2023 March Madness: How to bet on the Sweet 16 after a busted bracket

So you ripped up your bracket around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when your champion Arizona went down to Princeton. Or maybe later Friday when 16-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson knocked off top-seeded Purdue? Join the club. Now what? Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to have some action on the remainder of the men's NCAA tournament.

Let's start with second-chance Sweet 16 bracket pools. ESPN has one right here. Looks a lot easier with 16 teams left.

Or maybe you want to try a bracket pool with spreads? Find 16 people to fill a capture bracket. Everyone gets one team, and winners advance based on the ATS result. Your team could lose but cover the spread and you "capture" the other team.

Or you could throw the 16 remaining teams into an auction-style draft in which you buy teams with real money and pay out to the Final Four teams, finalists and national champion. It's a different form of the standard bracket pool and can be a lot of fun.

And then, of course, you could just wager on the games. Find a money line or spread you like and place a wager. Pregame, props or even in-game wagering are all offered for the final 15 games. Did you miss a future before the tourney started? You can still bet any of the 16 teams right now to win the region or title.

-- David Bearman

The story of the 2023 NCAA tournament has been big underdogs winning and unders cashing. For the first time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, two underdogs of at least 15 points have won outright. FDU (+23.5) pulled off the biggest upset in the 64-team era, beating Purdue. Princeton (+16.5) also beat Arizona.

However, the most profitable play in the tournament has been to take games to go under the total. Unders are 35-17 so far in the tournament (.673), continuing a trend of unders hitting in the dance. Over the past five tournaments, unders are 182-134 (.576).

Houston entered the tournament as the betting favorite, but entering the Sweet 16, Alabama has surpassed Houston as the favorite. According to SportsOddsHistory.com, Houston is the first pre-tournament favorite in over 15 seasons to lose its favorite role entering the Sweet 16 despite not being eliminated.


(7) Michigan State vs. (3) Kansas State
6:30 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Michigan State (-2)
Money Line: Michigan State (-135), Kansas State (+115)
Total: 137.5 BPI Projected winner: Kansas State (50.3)

  • Kansas State is 22-11-1 ATS, tied with Florida Atlantic for the best mark in the field. However, Kansas State is only 7-8 ATS as an underdog.

  • Tom Izzo is 8-1 outright and 6-3 ATS when favored in the Sweet 16. He is 8-6 ATS overall in the Sweet 16.

  • Kansas State is 3-0 outright and ATS in the Sweet 16 since 1985 expansion, including two outright wins as underdogs.

  • Michigan State is 7-2 ATS against AP top-25 teams this season.

  • Lower-seeded teams favored in the Sweet 16 are 11-12 outright and 9-14 ATS since 1985 tournament expansion. It's the first time since 2015 that a team seeded four or more spots lower is favored in the Sweet 16. That season, two 7-seeds were favored over 3-seeds, including Michigan State beating Purdue by four points as a 1.5-point favorite.

(8) Arkansas at (4) UConn
7:15 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

Line: UConn (-3.5)
Money Line: Arkansas (-165), UConn (+140)
Total: 140 BPI Projected winner: UConn (65.9)

  • UConn is 23-12 ATS this season, the third-best mark for any team left in the field. UConn is 7-1 ATS in its past eight games and 9-2 ATS in its past 11 games.

  • UConn is 12-1 ATS this season in nonconference games.

  • UConn is 6-1 ATS in neutral-site games, while Arkansas is 7-2 ATS.

  • Unders are 8-2 in Arkansas's NCAA tournament games under Eric Musselman.

(9) Florida Atlantic at (4) Tennessee
9:00 p.m. ET, Madison Square Garden, New York

Line: Tennessee (-5.5)
Money Line: Florida Atlantic (+195), Tennessee (-240)
Total: 131.5 BPI Projected winner: Tennessee (84.5)

  • Florida Atlantic is 22-11-1 ATS this season, tied with Kansas State for the best mark in the field. The Wildcats are 18-8 ATS in their past 26 games.

  • No. 8 and No. 9 seeds are 14-8 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 1985 expansion, including 7-2 ATS since 2011.

  • Rick Barnes is 20-32-1 ATS in the NCAA tournament, including 16-26-1 ATS as a favorite. He is 2-7 ATS as a tournament favorite at Tennessee.

(3) Gonzaga at (2) UCLA
9:45 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

Line: UCLA (-2)
Money Line: Gonzaga (-135), UCLA (+115)
Total: 145.5 BPI Projected winner: UCLA (65.8)

  • Gonzaga is 14-20 ATS this season (.412), the worst mark of any Sweet 16 team.

  • Gonzaga is 5-11-1 ATS in nonconference games this season and 2-8 ATS in neutral-site games.

  • Gonzaga is the only team to start 0-2 ATS this NCAA tournament. Teams that start 0-2 ATS are 21-20-3 ATS in their Sweet games and 7-3 ATS as underdogs.

  • Gonzaga's past seven Sweet 16 games have gone under the total.

  • Since 1985 expansion, UCLA is 3-13 ATS in the Sweet 16 (1-1 ATS under Mick Cronin).


(5) San Diego State at (1) Alabama
6:30 p.m. ET, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky

Line: Alabama (-7.5)
Money Line: San Diego State (-355), Alabama (+278)
Total: 137 BPI Projected winner: Alabama (84.5)

  • Alabama is 1-8 outright all time in the Sweet 16. Since 1985 expansion, Alabama is 1-6 outright and ATS in the Sweet 16. In its only Sweet 16 appearance under Nate Oats, Alabama lost outright as a 7-point favorite against UCLA in 2021.

  • Mountain West teams are 0-6 outright and 1-5 ATS in the Sweet 16.

  • San Diego State is 9-14 ATS against major conference teams under Brian Dutcher.

(5) Miami at (1) Houston
7:15 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri

Line: Houston (-7)
Money Line: Miami (-355), Houston (+260)
Total: 138 BPI Projected winner: Houston (89.2)

  • Houston is 19-16-1 ATS this season but just 5-9 ATS in its past 14 games.

  • Houston is the only team in Division I to be favored in every game this season.

  • Miami is 32-12 ATS as an underdog over the past three seasons, including 7-2 ATS this season.

(13) Princeton at (6) Creighton
9:00 p.m. ET, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky

Line: Creighton (-10)
Money Line: Princeton (+400), Creighton (-500)
Total: 140.5 BPI Projected winner: Creighton (87.8)

  • Princeton has covered six straight games, the longest active streak by any Sweet 16 team.

  • Teams seeded 14th or lower are 5-0 ATS in Sweet 16 games. Saint Peter's won outright as a 13-point underdog against Purdue last year for the only outright win.

  • Last year, two teams were favored by at least nine points in their Sweet 16 matchups, and both lost outright (Saint Peter's +13 vs. Purdue, Arkansas +9.5 vs. Gonzaga).

  • Princeton is 7-1 ATS as an underdog this season.

(3) Xavier at (2) Texas
9:45 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, Missouri

Line: Texas (-4)
Money Line: Xavier (+152), Texas (-180)
Total: 148.5 BPI Projected winner: Texas (70)

  • Sean Miller is 8-1 ATS as an NCAA tournament underdog (3-6 outright).

  • Xavier is 6-2 ATS in the Sweet 16 (3-5 outright), including 2-0 ATS under Sean Miller.

  • Texas is 2-10-2 ATS in the NCAA tournament since 2010.

  • Since 2015, Big East teams are 10-4-1 ATS against Big 12 teams in the NCAA tournament.