March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Trends


Justin Gorham

Houston forward Justin Gorham (4) puts up a shot during the second half of a first-round game against Cleveland State in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 19, 2021, at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

  • Bettors have had since Monday night to place their bets on the Sweet 16 round of 2021 March Madness
  • Syracuse vs Houston is the game with the most lopsided handle (money percentage)
  • See the breakdown of bet and money percentages on all Sweet 16 games below

As the Second Round of the 2021 March Madness tournament wrapped up on Monday night, bettors did not have to wait very long for Sweet 16 lines to be released. The lines opened late Monday night, and have been available all week.

With some time to digest what they witnessed in the first two rounds, which way is the public betting in the Sweet 16? Check out the betting handle (money percentage) and breakdown of bets for each game this weekend, starting with Oregon State vs Loyola Chicago on Saturday afternoon and finishing with Oregon vs USC on Sunday night. Youโ€™ll find the breakdown for each of the moneyline, bets against the spread, and totals (over/under) from DraftKings.

Sweet 16 Bet Percentages and Money Percentages

Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Oregon State +6.5 58% 65% 125.5 Ov 82% Ov 80% +220 44% 56%
Loyola Chicago -6.5 42% 35% 125.5 Un 18% Un 20% -275 56% 44%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Villanova +7.5 30% 30% 141.5 Ov 82% Ov 82% +245 26% 26%
Baylor -7.5 70% 70% 141.5 Un 18% Un 18% -315 74% 74%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Oral Roberts +11.5 73% 66% 158.5 28% 37% +460 56% 60%
Arkansas -11.5 27% 34% 158.5 72% 63% -670 44% 40%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Syracuse +6.5 71% 72% 140.5 59% 42% +215 62% 71%
Houston -6.5 29% 28% 140.5 41% 58% -265 38% 29%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Creighton +13 29% 29% 157.5 Ov 58% Ov 67% +650 26% 42%
Gonzaga -13 71% 71% 157.5 Un 42% Un 33% -1000 74% 58%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Florida State +2.5 40% 38% 143.5 Ov 44% Ov 28% +120 45% 43%
Michigan -2.5 60% 62% 143.5 Un 56% Un 72% -143 55% 57%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
UCLA +7 36% 32% 146 Ov 71% Ov 76% +200 30% 33%
Alabama -7 64% 68% 146 Un 29% Un 24% -250 70% 67%
Team Spread ATS Bet % ATS Money % Total Over/Under Bet % Over/Under Money % Moneyline Moneyline Bet % Moneyline Money %
Oregon +2 35% 33% 138 Ov 81% Ov 58% +108 61% 53%
USC -2 65% 67% 138 Un 19% Un 42% -127 39% 47%

All odds and information as of March 26.

Bettors Love Syracuse Against the Spread

The most lopsided game in terms of betting handle (money %) is #11 Syracuse vs #2 Houston, the final game on Saturday. The Orange are seeing a whopping 72% of the money bet against the spread in this game, and 71% of the total bets against the spread.

Syracuse has upset #6 San Diego State as 3-point underdogs, and #3 West Virginia as 4-point dogs en route to the Sweet 16. The public is going wild about them as 6.5-point underdogs against Houston on Saturday.

The line opened at Houston -6, and weโ€™ve seen some reverse line movement at DraftKings, shifting another half-point in the Cougarsโ€™ favor to land at 6.5.

Public Backing Underdogs on Saturday, Favorites on Sunday

Syracuse is not the only underdog the betting public is backing on Saturday, though. We are also seeing 65% of money bet against the spread on Oregon State (6.5-point underdogs against Loyola Chicago), and 66% of the ATS handle on Oral Roberts (11.5-point underdogs against Arkansas).

The only favorite the public is behind on Saturday is #1 Baylor as 7.5-point favorites against #5 Villanova.

Underdogs did get off to a great start this tournament, going 27-16 against the spread through the first four days โ€“ includes the First Four and does not include the second day of Round 2. Had you blindly bet dogs against the spread in this time, you would have been +8.57 units. In other words, if you bet $100 on each, you would have been up $857.

2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

Dogs were also 19-24 straight up heading into the second day of Round 2. Moneyline bets on all dogs would have you +19.55 units, or up $1,955 off of $100 bets on each.

Favorites did bounce back on Monday, going 7-1 straight up and against the spread. The public foresees favorites having a good day on Sunday, as they are betting all four favorites. Weโ€™re seeing 71% of the ATS handle on Gonzaga (13-point favorites against Creighton), 60% on Michigan (2.5-point favorites against Florida State), 64% on Alabama (7-point favorites against UCLA), and 67% on USC (2-point favorites against Oregon).

Public Hammering the Over in Villanova vs Baylor

The total in Villanova vs Baylor is set at 141.5, the fourth-lowest total in the Sweet 16. The public is very confident in the over, though. A convincing 82% of the over/under handle is on the over.

This line opened at 139 and has moved 2.5 points higher since. Villanova has hit the over in two of their last three games, scoring an impressive 84 points in their most recent game against North Texas. The over has cashed in six of Baylorโ€™s last seven games, though theyโ€™ve faced totals less than 140 in four of their last five games.

If youโ€™re not into tailing/fading the public, check out SBDโ€™s expert picks.


This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.

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Matt McEwan

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