With four days until Selection Sunday, conference tournaments are in full swing in college basketball. There is still a healthy mix of mid-major and major conference events on the docket, and there are a number of early-round games in the aforementioned major conference tournaments with significant NCAA Tournament scenarios.
While some teams are playing for seeding, others are literally playing for their tournament life. Win, and they’re likely in; lose, and they’re relegated to the NIT or, even worse, no postseason and a screeching halt to the end of the season.
One of the biggest mysteries is sports gambling is determining intent and motivation of the part of the athlete or, ion this case a team. With these win-and-in games, we’re about to dive into, it almost has to be a foregone conclusion that the team(s) who “need” the game are going to play with an extreme sense of urgency and leave it all out there.
Without further ado, let’s check out college basketball betting prediction and analysis for the 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament games.
Bubble Teams In Must Win Situations
Showdown in Chitown
One of the indelible images of the ill-fated 2020 season was the Michigan-Rutgers first-round Big 10 Tournament game. After both teams headed to the arena and even took warmups, it was determined that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game and subsequent season would be canceled. No such worries this time as the Wolverines (17-14) and Scarlet Knights (18-13) play a do-or-die battle.
The 8th-seeded Michigan Wolverines could be a dangerous team come mid-March, however, Juwan Howard’s bunch has yet to punch their ticket and likely need to beat Rutgers and then put up a strong fight against top-seeded Purdue. The maize and blue enter losers of two straight, road losses at Illinois and Indiana.
Rutgers is a team on a free fall, having lost 7 of its last 9 and seen its tournament dreams nearly fade away. Injuries and offensive woes have plagued the black and red lately, and momentum definitely has not been on their side.
The teams last met on February 23, with Michigan dealing the Scarlet Knights a 58-45 loss in New Jersey. We expect the Wolverines to be a slight favorite here (KenPom has this as a 68-67 Big Blue victory), and unlike the next game we will look at, both teams must win to have any shot of having their name called on Sunday. We would side with the Wolverines, given Rutgers’ struggles of late. Take Michigan and lay the points.
Bulldogs Look to Dance
In the mind of bracketologists, Mississippi State (20-11) is squarely in the tournament……as an 11 seed and in the play-in games in Dayton. Therefore, a win should solidify their chances while a loss all but ends their March Madness dreams before they even begin. Florida (16-15) has had a disappointing year and likely needs to win or make the SEC final to get a bid.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are in the conversation for their first trip to March Madness since 2019 and fourth since 2007 on the strength of two impressive Quad 1 non-league wins early (Marquette and TCU) and a league road win at Arkansas.
The Bulldogs’ style certainly is not easy on the eyes; they’re 292nd in average possession length according to KenPom and average just 66.4 points per game. However, this team does defend as they are 7th in America according to KenPom in overall defensive efficiency.
The Gators come in having won their last two but have lost six of their last nine and, therefore in this predicament. The teams met once this year, with Florida squeaking out a 61-59 victory.
KenPom has this one as a 64-63 Bulldog win. This is a case of one team really needing to win to cement their spot, and despite their current two-game losing skein, we really like Mississippi State to prevail here as a strong play. We also like the under in this contest which likely will hover in the high 120’s/low 130’s. The slower the better for Miss. State and in this must-win situation they’ll slow it down.
I’ve read enough, now I have to place my bet, what do I do?
Bet 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament to Win Today
MyBookie Betting Lines for the Game
2023 March Madness Sweet 16 Schedule
Men's College Basketball Playoffs Betting Predictions and Analysis:
Friday, March 24 | Sweet 16
|No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 San Diego State||6:30 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 1 Houston vs. No. 5 Miami||7:15 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 15 Princeton||9 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Xavier||9:45 p.m.||CBS|
2023 March Madness Sweet 16 Betting Tips
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NCAAB Odds and Lines
|March Madness Odds|
|NIT | CIT | CBI|
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