2023 Sweet 16 Picks, Predictions, Odds

The 2023 Sweet Sixteen is scheduled to begin on Thursday March 23 and conclude on Friday March 24 with eight games for bettors to wager on in the 2023 NCAA Men's Tournament.

2023 NCAA Tournament Picks
Odds | Matchups | Futures
Sweet 16 | Elite 8 | Final 4 | Championship 

2023 Sweet 16 Picks

March Madness Expert Picks
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Parlays | Consensus

VegasInsider College Basketball Expert Bruce Marshall provides his predictions on which 16 schools will survive the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament and earn an opportunity to play in one of the four Regional semifinals.

Kansas State is one of two Big 12 teams left remaining in the NCAA Tournament. (Getty)

East Region

9 Florida Atlantic vs. 4 Tennessee
7 Michigan State vs. 3 Kansas State

4 Tennessee
3 Kansas State

South Region

5 San Diego State vs. 1 Alabama
15 Princeton vs. 6 Creighton

1 Alabama
6 Creighton

Midwest Region

5 Miami, Fl. vs. 1 Houston
3 Xavier vs. 2 Texas

5 Miami, Fl.
3 Xavier

West Region

8 Arkansas vs. 4 UConn
3 Gonzaga vs. 2 UCLA

8 Arkansas

2023 Sweet 16 Betting Analysis

East Region

What could have been in the Sweet 16 had Memphis not stubbed its toe in the opener vs. FAU; a second-round win over FSU would have been expected before an in-state Sweet 16 showdown vs UT (albeit at Madison Square Garden), maybe the most-hyped Tigers-Vols game since the 207-08 season, when UT dealt John Calipari’s Tigers their only loss before the final game vs. Memphis. 

Instead, however, we get the Boca Raton Owls in what is likely their last official act as a member of C-USA before transferring to the American next term.   Not sure Dusty May’s up-tempo preference will work vs. Rick Barnes’ defense-tough Volts, who slowed down Duke in the second round and completely shut off the inside for the Blue Devils’ young bigs. 

So far UT hasn’t missed PG Zakai Zeigler as much as we thought, but much of that based on the Duke effort...in the 13 preceding games, UT had covered just four of those, and not sure of F Olivier Nkamhoua pulling another 27-point effort out of his late as against Duke.  This one likely stay lower-scoring as did both Vols games last weekend, but we’ll see if Johnell Davis and friends can generate enough points for FAU, which has only won 33 games already this season.  Keep in mind "unders" stood 32-16 thru the sub regionals.

In the other matchup at MSG, head coach Tom Izzo and Sparty hit Broadway in the opening act on Thursday, and there is going to be a surge of Izzo talk this week, the type we have often heard in March for years, after the Spartan defense took Marquette facilitator deluxe Tyler Kolek out of the second-round game in a mild upset of Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles. But before jumping aboard the MSU bandwagon, keep in mind that Sparty only shot 2 of 16 beyond the arc vs. Marquette, and just because Izzo found a way to fluster Kolek doesn’t mean he can do the same to Cats PG Markquis Nowell, who might be on his way to tourney MOP if K-State keeps winning. 

Much also to be made of MSU PG Tyson Walker returning to his hometown this weekend.  There's a good reason to talk about the Izzo factor, but remember that only once (2000) has an Izzo team run the table in the Dance...at some point, the Spartans almost always lose.  And no Oscar Tshiebwe to worry about on Thursday for Jerome Tang’s Cats. 

Alabama is listed as the largest favorite to win in the Sweet 16 round. (Getty)

South Region

Much like Houston, Alabama seems to be back in favor with the talking heads after taking care of Maryland without much difficulty in the second round. Brandon Miller, showing no signs of the reported groin strain that apparently slowed him the opening round vs. Corpus Christi when he didn’t score, looked in top form when scoring a smooth 19, and there was also another Jahvon Quinerly sighting vs. the Terps, scoring 22 for the second time in three games. 

Physically, however, San Diego State is going to provide more of a challenge than Maryland, especially along the perimeter where the Aztecs close down on shooters as well as anyone in the country, speaking to their high ranking in three-point defense (only 29% triples allowed).  With so many options on the perimeter, Brian Dutcher is certainly not going to run out of fouls and will instead try to wear down the Crimson Tide perimeter. As always with SDSU, we wonder about the scoring, but the Aztecs actually aren’t shooting their triples all that badly these days, and top scorer Matt Bradley usually gets help from one of two others from among Lamont Butler, Adam Seiko, or transfers Micah Parrish (via Oakland) and Darrian Trammell (via Seattle).  Maybe not enough to get the Aztecs past the Sweet 16, but SDSU isn’t going to blink. 

