March Madness Sweet 16 Odds – If you want to talk about some of the teams that have sprung surprises thus far in the NCAA Tournament, you have to mention the South Carolina Gamecocks, who had looked mighty impressive to this point. Can they go any farther? Well, the Baylor Bears don’t necessarily have a great tournament history, and they have scored a pair of victories over double-digit seeds in the Big Dance. So we will see what happens on Friday night, as these teams tip off at 7:29 PM ET at Madison Square Garden. CBS televises this event, and VietBet customers have the opportunity to place wagers even after the game starts, using the facilities available from Live Betting Ultra.
March Madness Sweet 16 – South Carolina vs Baylor Betting Line:
In the NCAA Tournament odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Baylor is the slight favorite:
Baylor Bears -3.5
South Carolina Gamecocks +3.5
Over 135 points -110
Under 135 points -110
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March Madness – South Carolina vs Baylor in Sweet 16 – CJ’s Take:
South Carolina comes into this game with a record of 24-10 straight-up, but they have been subpar against the oddsmaker, compiling just a 13-17-1 ATS mark. They came into the NCAA Tournament unranked by either poll. Baylor actually spent a week as the #1 team in the country, before being slapped down by West Virginia. They are 27-7 straight-up and 15-14 against the basketball point spread. As this tournament started, the Bears were 11th in the Coaches’ poll and #12 with the Associated Press.
One interesting note is that South Carolina’s coach, Frank Martin, is very familiar with Big 12 opponents, having formerly been a coach at Kansas State. He brought his hard-nosed defensive ethic with him, and the Gamecocks, who were not a great shooting team, have managed victories over Marquette and Duke so far.
Perhaps Baylor has been fortunate in that they have not had to play any high seeds yet. They beat New Mexico State 91-73 in their opening game, and then struggled against USC, scoring and 82-78 victory against a Trojan team that looked a little revitalized in the Big Dance. But Baylor is only 7-6 straight-up in its last 13 games.
South Carolina had a struggle for a while with Marquette in its opener, but then pulled away like a runaway locomotive, driving to a 93-73 victory. And then they beat Duke 88-81 in the second round of play, not only holding the Blue Devils to just 41.5% shooting but scoring 65 points in the second half. VietBet customers know that this kind of explosiveness is a bit of a surprise, considering that South Carolina shot below 43% for the season and is not necessarily proficient from three-point range. In fact, they have made below 35% of their triples in eight of their last nine games.
Baylor is pretty formidable on the glass, and in fact they are the third-best offensive rebounding team in the country. South Carolina is going to find a challenge there. Conversely, Baylor’s challenge is to hold onto the basketball. They have been rather susceptible to turnovers (305th nationwide in offensive turnover percentage), while South Carolina is the #14 in the country in terms of frequency of forcing turnovers. Perhaps that is the operative factor here. Martin’s team forced Duke into 18 miscues last weekend.
By Charles Jay
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