Jon Rothstein's March Madness Sweet 16 Day One Picks and Predictions: Houston ready to cruise past 'Cuse

Photo of Jon Rothstein

Jon Rothstein

NCAAB· 6 months ago

Show Bio

College basketball's hungriest insider. "Stay hungry, Stay humble"

We’ve reached the business end of the NCAA Tournament, as the Sweet 16 gets underway with some terrific programs in action. There have been a number of upsets so far, and I wouldn’t count on that changing here — it is March Madness, after all.

Below you can find my lock of the day and best picks for each of Saturday’s four games, with three of them entered as part of the Pickswise $10,000 Capper Contest, where I’m going up against some other top college basketball experts. I went 3-0 with my picks last Monday, so let’s see if I can carry that momentum over here.

Make sure you also read the Pickswise team’s thoughts on the side and total for all of Saturday’s Sweet 16 matchups.

Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers

Is this a coronation for the Ramblers? Don’t be so sure. Oregon State has the physicality inside with both Warith Alatishe and Roman Silva to frustrate Cameron Krutwig. The Beavers have out-rebounded their opponents by 27 in their first two NCAA Tournament games. Keep an eye on Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson, who is quietly one of the best guards left in the bracket.

PICK: Oregon State +6.5

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears

Reaching the Sweet 16 without Collin Gillespie is a remarkable feat for Villanova. The weight class for the Wildcats now gets raised against Baylor. Anything less than a trip to the Final Four will be a disappointment for the Bears, who clearly look like the second-best team left playing behind Gonzaga.

PICK: Baylor -6.5

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears.

The king of March Madness upsets, Rashad Phillips, is back with his best picks for the Sweet 16, where he has found another valuable underdog! Read his predictions here.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Paul Mills’ squad is the only true Cinderella left in the bracket. Does it have one more trip to ball left? Don’t rule it out of the realm of possibility. Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor are as good of a one-two punch as there is left in the NCAA Tournament. For Arkansas, this is a golden opportunity to get back to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995.

PICK: Oral Roberts +11

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks.

Syracuse Orange vs. Houston Cougars

Kelvin Sampson lives his coaching life by a simple motto: ‘Tougher team wins’. That could be bad news for Syracuse. The Orange are going to have to out-will Houston to get to the Elite Eight. This will not be a finesse game.

LOCK: Houston -6

Be sure to check out the full game preview for Syracuse Orange vs. Houston Cougars.

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Colts or Titans win!

Bet $5 on the Colts or Titans to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Broncos or Jets win!

Bet $5 on the Broncos or Jets to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $1 on UFC 266, Win $150 INSTANTLY!

Register for a new account at DraftKings Sportsbook and make a deposit.

Place a bet of $1+ on ANY fight on the card for UFC 266.

INSTANTLY win $150! Your initial bet does not need to win!

Bonus paid out as six (6) $25 Free Bets. Free Bets must be used within 7 days of receipt or else they will expire. Must be located in AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY to participate. Offer valid for new players ages 21 and up only. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $1 On Any NFL Football Game & Get $150 In Free Bets Instantly!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1 on any Pro Football game

Instantly get $150 in free bets

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Cowboys or Eagles win!

Bet $5 on the Cowboys or Eagles to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet + a free NFL Jersey!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $5,000 + a free NFL Jersey

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.