Sweet Sixteen: Thursday Previews & Picks

College basketball betting fans will get started with the Sweet 16 in the South and West Regionals. The South will be played in Memphis, while the West will be played in Anaheim, Calif.

South Regional Semifinal

Dayton Flyers vs. Stanford Cardinal

Thursday, 7:15 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Stanford -3

The Dayton Flyers and the Stanford Cardinal did not take shortcuts to get where they are at this point. Dayton powered through Ohio State and Syracuse, teams that made the Final Four in each of the past two seasons and have considerable reputations. The Stanford Cardinal took muh the same route – in other words, not the easy one. Coach Johnny Dawkins’ team played physical basketball to overcome New Mexico and Kansas, two powerful teams in their own right. This figures to be a close one on the betting lines, but Dayton gets more from its halfcourt offense.

Pick: Dayton +3

South Regional Semifinal

UCLA Bruins vs. Florida Gators

Thursday, 9:45 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Florida -4.5

This is a game in which the Bruins will have their work cut out for them. UCLA was able to play the second and third rounds of this tournament close to home in San Diego, and it also played no team seeded higher than number 12. Now, UCLA must to go Memphis to play the number one seed in the region and the top seed in the NCAA Tournament as well. UCLA’s offense has to be at its best in order to win this game. The Bruins have to be able to compete with Florida if the Gators shoot the ball better than they did the previous weekend against Pittsburgh. Florida should be able to contain UCLA’s offense well enough to win.

Pick: Florida -4.5

West Regional Semifinal

Baylor Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Thursday, 7:47 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Wisconsin -3

This is a game that feels like a match of opposites, but these teams might be more similar than a lot of people might believe. Wisconsin has a reputation for being a boring team that only plays defense and can’t do very much on offense, but that really isn’t true. The Badgers have beefed up their offense to the point that they can score at a high rate and keep pace with a team such as Baylor, which likes to get up and down the court. Wisconsin’s offense will be too efficient for Baylor’s defense in this game.

Pick: Wisconsin -3

West Regional Semifinal

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Arizona Wildcats

Thursday, 10:17 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Arizona -7

This is a game in which the theme will be defense. Both teams put their trust in defense and rebounding. They rely on their ability to stop other teams and control the flow of a game from that perspective. The question will be if either team can get just enough offense to avoid a shooting drought. Both teams can go cold for periods of time. The team that can get to the free throw line and can get easy baskets off turnovers will probably be able to prevail. Arizona is more likely to be this team, but San Diego State’s defense is too good to get blown out on Thursday night.

Pick: San Diego State +7

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