By Dan Kilbridge | | 4 mins
NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Odds: 2 Sleeper Teams To Back
Illinois got more good news Sunday fresh off a Big Ten Tournament title game win over Ohio State. The Illini are a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Illini are also a +150 college basketball betting favorite to win the Midwest region. No. 2-seed Houston isn’t far behind at +350, and No. 4-seed Oklahoma State is +600.
Looking further down the odds list, we’ve identified a few March Madness betting sleepers who could surprise with a serious run to the Final Four.
NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Odds
|3. West Virginia||+700|
|4. Oklahoma State||+600|
|6. San Diego State||+1000|
|9. Georgia Tech||+2000|
|12. Oregon State||+6000|
|14. Morehead State||+8000|
|15. Cleveland State||+10000|
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Top South Region Sleepers
No. 6 San Diego State
The Aztecs are coming off a Mountain West Tournament title game victory over Utah State. They’re also riding a 14-game win streak and haven’t lost since Jan. 16.
San Diego State is dangerous here because the Aztecs are so good at what they do. They play suffocating defense and turn every game into a rock fight, wearing down opponents over time and doing enough offensively to put teams away.
The Aztecs are ranked 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency and give up just 61.3 points per game. They could give teams problems and have a very winnable game against Syracuse before a potential second-round showdown with third-seeded West Virginia. We expect them to make the Sweet 16 and at that point anything can happen. We also like the value here at +1000.
No. 8 Loyola-Chicago
The Ramblers might be the best value bet in the entire NCAA Tournament. KenPom ranks Loyola No. 8 in the country and No. 1 overall in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Loyola has won six straight and just beat Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game. They give up just 55.8 points per game and can score as well, checking in at 44th in adjusted offensive efficiency.
This is just the second NCAA Tournament appearance for Loyola since 1985. Three years ago, the Ramblers were even higher as a No. 11 seed and went all the way to the Final Four before falling to Michigan. If they can get past Illinois in a potential second-round matchup, we wouldn’t be stunned to see Loyola pull off another surprise in the Midwest Region.