Three of the four Sweet 16 matchups on Friday are expected to be close from a betting perspective. The exception is the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (29-7) taking on the fourth-seeded Butler Bulldogs (25-8) as seven-point favorites in the South Region.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The Tar Heels remain among the favorites to win the national championship on April 3, so it is no surprise to see them listed as the biggest chalk at the FedExForum in Memphis. They have gone 16-4 straight up in their last 20 games versus teams with winning records and 5-1-1 against the spread in their past seven as favorites of seven or more.
The Bulldogs have won the previous two meetings, and they are also 7-1 ATS in their last eight as underdogs, making for a very intriguing game despite the line.
The other South Region semifinal matchup pits the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (31-5) against the third-seeded UCLA Bruins (31-4) later Friday in Memphis. These teams met during the regular season, with the Bruins winning 97-92 in Lexington as 11-point road underdogs.
The rematch sees UCLA as a one-point favorite, and Kentucky has dropped three of the past four meetings SU and gone 1-5 ATS in the last six.
Meanwhile, each of Friday’s East Region semifinal games should be close since the top two seeds are no longer around. But the two teams that upset the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats and second-seeded Duke Blue Devils last weekend are both underdogs against higher seeds in the Sweet 16 despite those impressive performances.
The seventh-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks (24-10) knocked out the Blue Devils 88-81 as 6.5-point underdogs last Sunday, and they have lost the past three meetings with the third-seeded Baylor Bears (27-7). South Carolina is just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 versus teams with winning records, and Baylor is 9-1 SU in its past 10 against the SEC.
The Bears are 3.5-point favorites, but they are only 1-4 ATS off consecutive wins.
The eighth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (27-9) ousted the defending national champion Wildcats 65-62 as 5.5-point underdogs last Saturday, and they are two-point dogs this time around against the fourth-seeded Florida Gators (26-8). The Badgers have won nine of 12 versus SEC foes, and they are riding 5-1 streaks both SU and ATS overall.