Neither, apparently, will Princeton after taking care of two power conference reps (Arizona and Missouri) in the sub-regionals, and dispatching the SEC Tigers surprisingly easy on Saturday in Sacramento.  Give Mitch Henderson’s Tigers credit for exposing the flaws of each...Arizona’s one-dimensional high-low game and inability to beat foes off of the dribble, and Mizzou’s reliance upon Kobe Brown and D’Moi Hodge to hit their 3-balls. 

Big East Creighton, however, doesn’t look to have any such shortcomings, having taken control in both of its sub-regional wins vs NC State and Baylor with solid balance and two players who have already scored 30+ in the Dance (C Ryan Kalkbrenner & G Ryan Nembhard).  Princeton hasn’t looked out of its element vs. top-tier foes, but the Bluejays look another step above either Arizona or Mizzou; the Tigers could use Bill Bradley finding some more eligibility if they want to get to their first Final Four since ‘65 for Butch Van Breda Kolff.

Midwest Region

The pundit class seems to de dismissing Miami awfully early in front of the Canes’ Friday battle vs.  Houston in Kansas City, reckoning that the Cougars must be back in one piece after the big second half on Saturday vs. Auburn.  Plus guards Marcus Sasser (especially Sasser) and Jamal Shead made it thru the clash vs. the Tigers without reaggravating their current injuries. Auburn, however, isn’t Miami, more prone to have turnover issues and lapses on the perimeter. We doubt Miami falls into the same trap with arguably the best trio of guards (holdovers Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller, plus K-State transfer Nigel Pack) remaining in the Dance, and 6-7 Norchad Omier looked good an new last weekend vs. Drake and Indiana, no worse for wear after his ankle injury the previous week in the ACC Tourney.  Jim Larranaga has certainly waved his magic wand in March before, and giving him four or so days to strategize ahead of time is usually an edge for the Canes. 

Texas is back to where it just won the Big 12 Tourney the previous week and getting a lot of support after surviving the Penn State upset bid, with C Dylan Disu coming to the rescue against the Nittany Lions.  We suspect the wild card for the Longhorns is more likely New Mexico State transfer G Sir’Jabari Rice, who has mostly shown very well down the stretch, but the X has plenty of experience in the postseason after winning the NIT with much the same roster a season ago.  And the injury to F Zach Freemantle is not as much of an issue as Sean Miller has  adjusted to playing without him the past month, with Jerome Hunter now filling the gap seamlessly in the starting lineup. 

After surviving a scare with the spunky KSU Owls in the first round, the X was never in serious trouble vs. capable Pitt, and Miller’s perimeter weapons are athletic enough to deal with their Longhorn counterparts. After hearing the pundit class shove the Big XII down everyone’s throats all season, the X can show it’s the Big East that should maybe be considered the big boy in the postseason.

West Region

If we get a repeat of the Final Four clash inside of the Indianapolis bubble two years ago, hold on to your seat for this Gonzaga-UCLA Sweet 16 matchup in Las Vegas, which gets to host its first-ever NCAA Regional this weekend. Familiar territory for both of these sides that just played conference tourneys in town, especially the Bruins, who if they advance to the Elite 8 will have played seven games at the T-Mobile Arena this season (interestingly, they’re only 2-3 SU on this particular floor this term).

Key, of course, for Mick Cronin is the ongoing UCLA injury list, which seems to add a new name each week (now it’s wing David Singleton, who crumpled to the ground late in the Northwestern win on Saturday with what has been diagnosed as a sprained ankle).  Before seeing if Josh Johnson from the 49ers might be available in an emergency role, it looks like Cronin might have Singleton available, and with 6-10 Adem Bona returning last week, Cronin might only be missing top defender Jaylen Clark (Achilles) this weekend. 

The availability of Bona and the emergence of 6-10 Kenneth Nwuba plus 6-10 Mac Etienne in recent games means Cronin has plenty of fouls to use against Drew Timme and need not worry as much about his bigs playing too aggressively.  (Oldtime Bruins fans will recall Larry Brown playing the same strategy in the 1980 Final Four vs Purdue, with ten fouls to use between Darrell Allums & Gig Sims against Joe Barry Carroll). 

