The first match of the Sweet 16 of 2023 sees Kansas State square off against the MI Spartans. Can the Wildcats live up to their No.3 seeding? Or will MI State be the latest side not to conform with the Selection Committee’s March Madness seedings? Here we tell you what we think with our free NCAAB betting picks.
- What; NCAA Tournament, Men’s Basketball, March Madness – Sweet 16
- Who; Kansas State Wildcats (3) vs Michigan State Spartans (7)
- Where; Madison Square Garden, New York
- When; Thursday, March 23rd, 2023
- Tip Off; 5.30 pm ET
In the betting to win the 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament both of these teams have seen their odds shorten over the madness of the opening weekend. But, both are still serious outsiders. The Wildcats are +2800 to win the competition. While the best March Madness betting sites have the Spartans slightly longer at +3300.
Leading the way with the best college basketball betting sites is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama have continued to look the part in the opening two rounds, and they are now +350 to win the competition. They’ve been trimmed from +375 in the last 24 hours.
Also looking to join the list of recent first-time winners are the Houston Cougars. The Cougars – favorites for the majority of the season – are now second in the latest betting at +400.
To put the latest odds into perspective, both the Cougars and the Crimson Tide started March Madness as +500 joint favorites
More betting on the 16 sides still in the competition can be found below. These odds are taken from the best NCAAB betting sites. You can read more about these sites at our top-rated US sportsbooks reviews page.
|NCAAB Winner Betting 2023 ahead of Sweet 16|
|San Diego State||+4000||+4000||+4000|
Kansas failing to convince punters
The Wildcats defeated the No.14 seeds Montana State 77-65 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Keyontae Johnson led the way with 18 points in what was a comfortable win for the higher seeds. The Wildcats led 34-28 at the halfway stage, and they also had the better of the second period, eventually winning the match by 12 points.
In Round 2, Kansas faced their fellow Wildcats from Kentucky. This time Kansas needed 27 points from Markquis Nowell (23 came in the second half) to see off the challenge of the Kentucky Wildcats.
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) March 19, 2023
Kansas trailed in both halves of the match and really had to dig deep to come through the contest. At times in both halves of the match, Kansas were as many as eight points behind. Eventually, they came through the test, winning 75-69. It’s hard to know whether this is a case of Kansas winning whilst playing poorly – a good sign. Or whether they are struggling with their game and there for the taking at Sweet 16. A not so good situation.
Have Michigan timed their run to perfection?
MI State have had an impressive NCAAB Tournament to date. Wins over USC and Marquette were achieved with little fuss or incident, and the team looks in a pretty good place.
In Round 1, a strong second half saw Tom Izzo’s team complete a 10 points win over the USC Trojans. And the Spartans then stepped up to the plate again in Round 2, sealing a 9 points victory over Marquette.
At one point Tom Izzo’s team held a 12 point lead in the first half. But when No.2 seeds Marquette fought back to reduce the deficit to just 5 at half-time, the Spartans didn’t panic. Helped by 23 points from Tyson Walker, the Spartans held their nerve and eventually defeated Marquette 69-60, bringing to an end the nine-game winning run of the Big East winners.
Could it be that the Spartans are coming into form at just the perfect time?
(7) MICHIGAN STATE ADVANCES 👏
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 19, 2023
Kansas State vs MI State Betting Odds
Well, the bookmakers seem to think Tom Izzo’s charges are a team in the ascendancy. Despite their lower seeding, MI State head into the opening Sweet 16 match as the betting favorites.
The best college basketball betting sites are ignoring the seedings and make MI State (7) the favorite on the moneyline at -133. No.3 seeds, Kansas are +113. The flip in terms of who is favorite could be partly down to the struggles Kansas had in seeing off Kentucky in Round 2.
The closeness of the odds is reflected on the handicap line where it’s the Wildcats getting a 2 points start. BetOnline has priced both sides up at -110. Finally, the total points spread is set at 137.5. Both over and under 137.5 is -110.
Our NCAAB Betting Pick
When you have momentum at this stage of a competition you are dangerous. Combine momentum with the knowledge and tactical awareness of Tom Izzo, and you have more than a chance. Can Izzo mastermind another victory for his team over a higher ranked side? Well, most observers – sportsbooks’ included – seem to think he can.
And although this is one of those matches that could flip either way, we are going to side with the team carrying the momentum, and make Michigan State our NCAAB betting pick.
There’s also only a 2 point spread to cover. So we’re going for Izzo’s team to win on the handicap line at the better odds.