Let's make some more picks!

March Madness Models - Sweet 16 Picks

Jesse Fischer • March 25, 2015

Now that we have reviewed how I did last week let's move on to the fun part and make some more picks! As a reminder these picks are based off of my models, and I will finalize them on twitter to make sure you don't think I'm pulling a "Chad Ford".

ATS Picks

Here is what my ATS models expect compared to the Vegas spreads1:


Let me review some matchups:

  • Wichita State (-2) vs. Notre Dame - The models really like the higher seed here (Notre Dame is 3 while Wichita is a 7). Vegas is high on Wichita because they beat Kansas big while the Irish only escaped past Butler in OT. A win against Kansas is big but in March even Bucknell can beat Kansas. I have no reason to doubt the models here. This could even be a good play straight up.
  • Wisconsin (-6.5) vs. North Carolina - This spread started at 5. The data favored Tar Heels then so now its an even better bet. I don't know who will win but it has got to be a closer game than this spread.
  • Kentucky (-13.5) vs. West Virginia - The spread seems pretty good here. I don't care what Daxter Miles Jr. says - Kentucky rolls, it is just a matter of by how much.
  • Arizona (-10.5) vs. Xaiver - My numbers say the spread is good with maybe a slight nod to Xavier. However I like Zona and they are hot so I have nothing here.
  • Gonzaga (-8.5) vs. UCLA - My numbers have favored UCLA in both games up until this point. Against the Zags not so much. I'll keep playing the numbers with UCLA and go Zags covering.
  • Duke (-5.5) vs. Utah - Although the models I posted above would indicate a clear Utah pick. I have some more up my sleeve which don't seem to like Utah as much here. If I had to pick I would do Utah ATS but I wouldn't put my reputation on it.
  • Michigan State (-2) vs. Oklahoma - The data says Oklahoma but the data isn't factoring in "the best coach in modern NCAA tournament history" as I mentioned in my original post. Is Izzo worth up to 3.5 points which one model says they need to make up? Maybe…
  • Louisville (-3) vs. North Carolina State - The models are confused here. M1 has loved Louisville in both games so far (which has been a split) and once again it likes the Cards. M2 thinks Wolfpack big. Vegas added a point in Louisville's favor since the spreads opened so this might mean heavy Cards action. I like the contrarian here (and I also know what makes up the models and in this situation I'm leaning M2).

O/U Picks

Here are over/under model expectations compared to Vegas1:


Let me review some matchups:

  • Wichita State vs. Notre Dame (137.5) - Under if I had to pick but I'm not confident enough to play.
  • Wisconsin vs. North Carolina (145) - Under for days.
  • Kentucky vs. West Virginia (136.5) - My data says Vegas has Kentucky games spot on.
  • Arizona vs. Xaiver (136) - I'll take one from Corso here: Over - "more than the experts think"
  • Gonzaga vs. UCLA (145.5) - This total is high but these teams can score. Can I pick after I see how these teams come out in the first half?
  • Duke vs. Utah (134) - Over for no reason other than the models said so
  • Michigan State vs. Oklahoma (134.5) - Looks right to me
  • Louisville vs. North Carolina State (130) - This total seems low, the numbers say more high than low…over?

Final Picks


  • Wichita State (-2) vs. Notre Dame - Irish
  • Wisconsin (-6.5) vs. North Carolina - UNC
  • Gonzaga (-8.5) vs. UCLA - Zags
  • Louisville (-3) vs. North Carolina State - NC State


  • Wisconsin vs. North Carolina (145) - Under
  • Arizona vs. Xaiver (136) - Over
  • Duke vs. Utah (134) - Over
  • Louisville vs. North Carolina State (130) - Over

Next up: Let's recap how these picks turned out

  1. These lines are taken on the night of 3/25 via vegas insider 2