Upcoming Match-ups

March Madness Public Betting and Money Splits for Sweet 16 – Public Loves UConn

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Mar 22, 2023 · 9:15 AM PDT

UConn Huskies forward Adama Sanogo high fives a teammate
Mar 19, 2023; Albany, NY, USA; UConn Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21) reacts after a play against the St. Mary's Gaels during the first half at MVP Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
  • The 2023 Sweet 16 will take place on Thursday, March 23, and Friday, March 24
  • The public is betting heavily on UConn and Xavier
  • See the public betting splits and money percentages for all eight games

Roughly 24 hours from the start of the Sweet 16, the March Madness betting splits show some intriguing betting trends for the octet of games on Thursday and Friday.

The table below lists the current point spread and ATS betting handle for all eight games. The public has picked a definitive side in each matchup, with one team at 65% of handle or higher in each game.

Sweet 16 Public Betting Splits

Team Spread % Handle
#7 Michigan State -2 33%
#3 Kansas State +2 67%
Team Spread % Handle
#8 Arkansas +3.5 18%
#4 UConn -3.5 82%
Team Spread % Handle
#9 FAU +5.5 66%
#4 Tennessee -5.5 34%
Team Spread % Handle
#3 Gonzaga +2 69%
#2 UCLA -2 31%
Team Spread % Handle
#5 San Diego State +7 69%
#1 Alabama -7 31%
Team Spread % Handle
#15 Princeton +9.5 35%
#3 Creighton -9.5 65%
Team Spread % Handle
#3 Xavier +4 93%
#2 Texas -4 7%

Odds and handle percentages from the college basketball public-betting splits on Wednesday, March 22. Claim a Bet365 promo code to wager on the Sweet 16. 

Bet $5 & Get $150 in Bonus Bets if Your Bet Wins!
Must be 21+. T&C Apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
BET $5
GET $150


Xavier Getting All the Love as Underdogs to Texas

The biggest ATS split on the board belongs to Xavier. The #3 seed in the Midwest Region has received 93% of ATS handle as four-point underdogs to #2 Texas.

After suffering a massive scare against #14 Kennesaw State in the first round (needing a 13-point comeback in the final ten minutes), Xavier was one of the most-impressive teams in the round of 32. The Musketeers swept aside #11 Pitt 84-73. After the ten-minute mark, their lead was never below six points, and they led by as many as 18 in the second half.

YouTube video

Texas routed #15 Colgate (81-61) in the first round, never letting the Raiders gain a foothold, and were rock-solid against #10 Penn State in the second – for all but a three-minute stretch in the second half. The Longhorns took an eight-point lead into the break and maintained it until a 10-0 run from the Nittanies gave Penn State a 58-55 lead with just five minutes to play. But Rodney Terry’s team responded with its own 10-0 run to see off PSU.

YouTube video

The Sweet 16 finale between Xavier and Texas, which tips off at 9:45 pm ET on Friday, March 24, will take place in Kansas City, MO. In terms of distance, neither team should have much in the way of home court, with KC nearly equidistant between Austin (737 miles) and Cincinnati (589 miles).

The analytics largely agree with the four-point spread here. KenPom predicts a 79-75 Texas win, while Torvik has it 78-75 and Haslametrics 76.5-73.3.

Public Betting Heavily on UConn to Cover Against Arkansas

The team with the second-largest percentage of ATS handle is UConn, which is getting 82% of the money as 3.5-point chalk against #8 Arkansas.

The Huskies, who started the year 14-0 and were the number-two team in the country back in late December, have looked like their early-season selves so far in the NCAA Tournament. They shrugged off a lethargic first half against #13 Iona in the first round, turning a two-point deficit into a 24-point win (87-63) and then routed #5 Saint Mary’s (70-55) thanks to another monster second half.  They now sit tied for third in the odds to win March Madness, alongside UCLA, at +900.

The Razorbacks have been extremely impressive in their own right. After dominating Illinois in the first round (73-63), they staged an improbable ten-point second-half comeback against #1 Kansas in the round of 32. Davonte Davis led the team with 25 points while Ricky Council VI had 21, which included going a clutch 10/11 from the free-throw line.

YouTube video

This is a game where the analytics agree with the public. KenPom predicts a six-point UConn win (75-69), Torvik five (74-69), and Haslam seven (75.2-68.2).

The Arkansas/UConn game tips at 7:15 pm ET on Thursday, March 23, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Again, neither team should have a locational advantage, with Las Vegas over 2,000 miles from both Fayetteville and Storrs.

Author Image