Gonzaga is more than Timme; 6-7 Julian Strawther is now consider a late first-round pick in many NBA mock drafts, and the improvement of F Anton Watson might be key for however long the Zags last. Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith also stepped up in the TCU game.  But Gonzaga is neither a great rebounding nor defensive team, and there has been a different longer and more athletic look to the teams that beat the Bruins this season.  UCLA has displayed extra grit especially since the Clark injury, and Jaime Jaquez and Tyler Campbell were integral pieces of the 2020-21 team that watched Jalen Suggs slay them with that 35-footer at the buzzer at Lucas Oil.  Time to rinse away that bad taste, perhaps. 

Meanwhile, UConn is suddenly regarded as one of the teams to beat, for good reason, as it enters this weekend having bowled a 300 game against non-conference foes this season, still slipping nary a once, with the only spread loss in a 20-point win over Buffalo when laying 20.5.  More believers after putting away Saint Mary’s in the Sweet 16, with 6-9 Adama Sanogo looking a destroyer in the paint and Jordan hawks balancing the floor with his long-range shooting. 

Arkansas, however, looms an intriguing X-factor, back in the Sweet 16 for a third straight year.  Giving Eric Musselman a few extra days to prepare for Sanogo is a plus for the Porkers, and Arkansas will present a different look tot he Huskies than either of the Gaels (Iona or Sant Mary’s) over the weekend, coming at UConn with plenty of length and athleticism, especially on the perimeter, and the ability to quickly recover. 

Mus also seems to be putting a tighter leash on touted frosh Nick Smith, who apparently isn’t going to be allowed to shoot the Hogs out of any more games after featuring for just 16 minutes in the Kansas upset.  Seasoned performer Davonte Davis has instead been stepping into the Razorback’s shooting breach, and gives Mus another option rather than crossing his fingers with Smith.  Shooting has often been the Razorbacks’ Achilles heel this season, but if Davis is providing some relief, Mus might have himself another real spoiler on his hands.

UCLA and Gonzaga will renew their rivalry again in this year's Sweet 16. (Getty)

NCAA Updated Odds

The NCAA Men's Tournament has been cut from 68 teams to 16 and the oddsmakers have updated the odds on the remaining schools.

Michigan State+2900
Kansas State+3500
San Diego State+3900
Florida Atlantic+4800
Miami, Fl.+6000

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change


NCAA Tournament Region Odds

Opening Odds to Win 2023 NCAA Tournament

Listed below are the opening odds for the Top 10 contenders in the 68-team after the brackets were populated with the automatic and at-large bids on Selection Sunday.

Top 10 Contenders

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change


Thursday, Mar. 23

  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD

Friday, Mar. 24

  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD


The "Field of 68" Opening Odds will be available after the tournament is announced and bettors can follow all four of the Regions, which are listed below:

Today's Expert Picks

For more VegasInsider resources, check out our NCAAB Odds and College Basketball Futures Odds pages!


The NCAA Tournament is one of the most frenetic times for sports betting in the United States. Each tournament round incites intense levels of wagering across the nation. Elite 8 betting and Sweet 16 betting are some of the most popular events in the basketball calendar.

Despite the now-defunct federal sports ban, March Madness betting has become a springtime staple in America. Millions of people join the NCAA bracket betting pools every year, competing to predict the Sweet 16 bracket and beyond.

Sweet 16 betting generates significant press coverage and analysis. Sweet 16 betting Is a veritable national obsession.

After the regular NCAA season ends, the NCAA tournament begins. The tournament sees 64 teams from all the regions and conferences in the NCAA face off in a single-elimination bracket. That means 64 teams become 32 after the first round, held on two different days.

The second round sees the field cut from 32 to 16 teams. That’s when the Sweet 16 betting action really picks up. March Madness betting is hot throughout the NCAA tournament. The final rounds, though, like Sweet 16 betting and Elite 8 betting, see most of the action.

While teams only need to win two games to make it to the Sweet 16 betting brackets, it’s no easy feat. The teams are tough, the seeding is merciless, and very few low-seeded teams rarely make it to this phase.

The lowest seed to make it to the Sweet 16 bracket was #12, and it has only happened once. A handful of #11 seeds have made it to this round of the tournament, but it’s exceedingly rare. The Sweet 16 bracket is dominated by the top-seeded teams every year.

