. The Wolverines are 23-12-1 against the spread.
Prediction ATS: Michigan
No.9 Kansas State (+5.5) vs. No.5 Kentucky
It took Kentucky most of the season to start playing like a national title contender, though that shouldn’t be surprising since their top five scorers are all freshmen. The team has won nine of their last 10 games, averaging 81.6 points during that span. Kansas State doesn’t own a victory against a team that’s currently ranked in the top 25.
Prediction ATS: Kentucky
No.9 Florida State (+5.5) vs. No.4 Gonzaga
Florida State had a terrific comeback win against No.1 Xavier in the second round. That doesn’t change the fact that Gonzaga is a significantly better team. The Bulldogs have an incredibly balanced scoring attack to go along with a top-15 defense that is good enough to win the national championship.
Prediction ATS: Gonzaga
No.5 Clemson (+4.5) vs. No.1 Kansas
Even as they struggled in ACC play when Donte Grantham suffered a season-ending knee injury, Clemson only lost by double-digits once. Their defense has been terrific in the tournament, holding No.12 New Mexico State and No.4 Auburn to a combined 32 percent from the field. If the Tigers have another strong defensive performance, senior guard Gabe DeVoe could make enough plays to help them pull off the upset.
Prediction ATS: Clemson
No.5 West Virginia (+5.5) vs. No.1 Villanova
Villanova is the best team remaining in the tournament. They averaged 84 points in two games last weekend after leading the nation in offensive efficiency during the regular season, and the Wildcats will score a ton against a West Virginia team that’s allowed more than 72 points per game over their last eight contests. Villanova is 8-2-1 against the spread at a neutral site.
Prediction ATS: Villanova
No.11 Syracuse (+11.5) vs. No.2 Duke
The Orange will have a tough time beating a team that defeated them by 16 points less than a month ago, but Syracuse’s defense should keep them in this one for most of the way. Jim Boeheim has Syracuse playing their 2-3 zone just about as well as they can, allowing no more than 56 points in all three tournament games.
Prediction ATS: Syracuse
No.3 Texas Tech (+1.5) vs. No.2 Purdue
This might be the best game on the Sweet 16 schedule. Can Texas Tech’s elite defense stop Purdue’s elite offense? They’ve got a pretty good chance to do so now that senior big man Isaac Haas is unlikely to play because of an elbow injury.
Prediction: Texas Tech