March 24, 2022

Corrigan's Gambling Corner: March Madness Best Bets: Sweet 16, Day 2 - March 25, 2022

Welcome back to the gambling corner. We are back with some best bets for the second day of the Sweet 16. 

The second day of the Sweet 16 certainly is not as good as the first, but there are still some good matchups and some even better bets.

As a bettor, you obviously want to bet on good games, but betting on the greatest game of all time is the same as betting on the worst game of all time. All we care about is the result.

Anyway, enough of the boring stuff, let's get straight into the picks.

We would love you to tail our picks, but we would especially love you to make a lot of money. As a sign of courtesy, we included the parlay odds for all three of our picks. We just ask that you always remember to gamble responsibly.

Here are tonight's plays.

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Saint Peter's Peacocks vs. Purdue Boilermakers

The Peacocks have been the darlings of the 2022 NCAA tournament. After taking down Kentucky, 15th-seeded Saint Peter's then knocked off Murray State to advance to their first Sweet 16 in school history. 

They certainly have earned our respect, and if they can take down Kentucky and a 30-2 Murray State team, there is no reason to believe that Purdue is going to be unbeatable. However, I implore you to find someone on this Saint Peters team who is going to stop 7'4", 295-pound Zach Edey. The combination of Edey and Jalen Ivey is going to be the best one-two punch the Peacocks have played this season. 

Now, Saint Peters is 23-9 ATS this season, and they have covered in nine straight games. Obviously, their competition outside of their tournament games has not been great, but the way this tournament is unfolding, I think Saint Peters has one more solid performance in them. 

I decided to give picks for every game in the Sweet 16, and personally, I will not bet this game, but if I was going to, I would ride with the Peacocks to cover, but lose.

Pick: Saint Peters +12.5 (-110)

Providence Friars vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Coming into the Round of 64, Providence was one of the teams that everyone was predicting would lose. Part of that was how good South Dakota State was, but also, Providence does not really blow you away as a team. 

Offensively, Providence is ranked 125th in scoring, 149th in effective field goal percentage, and 121st in shooting efficiency. Defensively, they are much stronger as they only give up 66.2 points per game, and they are ranked 56th in KenPom defensive efficiency rating. 

On the other side, Kansas, at times, looks like the best team in the country. The Jayhawks are ranked sixth in KenPom offensive efficiency rating, and they are putting up 78.7 points per game. Defensively, they are hit-or-miss, but teams are only shooting 41.4% against the Jayhawks. 

Kansas is only 18-18 ATS this season, but they have covered in five of their last six, and they are covering by an average of 6.4 points during that span. However, Providence is 5-2 ATS in their last seven, and 19-13 ATS this season. As at least 7.5 underdogs, Providence is 3-0 ATS in those games, and they are 2-1 SU. 

At the end of the day, I think Kansas is giving out too many points against a profitable team this season. Although Kansas is going to win this game, I like Providence to keep it within the number. 

Pick: Providence +7.5 (-114)

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. UCLA Bruins

Not only is this going to be an awesome matchup, but this game is also going to be a First-Team All-Uniform matchup. The Carolina blue uniforms vs. the blue and gold of UCLA is going to POP on your t.v. screens.

Anyway, North Carolina comes into this game covering six of their last seven, and they have taken down a lot of good teams on their way into the tournament. This has not been a great season for North Carolina because the expectations are always so high, but they do have one of the best offenses in the country. The Tar Heels are ranked 17th in scoring, 53rd in shooting efficiency, and 20th in KenPom offensive efficiency rating. 

Their defense leaves a lot to be desired, and if they run into a hot offense, North Carolina is going to be in some real trouble. UCLA is ranked 44th in scoring, but they do not shoot the ball all that well, and if Johnny Juzang is not healthy, the Bruins look lost on the offensive end of the court. 

However, the Bruins are 8-4 ATS in their last 12, and their defense is one of the best in the country. Just because UCLA can be great on offense, they have the advantage in this game. UCLA is 12th in both KenPom offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, and their defense will be the reason they move on to the Elite 8. 

Pick: UCLA -2 (-110)

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Miami Hurricanes

There is no easy path to the Sweet 16 as a double-digit seed, but if there were, Iowa State was on the easiest path for a double-digit seed of all time. 

In the Round of 64, they got an LSU team that has no head coach and is starting right in the face of NCAA punishment. The next round, they got a Wisconsin team that is good, but their offense is so dependent on their stars, and the Badgers' star players were nowhere to be found. 

In their two tournament games this season, Iowa State is averaging 56.5 points and they are shooting 35% from the field as a team in the tournament. The Cyclones have not been a good offensive team at all this season, shooting just 43.3% from the field as a team, and I am starting to think Iowa State just outperformed themselves this season. Coming off a two-win season in 2020-2021, Iowa State does not scare me AT ALL in this game. 

As a team, Miami is not great, especially on defense. They are ranked 191st in scoring, 301st in effective field goal percentage, and 267th in shooting efficiency. However, their offense is putting up 74.7 points per game, and they are shooting 47.7% from the field as a team. 

At the end of the day, I trust Miami's offense more than I trust Iowa State's defense, and I especially trust Miami's defense against Iowa State's offense. Both teams have been very profitable this season, but I really do not think the Cyclones are going to have an answer for this offense. 

Pick: Miami -2.5 (-110)


Photo: Getty Images