Big Ten meets SEC in a Sweet 16 match-up when Michigan tackles Texas A&M Thursday night in Los Angeles (7:35 pm ET, TBS). The Wolverines are short favorites on the betting line, but who are we going with for our free NCAA tournament pick? Free NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Betting Preview and Picks: Michigan vs. Texas A&M.
Most books opened Michigan at -3.5, with an over/under of 134. In early betting action that spread dipped to 2.5, while the total rose to 136.
On the futures market The Greek is listing the Wolverines at +700 to win this NCAA tournament, A&M at +2000.
Michigan went 13-5 in the Big Ten this season, then beat Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State and Purdue to win the conference tournament. The Wolverines then began this NCAA tournament with a lackluster 61-47 victory over Montana in the first round, then beat Houston in the second round 64-63 on a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Michigan trailed the Cougars late, but got lucky when Houston missed a couple free-throws with four seconds left. Wolverines freshman Jordan Poole then banged in a 3-pointer off an in-bounds play as the clock ran out for the win.
On the night Michigan only shot 36 percent from the floor but held the Cougars to 37 percent shooting.
Texas A&M went 9-9 in the SEC this season, then lost to Alabama in the first round of the conference tournament. But the Aggies then opened this NCAA tournament with a 73-69 victory over Providence, then shocked most of the college basketball world with an 85-65 bombing of defending national champion North Carolina.
The Aggies broke open a close game with 15-0 run to lead the Heels at the half 42-28. A&M then hit two quick 3-pointers to begin the second half and cruised from there. For the game A&M shot 52 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Heels, one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, 50-36.
Just before that the Aggies shot 50 percent from the floor against the Friars and out-rebounded Providence 40-21.
Texas A&M is now 9-9 both SU and ATS this season against teams that made the Dance, while Michigan 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS against that same field.
Betting Pick Analysis
Michigan has held each of its last 12 opponents under 50 percent shooting, five of those under 40 percent. Meanwhile, Texas A&M has shot better than 50 percent from the field four of its last seven times out. What might that all indicate? This one should a grinder. Ultimately, the Aggies should own an advantage on the boards, which could lead to a couple extra buckets off extra chances.
Free Sweet 16 Pick: Texas A&M
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Free NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Betting Preview and Picks: Michigan vs. Texas A&M