After the Sweet 16 games, Elite 8 betting begins. The Elite 8 face off in the Regional Finals, before the Final Four play the National Semifinals. A couple of days later, the NCAA Championship Game determines the national champion.


There are many Sweet 16 betting markets you can play in. The odds tend to be pretty favorable overall, though they depend a lot on what betting markets you’re playing.

First, there are outright markets, such as Sweet 16 betting brackets and office pools. For these, the odds depend on how many players you’re competing with. If you can submit multiple NCAA brackets, it’s a good idea to do so. Each increases your odds of winning.

If you do submit multiple brackets, you need to be smart about it. You want diversity, and insurance against surprising Sweet 16 scores. You also want realistic brackets that each have a good chance of being precise. Cover your angles, but don’t just submit mirror opposite brackets.

Odds for Sweet 16 betting on specific matches will be available only after Selection Sunday and rounds 1 and 2 are finished. Until then, the bracket is still undetermined, and bookmakers will provide no odds.

After the match-ups are clear, Sweet 16 betting odds will be available at every online sportsbook. Odds tend to be pretty tight for most matches, as teams are usually well-paired. The odd game with a favorite will show large spreads and big payouts on the underdog.


In 2023, the NCAA bracket, seeds, and field will be revealed on Selection Sunday (March 12). The First Four games will take place on March 14 and 15. The first and second rounds will play out between March 16 and March 19, at different venues.

At this point, the field will be down to the top 16 teams, and Sweet 16 betting can begin in earnest. The Sweet 16 games, or Regional Semifinals, will go down on March 23 and March 24.

Sweet 16 scores then determine which teams move on to the Elite 8, the Regional Finals. March Madness betting peaks at this point. Sweet 16 betting, Elite 8 betting, and Final Four betting are the most popular markets in the tournament.

  • Dates: March 23 and March 24
  • Venues: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky, T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri


The Sweet 16 phase of the tournament has a predetermined bracket structure. To reach the Sweet 16, teams need to win their first and second-round games. Since the seeds determine who faces off with who, they also define the Sweet 16 bracket.

During the first round of the tournament, every region has 16 teams, seeded from #1 to #16. Opening games are between the first and last seed, the second and second to last, third and third to last, and so on.

It works out like this: #1 vs #16, #2 vs #15, #3 vs #14, #4 vs #13, #5 vs #12, #6 vs #11, #7 vs #10, #8 vs #9. In the second round, the process is repeated. The winner of the #1/#16 game vs the winner of the #8/#9 game, and so on.

The bracket ends up looking like this: 1/16 vs 8/9, 2/15 vs 7/10, 3/14 vs 6/11, 4/13 vs 5/12. That means that the first game of the second round could be a first seed facing a 9th seed, a 16th seed facing an 8th seed, or any other combination of these.

The Sweet 16 games bracket has the 1/8/9/16 bracket winner facing the 4/5/12/13 bracket winner, and the 2/7/10/15 winner playing the 3/6/11/14 winner.


Sweet 16 prop bets let audiences feel the excitement of the tournament with unique betting markets. Prop bets cover very specific events, either in specific matches or through the round of 16.

Some prop bets can be rather likely to hit, with consequently good odds. Others are downright wacky, with sometimes astronomical odds.


Some popular Sweet 16 prop bets include whether any players will make a game-winning shot at the buzzer (or whether they won’t). Others involve specific players winning the tournament's MVP award, or specific Sweet 16 scores.

Even mascots are part of the prop bet market. Oddsmakers provide odds on whether teams with animal mascots make it through the Sweet 16. There are odds for #1 seeds reaching the Final Four (or not doing so), odds for low seeds to make it in, and many other specific bets.


The first step is crucial. It is important to be in a state that has legalized sports betting. In recent weeks, certain states have gone live, including Louisiana and New York. You can also bet on March Madness online in New JerseyPennsylvaniaIndiana, and West Virginia, just to name a few.

So, which sportsbook should you bet with? While there’s always personal preference, certain online sportsbooks offer better welcome bonuses than others.

Amongst them all, BetMGMCaesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel stand out above the rest. Check them out today!


This 2023 March Madness will likely see considerable betting action and many dramatic games. As the tournament heats up and reaches the more advanced stages, bookmakers will provide odds on a number of markets.

Whether you’re filling out brackets or placing prop bets, nothing beats the thrill of March Madness and Sweet 16 betting!