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College basketball: Betting tips for women’s NCAA tournament Sweet 16

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The 2023 women’s NCAA tournament has already seen some massive upsets in the opening rounds.

Are there more to come in the Sweet 16? And what are the top plays on Friday and Saturday?

Here are ESPN experts Charlie Creme, Doug Kezirian and Debbie Antonelli with their best bets.



South Carolina is -250 and everyone else is +700 or longer. Who are you picking now to win it all?

South Carolina is still my pick to win the national championship, but there is no value in playing the Gamecocks. Give me Maryland at +4000. The Terps will likely get their crack at the Gamecocks in the Elite Eight. Playing South Carolina in Greenville is no easy task, but Maryland could have the goods on the right night. — Creme

It’s been SC vs, the field since January. To pick from the field, I like an Iowa vs. SC matchup. Iowa offense and the great Caitlin Clark vs. one of the toughest defenses ever built in Women’s College Basketball. As a fan, that’s the matchup I crave. Iowa to win it all at +1200. — Antonelli

UConn (+700) is a play I have made. Despite the brand name, the Huskies are actually offering betting value. They would not have to face South Carolina until the title game and even then I don’t count them out. They led the Gamecocks earlier this season by 12 points in the second quarter and were favored on the in-game betting line, and all that was without Azzi Fudd. I will gladly grab Geno Auriemma at +700. — Kezirian

Favorite picks (Friday and Saturday)

Louisville -2.5 over Ole Miss: I’ll take Louisville and give 2.5 vs. Ole Miss. Both are good defensive teams but Louisville will welcome the Ole Miss pressure defense and thrive on offensive execution. Louisville is not new to the pressure in this environment and their final four appearance from last year will benefit the Cardinals. — Antonelli

Ole Miss vs. Louisville under 126.5: As great as the Rebels upset of Stanford was, don’t forget they only scored 53 points and made just one field goal in the final 10 minutes. Ole Miss may struggle to get to 60 against a good Cardinals defense. Louisville’s offense also struggles against better competition. The Cardinals averaged just under 70 points per game against ACC opposition, something more in line with what they are facing now. — Creme

Maryland -5 over Notre Dame: This might be my favorite bet of the entire tournament. I know it sounds like I’m high on the Terrapins, but it’s just the numbers attached to them. This Notre Dame team willed its way to a second-round win over Mississippi State. That’s commendable. But the Irish didn’t play well. The offense is stuck without Olivia Miles. The last time they played a Sweet 16 caliber team (Louisville in the ACC tournament semifinals) the Irish scored 38 points. I would be surprised if this game is close. I would also consider the under 137.5. — Creme

I echo the sentiments on Maryland. In this space, I backed them 13-1 to win the region. The Terps are reliable under the bright lights of the big dance and as Charlie indicated, the Irish just aren’t the same without Miles. — Kezirian

Virginia Tech (Pick) over Tennessee: Tennessee and VT met once in Knoxville already with VT a winner. Elizabeth Kitley is the headliner but point guard Georgia Amore has been the top point guard in the ACC since February. VT handles the multiple defenses from Tennessee and executes efficiently on the offensive end with their balance. Tennessee thrives on turnovers and rebounding and VT will take command of the game. VT is the play here. — Antonelli

Villanova -4 vs. Miami: The Canes deserve all the credit for knocking off top-seed Indiana. However, are they mature enough to handle the praise and then be ready for this matchup? That’s a lot to ask of teams coming off a huge upset. The Wildcats have the nation’s leading scorer in Maddy Siegrist and the Canes will not sneak up on Nova after taking down the Hoosiers. — Kezirian

Top upset picks

Ohio State (+10, +400 ML) vs. UConn: The Buckeyes style is fast, disruptive and keeps them in games no matter the margin. Ohio State has favorable matchups on the floor with their 94 feet of full court harassing pressure defense and the ability to attack at the rim or from 3 with their aggressive offense. I like Ohio State. — Antonelli

Utah +5 over LSU: While I picked the Tigers to win the game outright, handing Utah five points seems too much. The Utes offense, third in the country in points per game, is too good for LSU to run away. This game stays tight so take the points. — Creme

Once again I am with Charlie and backing the Utes. Angel Reese will get her points but the high-powered Utah offense can offset that. Five points is a lot against a team that averages 83.5 points. — Kezirian

Other picks that stand out

LSU and Utah over 150.5 points: These are two of the Top 5 scoring teams in the nation, averaging just north of 83 PPG. On this stage, possessions tend to shrink. Not in this one! Both play well and entertain with their high-powered offenses. Not sure either can stop the other! — Antonelli

Virginia Tech and Tennessee under 138.5 points: These teams met earlier in the season and the Hokies held on for 59-56 win when the Lady Vols were missing their best player, Rickea Jackson. Both are exceedingly different clubs now but the Hokies are still the better team. I would lean Virginia Tech in a straight up bet, but I like the under better. Tennessee reached the Sweet 16 a year ago, but neither team has much experience in this kind of moment. Expect some tightness early and that will ultimately prevent the game from hitting the number. — Creme

Odds to win championship (as of March 22)

South Carolina at -250
($25 bet wins you $10)

UConn at +700
($10 bet wins you $70)

LSU at +1000
($10 bet wins you $100)

Iowa at +1200
($10 bet wins you $120)

Virginia Tech at +3000
($10 bet wins you $300)

Maryland, Tennessee and Utah at +4000
($10 bet wins you $400)

Villanova at +6000
($10 bet wins you $600)

Louisville, Ole Miss and Notre Dame at +7500
($10 bet wins you $750)

Ohio State at +10000
($10 bet wins you $1000)

Colorado at +15000
($10 bet wins you $1500)

UCLA and Miami at +20000
($10 bet wins you $2000)

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