2016 NCAA Tournament Best Bets

By Loot, NCAA Basketball Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Best Bets for the 2016 NCAA College Basketball Tournament

One of the most-frenzied betting periods of the year is upon us, with the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness. And the term “madness” is not hyperbole in this case. Go to any sportsbook and you will see unhinged madness and it doesn’t just last for a few hours—it lasts days and days. You can of course bet on the individual games, but some like to bet on a team to win the whole thing. It can be one of the more-thrilling bets you can make on the entire betting board.

With 68 teams and many hurdles to overcome, it can be useful to put your money behind a few different teams. You give yourself a chance to be wrong should one or some of your picks not really work out. In addition to picking different teams, it’s also helpful to mix up the caliber of picks you make. In other words, we don’t really want to get behind all favorites or all long-shots. A mixture of the two is usually the desired course of action.

Listed below will be some of our favorite picks, categorized by their odds. We will recommend some favorites, along with some middle-of-the-road choices, followed by a few long-shots where bettors stand to cash in a major score if correct. Following all the choices will be the full list of teams and their corresponding odds to win the 2016 Men’s Basketball Championship.


Kansas (+525): The top favorite on the board has that status for a reason. They won their 12th straight conference title this season in what was a really tough Big 12. They haven’t lost since January and senior forward Perry Ellis is a major asset with his basketball know-how. Devonte Graham and Frank Mason are one of the best backcourts in the nation. Their depth and experience will be major assets moving ahead and the Jayhawks will need to be contended with.

Michigan State (+625): With 7 Final Four appearances in the past 17 years, this is a part of the season where the Spartans and coach Tom Izzo thrives. He has taken a lot worse teams than this one really far. This Spartans team may have the most-feared offense in the tourney. With Denzel Valentine and Company, the second choice on the board is going to be a handful.

Oklahoma (+1450): More of a mid-range choice at better than 14-to-1, Oklahoma has three guys who can pour in the three in Buddy Hield, Ryan Spangler, and Jordan Woodard. And in Hield, they have a guy who looks NBA ready, always an asset when a deep run is needed. This is really a team, with guys who have been playing together for years. The Sooners are going to be tough.


Mid-Range Longshots

Syracuse (+30000): It’s been a up-and-down season for the Orangemen, but when looking for a team with 300-to-1 odds, it’s nice to have one with a high ceiling like Syracuse has, illustrated by their wins over UConn, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and Duke. It also helps to have a certain amount of institutionalized greatness with a coach who knows how to navigate his way through the field.

Connecticut (+17000): There was a time not too long ago when a Huskies team that no one thought had a chance won the whole thing, so they’ve done it before. There was a Cinderella nature to the way they gravitated into the tournament field this year and they carry some nice momentum into this season’s tourney. Their defense, particularly in close, could give some teams problems.


Northern Iowa (+80000): They beat the Tar Heels this season and ended their 2015-16 campaign with 12 wins in their last 13 games. A lot of people stopped paying attention to the Panthers after they got off to such a rough start and their first-round matchup against Texas has trouble written all over it. But nothing is going to be perfect with an 800-to-1 choice.

Hawaii (+300000): At odds of 3000-to-1, there is serious upside in what would truly be a cataclysmic occurrence. Hawaii winning the NCAA tourney doesn’t even sound right. But they have a lot of talent for such a monstrous underdog. They won 27 games this season and had some tough losses, including a close one to Oklahoma. They have a 7-footer in the middle in Stefan Jankovic. There’s a good chance they don’t get by Cal in the first round, but there’s some interesting value here.

Kansas +525
North Carolina +625
Michigan State +825
Virginia +900
Kentucky +1350
Villanova +1400
Oklahoma +1450
West Virginia +2000
Oregon +2300
Duke +3000
Xavier +3300
Texas A&M +3300
Purdue +3700
Maryland +4000
Indiana +4500
Arizona +5000
Miami Florida +5300
Iowa State +6500
Texas +6500
California +7000
Utah +7500
Baylor +8500
Iowa +9000
Wichita State +10000
Gonzaga +10000
Notre Dame +12500
Wisconsin +12500
Seton Hall +13500
Connecticut +17000
Cincinnati +20000
VA Commonwealth +20000
Vanderbilt +20000
Dayton +25000
Butler +25000
St. Joseph’s +30000
Pittsburgh +30000
Syracuse +30000
Providence +35000
Oregon State +40000
Michigan +50000
Colorado +60000
Texas Tech +60000
USC +80000
Temple +80000
Tulsa +80000
Northern Iowa +80000
South Dakota State +100000
Yale +100000
Arkansas Little Rock +150000
Stephen F. Austin +150000
Tennessee Chattanooga +250000
NC Wilmington +250000
Hawaii +300000
Iona +300000
Stony Brook +500000
Buffalo +500000
Fresno State +999999
Wisc Green Bay +999999
NC Asheville +999999
Weber State +999999
Middle Tennessee +999999
CS Bakersfield +999999
Austin Peay +999999
Florida Gulf Coast +999999
Fairleigh Dickinson +999999
Hampton +999999
Holy Cross +999999
Southern +999999


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