Betting Thursday's Sweet 16 games

Offering an ATS pick for all of Thursday's NCAA tournament games

Originally Published: March 26, 2013
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider
Shane LarkinJim Cowsert/USA TODAY SportsShane Larkin and Miami face Big East foe Marquette on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

We had exciting wall-to-wall basketball on Thursday and Friday, and 16 teams survived and advanced to this week, some more impressively than others. We had big upsets, with No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast knocking off No. 2 seed Georgetown (and following that up with an upset of No. 7 seed San Diego State), No. 14 seed Harvard beating No. 3 seed New Mexico, No. 13 seed La Salle coming in off a play-in game and beating No. 4 seed Kansas State and not one, not two, but three No. 12 seeds beating No. 5 seeds.

But it's interesting to note that for all the upsets, favorites actually went 26-22 against the spread (54.2 percent) from Thursday through Sunday. It shows that the upsets attract all the attention -- everyone loves a Cinderella story -- but the favorites had their share of success too, and oddsmakers were able to balance the action for the most part.

The lines are getting tighter now, as there has been relatively little line movement for the Sweet 16 matchups. I still think I've found two solid "best bets" (marked with an asterisk) for Thursday as I attempt to bounce back from a brutal 0-4 ATS mark on Saturday. All four of my 'dogs went down with a whimper, which negated all my previous profits. (I had been 14-9 ATS entering the weekend after a 12-8 ATS mark the final month of the regular season and 2-1 on Thursday.)

Here's a look at Thursday's card:

No. 2 Miami Hurricanes versus No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles

Vegas consensus line: Miami minus-5.5

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.