- Ted Sevransky, ESPN Insider
Underdogs ruled the day in Sweet 16 betting action Thursday and Friday, finishing the round with a 6-2 against-the-spread record. That included outright upset wins by Syracuse, Marquette and Michigan, along with point-spread covers in defeat from Florida Gulf Coast, Oregon and Arizona. The only two favorites to cover the spread Thursday and Friday were Wichita State and Duke, both of which cruised to double-digit victories.
The long-term betting trends for the Elite Eight round tell us that we should expect more of the same on Sunday. Favorites went 3-1 ATS in Elite Eight action last year, but long-term, dating to 1998, underdogs are 35-23 ATS, cashing at a better than 60 percent clip over a 15-year sample size. That being said, I'm not in love with either underdog on Sunday.
I split with my two "best bets" in my last column, cashing with Michigan's wild overtime win over Kansas but losing with Florida when the Gators won by only 12 as 13- or 14-point favorites. Neither of my two lesser opinions (Louisville and Michigan State) cashed. With only two games on tap Sunday, I'm looking for a big bounce-back 2-0 sweep. Both recommendations in this article are wager-worthy, marked with an asterisk as best bets.
Ted Sevransky makes his against-the-spread picks for Sunday's Duke-Louisville and Michigan-Florida Elite Eight matchups.