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2023 NCAA March Madness Picks, Predictions & Best Bets For Sweet 16

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 16 mins

2023 NCAA March Madness Picks, Predictions & Best Bets For Sweet 16

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball betting

The NCAA Tournament bracket is set and the March Madness stage is ready for one of the more wide open, seemingly-unpredictable installments in years. 

Alabama is the No. 1 overall seed, and they are the overall betting favorite at online sportsbooks. No. 1-seeded Houston is also among the favorites to win it all out of the Midwest region, but the odds are longer than you’d normally see for a favorite in the big dance. And sportsbooks aren’t aligned on the pecking order, with plenty of variance in pricing across betting apps

March Madness 2023 Championship Odds

Team Odds
Alabama +350 ➜
Houston +400 ➜
UCLA +800 ➜
Texas +900 ➜
Connecticut +900 ➜
Creighton +1000 ➜
Gonzaga +1100 ➜
Tennessee +1400 ➜
Michigan State +2500 ➜
Kansas State +2500 ➜
Arkansas +3000 ➜
Xavier +3000 ➜
San Diego State +4000 ➜
Miami +5000 ➜
Florida Atlantic +5000 ➜
Princeton +15000 ➜

College basketball odds current as of publication and subject to change.

For the first time, March Madness tips off with legal Massachusetts betting apps up and running for the tournament. Online Massachusetts sports wagering went live on March 10.

There’s always potential for chaos this time of year, but the 2023 NCAA Tournament looks especially ripe for buzzer beaters and Cinderella runs. The timing couldn’t be better, with legal online sports betting launching in the Bay State and more than 30 states now offering regulated college hoops wagering. If you are in New England, make sure to check out our Massachusetts sportsbook promo codes before placing your wagers.

The market is bigger than ever, with a massive array of game lines, player props and futures odds – bettors can even get action on whether or not there will be a buzzer beater on the first day of the tournament (+600), the first round of the tournament (+300) or at any point throughout March Madness (+100). 

The college basketball lines are all fluid and will be updated every day throughout the tournament – stick with Bookies.com for up-to-date championship odds and picks for every game against the spread throughout the NCAA Tournament. 


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March Madness 2023 Thursday Sweet 16 Picks

No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Kansas State

Kansas State may be the superior seed, but oddsmakers have Michigan State favored by a bucket for the first Sweet 16 matchup. That’s not surprising after the Spartans knocked off No. 2-seeded Marquette, 69-60, while shooting just 12.5% from 3-point range. This is a very dangerous team now, and Tom Izzo owns this weekend – of his 15 prior Sweet 16 appearances, the Spartans made the Final Four eight times. The Wildcats could be in trouble here after a hard-fought win over Kentucky in the second round. 

ATS Pick: Michigan State

No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 4 UConn

Few teams had a more difficult path to the Sweet 16 than Arkansas, which outclassed Illinois from the jump and went shot-for-shot with No. 1 seed Kansas in a 72-71 upset win over the Jayhawks. UConn has been a trendy Final Four pick all month and backed it up with no-sweat wins over Iona and Saint Mary’s. These Razorbacks are a totally different matchup – they’re battle-tested, aggressive defensively and excellent in transition. Tough one to call, but we like the underdogs in a close one on betting apps.

ATS Pick: Arkansas

No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 4 Tennessee

Florida Atlantic certainly benefited from the second-ever No. 16 vs. No. 1 upset, catching Fairleigh Dickinson rather than Purdue in the second round after a 66-65 win over Memphis. But you can only play the team in front of you and the Owls were overwhelming in a 78-70 win that wasn’t really that close. The Vols survived two all-out brawls in close wins over Louisiana and Duke, but defense is what it’s all about with Tennessee. The Owls want a track meet and it’s not gonna happen. We like the Vols to impose their will and frustrate opposing shooters all night.

ATS Pick: Tennessee

No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA

Can Gonzaga get key stops when it matters? That’s the biggest question here against a UCLA team that’s far better on the defensive end. The Bruins are also getting big contributions from different positions on a nightly basis, including a second-round victory over a frisky Northwestern squad. The Bulldogs struggled to contain Grand Canyon offensively for much of the night in the opening round, and they had a lot of lapses again in an 84-81 win over TCU to get to the Sweet 16. Gonzaga always had an answer on the other end, but those will be much tougher to come by here and UCLA has all the pieces to get Houston. 


March Madness 2023 Friday Sweet 16 Picks

No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 1 Alabama

The Tide are sure as hell playing like the No. 1 overall seed in this tournament. They crushed Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Maryland in the opening rounds to stay on a tear, winning their last five games by an average margin of 19.2 points. Dangerous as it gets. The Aztecs are out of their depth here – Alabama might need a little time to adjust to the defensive pressure and tempo, but we expect the Tide to run away with it in the second half.

ATS Pick: Alabama

No. 5 Miami vs. No. 1 Houston

The Hurricanes turned in a highly-impressive opening weekend with a close win over a scrappy Drake team and a convincing 85-69 victory over Indiana, in which they shot nearly 50% from the field and outrebounded the Hoosiers 48-31. This is one of those matchups where you’re forced to choose analytics or the eyeball test – Houston is No. 1 overall in KenPom’s rankings and Miami is second-to-last among the 16 remaining teams. All the numbers suggest that Houston should be giving a few more points here, and that’s what we’re going on.

ATS Pick: Houston

No. 15 Princeton vs. No. 6 Creighton

The Tigers are the darling of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, but we believe Friday is for the favorites. They scored a monumental upset over No. 2-seeded Arizona while shooting just 16% from deep, then took out Missouri with an extremely impressive performance. Princeton has been pounding the boards to get here, but the Blue Jays run taller everywhere and we don’t see the Tigers getting a lot of good looks in the half court. Creighton will be a very tough out this weekend and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Blue Jays get to Houston. 

ATS Pick: Creighton

No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 2 Texas

This has the makings for an all-timer, with two very evenly-matched teams closing out the Sweet 16 Friday night in Kansas City. The Musketeers escaped a close one with Kennesaw State in the opening round and played much better in an 84-73 win over Pitt to get to this point. Texas did well to put down a hot Penn State team in the second round and oddsmakers have the Longhorns as a two-basket favorite. Xavier isn’t quite as sharp as the Longhorns defensively, but the Musketeers are the better 3-point shooting team and we expect this one to come down to the wire.

ATS Pick: Xavier

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.
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