Saturday’s Sweet 16 slate features games that oddsmakers don’t think will be close. We’ve seen plenty of upsets early on this season. Is it time for favorites to take over? Here are the best bets for Saturday’s March Madness slate.
Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers
Saturday, March 27, 2021 – 02:40 PM EDT Bankers Life Fieldhouse
We’re approaching the Sweet 16 and all four games on Saturday have spreads of six points or higher. This is crazy.
Loyola Chicago looks so pure right now. They’re first in the nation on defense and 35th in the nation on offense. This team is the real deal. They’re shooting an effective field goal percentage of 56.3 percent and knock down 36 percent of threes while scoring 57.7 percent inside.
The Ramblers just knocked off the one-seeded Illinois Illini by 13 points and look to be a literal one seed in the tournament behind Cameron Krutwig. Krutwig is averaging 15 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds and three assists. Outside of Krutwig, the Ramblers have a bunch of scorers that can go off any given day. They’re a deep team with eight players contributing at least two baskets per game this season.
On defense, Loyola Chicago is holding teams to an effective field goal percentage of 47.2 percent and are able to get a high amount of deflections and turnovers on defense at 21.7 percent on the season.
The Ramblers are second in the nation in defensive rebounding and have done a terrific job limiting fouls all season long, keeping teams off the line. Oregon State, on the other hand, are on the streak of their life right now. They won the Pac-12 Tournament and are now in the Sweet 16 after knocking down Tennessee and Oklahoma State. This team has won five straight games and looks really good offensively, scoring at least 70 points in every win. But it’s been the defense that has surprised, as they have allowed 64 or less points in three of those five wins.
Oregon State is shooting 34.9 percent from three but just 47 percent inside on the season. They’re able to get to the line at a high pace but that could change against a disciplined Loyola Chicago team. However, on defense, Oregon State has struggled to defend inside which is an area where Loyola Chicago destroys on offense. Oregon State has also fouled at a very high rate this season and putting Loyola Chicago at the line wouldn’t help their case.
Give me Loyola Chicago against the spread. Oregon State’s run will conclude.
NCAAB pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears
Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 05:15 PM EDT at Hinkle Fieldhouse
Once Colin Gillespie went down, people, including myself, counted out Villanova. But head coach Jay Wright found a way to get back to the Sweet 16 and now they’re playing terrific basketball.
Villanova has won two straight games in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve defeated 12 seeded Winthrop and 13 seeded North Texas so maybe it’s unfair to say that Villanova is back but the way they’ve won these games has been sensational.
The Wildcats have a terrific offense, even without Gillespie. They’re really solid at limiting turnovers which is an area they’ll have to keep at it with Baylor being one of the top teams in the nation in forcing turnovers. If Villanova limits turnovers, they’ll get plenty of high quality looks as they shoot an effective field goal percentage of 53.4 percent.
The Wildcats knock down 35.8 percent of threes and 53.2 percent of two’s on the season. They’re also way above average from the foul line at 76.4 percent.
Defensively, Villanova has been solid, limiting fouls and rebounding well on the defensive glass, although Baylor will give them a huge challenge. The problem with Villanova is that they’ve been terrible defending the three this season, allowing teams to shoot just under 35 percent from long range.
Baylor is one of the best shooting teams in the country, if not the best. This Baylor team can force turnovers, offensive rebound and knock down threes at a very high rate. They’re dangerous and a one-seed for a reason.
Baylor knocks down 41.5 percent from deep and 53.5 percent from inside. They’re also sixth in the nation in offensive rebounding and third in the nation in effective field goal percentage at 56.9 percent.
Defensively, Baylor isn’t the greatest team at rebounding on that end, but Villanova isn’t exactly the best on the offensive glass in the first place.
Therefore, I like Baylor to cruise by against Villanova. Villanova hasn’t been battle tested and just knowing they lost to Georgetown in a crucial moment in the Big East tournament doesn’t sit well with me.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.