NCAA Basketball Picks: Sweet 16 Favorites Worth Backing

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:28 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 11:28 AM UTC

Lower seeds have continued to shock us all tournament long, but as we enter the Sweet 16, there are a few favorites who we feel confident in backing with our College Basketball picks.

The Indiana Hoosiers and Louisville Cardinals have taken care of business as No. 1 seeds in the 2013 NCAA Tournament thus far, which makes them very playable as favorites in the Sweet 16. Let's look at each of these team's upcoming matchups, as we share while we believe that the favorites are the ones worth backing wtih our NCAA Basketball picks.

Offense will be the difference

Indiana is second in the country in outscoring foes by an average of 17.3 points per game this season, while sitting third in scoring 79.5 on the offensive end during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.

The Hoosiers knocked down 48 of 100 combined shots in victories over Temple and James Madison in the first two rounds, which falls just short of their 48.6 percent shooting percentage for the entire campaign.

For a full preview of this game check out our NCAA Basketball Picks: Syracuse vs. Indiana.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Syracuse Orange have compiled a 0-5 against-the-spread (ATS) mark when taking on foes that average 77-plus points per game after the 15th game on their schedule the last two-plus seasons. 

College basketball handicappers will also find that the Hoosiers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games versus Big East Conference opponents, while the Orange are 1-4 ATS in their last five opportunities against Big 10 Conference foes. 

Recommendation:  Indiana Hoosiers -5.5 at Bovada


Streaking at the right time

Louisville has won 12 games in a row by an average of 17.8 points, which includes a dominating 82-56 victory over the Colorado State Rams as 11-point favorites in the Round of 32, while going OVER the total in its last six contests.

The Cardinals are definitely playing their best basketball of the entire season—forcing 47 combined turnovers in their first two games of the Big Dance.  Defensively, the team is allowing just 55.4 points over its last five games.

For a full preview of this game check out our NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon vs. Louisville.

Rick Pitino has done his best work in this particular spot since 1991, as he’s compiled a perfect 9-0 SUATS record in the Sweet 16 over that period of time, which includes a 57-44 victory over the Michigan State Spartans as 5.5-point underdogs last year.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program has also garnered a remarkable 20-3-1 ATS mark in the month of March. 

Recommendation:  Louisville Cardinals -9.5 at Pinnacle


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