NCAA Tournament: Pac-12 rivals pitted in tightest Sweet 16 odds

Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Southern California Trojans forward Isaiah Mobley (3) celebrates with guard Amar Ross (55) during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament against the Kansas Jayhawks at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The slew of upsets has arguably been the biggest theme through the first two rounds of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

If so, the resurgence of the Pac-12 is a close second.

Four double-digit seeds reached the Sweet 16, and all have been installed as decided underdogs. That includes 12th-seeded Oregon State, which is a 6.5-point underdog by DraftKings despite facing another unlikely Sweet 16 participant in eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago.

However, the Beavers are being backed by 72 percent of the early moneyline handle at +240 and 73 percent of the spread line handle.

Read More: RECAP: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns Gators to advance to Sweet 16

Oral Roberts is only the second No. 15 seed in history to reach the Sweet 16 and is an 11.0-point underdog against No. 3 Arkansas. Oral Roberts is receiving heavy early support to the tune of 72 percent of the spread handle and 78 percent of the spread bets at DraftKings.

The other two Saturday games pit No. 11 seed Syracuse as a 6.0-point underdog against No. 2 seed Houston and top-seeded Baylor as a 6.5-point favorite against No. 5 Villanova. Syracuse (89 percent) and Baylor (87 percent) are being backed heavily on the spread line handle, while the Orange are also being backed by 81 percent of the moneyline bets at +200.

The three remaining Pac-12 teams take center stage on Sunday.

UCLA began the tournament in the First Four and the 11th-seeded Bruins are now preparing to play No. 2 seed Alabama following three consecutive victories. Bettors are expecting that run to end, with Alabama being backed by 79 percent of the handle and 77 percent of the bets as a 5.5-point favorite.

Read More: No. 11 UCLA cruises into Sweet 16 with rout of No. 14 Abilene Christian

The matchup between highest remaining seeds is No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Michigan in the East Region. The Wolverines are 3.0-point favorites and being backed by 70 percent of the handle and 76 percent of the bets.

Creighton has been installed as the biggest underdog despite routing Ohio on Monday. The Bluejays are 13.5-point underdogs to top-ranked Gonzaga, with the Bulldogs still being supported with 82 percent of the handle and 80 percent of the bets.

The Pac-12 will close out the weekend with No. 7 Oregon facing No. 6 USC in the Sweet 16 game with the shortest odds. The Trojans are 2.5-point favorites after routing Kansas in the Round of 32, while the Ducks advanced with a dismantling of No. 2 seed Iowa.

USC is being backed by 71 percent of the spread line handle and 58 percent of the bets. However, Oregon is being backed by 60 percent of the moneyline bets at -105.

Read More: RECAP: USC hands Kansas worst-ever NCAA tourney defeat

The Ducks and Trojans combined for 180 points in taking out the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the West, respectively. However, DraftKings has set the Over/Under for Sunday’s game at 139.0 points. That has drawn 94 percent of the handle and 88 percent of the total early bets to be placed on the Over.

–Field Level Media