Wichita State and Notre Dame clash in the much-anticipated Sweet 16 showdown that is trading on a tight NCAA betting line. Will the Shockers come through on their slightly favoured odds or will the Fight Irish pull off the shocking upset. Here's our NCAA tournament breakdown complete with NCAA picks.
Wichita State Shockers Marginally Favoured
After a commanding win over Kansas Jayhawks, Wichita State enters the Sweet 16 round as favourites on the NCAA Tournament odds board, albeit marginally so as they are matched at -135 to win straight up and as the 2.5-point chalk on the spread. Can the Shockers parlay that notional edge over the Fighting Irish into a tangible, meaningful result?
On form alone, there's a lot to recommend a bet on the Shocker for today's NCAA tournament picks. The Shockers have won 11 of their last 12 games ahead of the Sweet 16 round, the only hiccup was a narrow 65-62 loss to Illinois State in the MVC semis. Since December, they are 20-2 SU and 12-9-1 ATS over 22 games and they go into this tournament looking to make a point after being bounced last season in the R32 by Kentucky.
The Shockers are coming off a 78-65 upset win over the Kansas Jayhawks, a game in which they dominated on both sides of the ball. Fred VanVleet led the Shockers with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in the gauntlet throwing win.
It's interesting to note that only 40% of public money has gone towards Wichita State to win straight up while 50 % of public money is backing them against the spread.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Can Serve up A Shock
Notre Dame Fighting Irish go into this game as the notional underdogs, matched at +115 NCAA odds and as the 2.5-point underdogs against the spread. Clearly, with such low NCAA odds trading, the Fighting Irish have a reasonable shot to clinch the win tonight.
Notre Dame are coming off a 67-64 win over Butler Bulldogs, but they needed overtime to pull off the feat. Offensively, the Fighting Irish were challenged but they made up for it by a solid defensive account and held Butler to just 33.3% shooting from the field and an even lower 30.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Steve Vasturia had a standout game with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
Notre Dame are riding a seven-game winning streak into this clash; their last defeat came to Syracuse Orange in February when they succumbed to a 65-60 loss. For the most part, they've dominated their opponents, the only exceptions Butler and Northeastern Huskies, their last two opponents. In fact, they failed to cover the spread in both games, as the 12-point faves against Northeastern and 4.5-point faves against Butler. That snapped a five-game winning streak against the spread.
NCAA Betting Verdict:
When the NCAA betting lines first when to press, the Fighting Irish opened as the 1-point faves. They have since been bet down to 1-point underdogs at most sportsbooks, and as far as 2-point underdogs at Bet365 and the like. That's an interesting NCAA betting trend to note, which corresponds to the 60% of public money that is shading the Fighting Irish on their NCAA picks to come up trumps in the win column.
This game is shaping up to be one of the tightest contests of the round of Sweet 16. Arguably, both sides have a stake in the win and a reasonable shot to advance into the last eight. For our money, we're backing the Fighting Irish to come away with the narrow win as well.
NCAA Tournament Picks: Fighting Irish +115 to win and to cover at +2.0
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