NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Action Kicks off With 4 Exciting …

Syracuse's Kris Joseph pleads to the basketball gods for a victory over Wisconsin to reach the Elite 8.

After a long and drawn out wait for more NCAA Tournament games to continue on Thursday, the March Madness action is finally here, and no doubt ripe for more online sports betting options found at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here. Though we’ve done a number already on the available betting lines for the 4 Sweet 16 games featured tonight throughout the week, there’s still time to squeeze in a couple of bets before the games start, with the first contest between the #4 Wisconsin Badgers and the #1 Syracuse Orangemen in Boston as part of the East Region bracket starting just after 7 PM Eastern Time, and the second game at a similar time slot taking place in Phoenix for the West Region between #4 Louisville and #1 Michigan State. No doubt each and every single match-up is worthy of some online sports betting love from you today, as once these tournament games are over, you won’t find sports betting action like this for another year! For the best online sports betting available on tournament games, the TopBet Sportsbookis primed with the best odds for March Madness action and offers a solid 50 percent bonus opportunity for new deposits, making it a great destination for first-time online sports betting, or for you sports fans looking to switch over to one of the best online sportsbooks.

Getting started with the first two games on the evening, check out the tight lines for #1 Syracuse vs. #4 Wisconsin, as these two teams should be set for a defensive battle and a close finish in Boston tonight. Syracuse gets a 3.5 point favorite against the spread as well as -175 odds to win vs. Wisconsin’s +155 odds as underdogs, and the over/under on total points stands at only 120.5 points. This will certainly be an intriguing clash between competing defensive styles, as Syracuse’s 2-3 zone faces up against the quick and pesky Badger man-to-man scheme. Both sides have proven their defensive systems can win ball games on their own, but it will be interesting to see how a higher-scoring offense of Syracuse (generating 74.6 points/game), deals with one of the most oppressive defenses in the nation, as the Badgers have allowed just 52.9 points/game on the season, and have continued that trend through two games in the tournament (allowing just 49 points to Montana, 57 to Vanderbilt). While Wisconsin should be able to keep Syracuse’s top scorers in check, including Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters and Brandon Triche, and no doubt will get an inside advantage with Syracuse’s Fab Melo out of tournament action, it will be intriguing to see how the Badger offense is able to keep up, averaging more than 10 points less on offense per game than the Orangemen do. Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor (14.7 ppg) has to be on point tonight for the Badgers to overcome the deeper talent of Syracuse, but in the face of an Orangemen D that should be up to the task of shutting down Wisconsin with their 2-3 zone, Syracuse looks in good position to overcome with their wealth of offensive talent, and squeak into the Elite 8 with a win.

For the second #1 vs. #4 match-up tonight, Michigan State stretches out a big bigger -5 point favorite against the spread, with -220 odds to win straight up against Louisville’s +180 odds as underdogs. Again, a low 125 points on the over/under depicts this game as being a low-scoring affair, with each side holding their opponents to right around 60 points per contest. No doubt the player to watch for Michigan State will by Draymond Green, Big Ten Player of the Year, who is a truly dominating force in the paint with 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest this season. Along with Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne, expect Michigan State to play very physical in the paint, especially with the two teams very evenly matched in rebounding capabilities (both teams share an indentical 38.2 rebounds/game). For Louisville, they need big games out of their big guys as well, as Gorgui Dieng (9.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg) has to stay out of foul trouble, and the youngster Chane Behanan (9.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg) has to be scrappy in the face of more physical and bigger Spartans talent. Another major factor in this contest will be outside shooting efficiency, which could be an area where the Cardinals could find an advantage. Louisville, while not shooting the ball very well from 3-pt range, does have a host of talented players that are quick and can penetrate into the lanes. Both Peyton Siva and Kyle Kuric have to be leaders around the perimeter, knocking down clutch shots, as without them having hot hands, Michigan State should have the depth to outscore Louisville tonight. I like the Cardinals to keep this game close for the duration, but come free-throw time in the waning moments, expect Michigan State to be on top, and push past the 5 points against the spread to cover.

For the later games in Sweet 16 action tonight, first find a great physical match-up between #6 Cincinnati and #2 Ohio State, as Yancy Gates of the Bearcats gets set to take on Jared Sullinger and the Buckeyes. Personally, I’ve been wanting this match-up to come across the table in the NCAA Tournament (despite picking Florida State over Cincy in the Round of 32), as both sides have plenty of speed, veteran talent, and the physical ability to win the whole tournament. While I like OSU’s consistency more than Cincinnati’s, especially with the Buckeyes shooting near 49 percent from the floor on the season vs. 42 percent for the Bearcats, don’t rule out the confidence of a Cincy team that could easily turn this game into a close contest down to the wire. The underdogs against the spread, Cincy is a tantalizing pick with +7.5 points to work with, especially if top scorers Sean Kilpatrick, Dion Dixon, and Yancy Gates have anything to say about it. With Ohio State a huge -365 favorite straight up, the money line certainly favors underdog pickers, as Cincinnati gets +305 odds to win, making even a small wager a possible big pay day for online sports betting. Again the 129.5 points against the spread takes into account two very good defensive basketball teams, which neither side allowing more than 61.2 points/game during the regular season, and in a game where defense will be key especially around the perimeter, I’ll actually side with the under wager on total points here, banking on the inability for each team to score a lot of points in transition. Though I expect Ohio State to be left standing at the buzzer’s blare behind the combined offensive and defensive talents of Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Deshaun Thomas, I also fully expect to see Cincinnati keep this one close, covering the spread tonight.

Lastly on the docket for online sportsbook betting on Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament games, check out what should be a high-flying, fast-paced showdown between #3 seeded Marquette and #7 seed Florida, as these two teams should be putting defense aside and pushing the ball in transition all night long. The Florida Gators, led by Kenny Boyton, are deep in scoring talent with 5 players in double figures, but certainly lack a defensive side, giving up 66 points per game. Luckily for them, Marquette is no better on defense, allowing 66.2 points/game, and with the two teams separated by just .4 points/contest on offense (76.3 points/game for Florida, 75.9 points/game for Marquette), we can very much expect a high-scoring exciting contest to wrap up the first of two days of Sweet 16 March Madness action. Look for Marquette to use their strength to dominate in the paint with Jae Crowder and Davante Gardner providing the physicality for the Golden Eagles, but expect Florida to counter from the outside with hot shooting coming from Kenny Boyton (41.5 percent from 3-pt. range) and freshman talent Bradley Beal (14.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and look to Erik Murphy and Patric Young to stand up to the challenge of shutting down Marquette’s big boys tonight. The betting lines are tight for this contest at TopBet Sportsbook today, with Marquette a -2 point favorite against the spread and getting -135 odds, but definitely don’t rule out Florida on a hot-shooting night to squeak out a win for the underdog pickers, as their getting +2 points against the spread, and +115 odds to win straight up. No doubt the bookmakers are rightly expecting lots of points tonight, with 147 listed as the over/under, and in a game where defense might give way to fast breaks and quick points in the paint, chasing after the rather lofty 147 points might actually end up to be a decent bet with both sides amassing an average of 152.2 points combined throughout the season.

With so much great action available for online sportsbook betting on the NCAA Tournament today and tomorrow, head on down to TopBet Sportsbook, one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here on our website, and catch the best-looking picks for the best available betting lines on these 4 amazing basketball contests this evening. Make sure to stay tuned tomorrow for further analysis on the second set of 4 NCAA games for Sweet 16 action, and a look at another one of the top sports betting sites reviewed right here at CR.

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