We’re getting to the sweet part of the season as we enter the Sweet 16 on Friday and Saturday night as eight teams will advance to the Elite 8 and will find themselves one step closer to cutting down the nets. The competition is going to be tighter and every second of these games will truly count as mistakes will be costly. Let’s see which four teams will handle their opponent and the spread this weekend.

Best Women's March Madness Sweet 16 Predictions and Bets Today

Indiana vs South Carolina Women's Prediction and Pick

When you get to the the Sweet 16, you usually don’t see double-digit spreads, as the Cinderella teams have either earned the respect of the sportsbooks or the competition is much tighter as those upset teams have been defeated. A Cinderella story isn’t the case in this scenario, as Indiana is the four seed and have earned their way to the Sweet 16 against South Carolina. The story here is that South Carolina is just a dominant team on both sides of the ball and anything less than a National Championship out of this team would be a failure.

Indiana has faced top competition this season but haven’t fared well as they lost 96-64 to Stanford and split with Iowa this season. I don’t consider Iowa top competition (I will touch on that in future articles) but the loss earlier in the year they suffered to Iowa 84-57 wasn’t even competitive. I see South Carolina shutting down everything Indiana tries to do while capitalizing on the other end of the floor, resulting in a blowout. From Kamilla Cardoso down low, to MiLaysia Fulwiley and Te-Hina Paopao on the wings, this South Carolina team is too talented for Indiana and will show it here as they win this game by 20 plus points.

The Pick: South Carolina -15.5 (-115)

LSU vs UCLA Women's Prediction and Pick

The 2023-24 season has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the LSU Tigers, who at several times haven’t looked like the defending champions. While a slew of transfers in Aneesah Morrow and Hailey Van Lith boosted this LSU team talent wise, there was an adjustment period for them and their new teammates to get acquainted with playing with each other. Outside of not being able to knock off South Carolina this season, this Tigers team looks ready to defend their title.

As for UCLA, they’ve looked dominant this season as they finished second in the PAC-12, but when it came to facing high quality teams, the Bruins just couldn’t live up to the hype. Yes, UCLA did upset Connecticut earlier in the season 78-67, but they shot 48 percent from three-point range in that game.

If UCLA can shoot like they did against Connecticut back in November, then they’ll be able to keep this game close. But the Bruins 27.7 percent mark from three so far in the tournament isn’t encouraging enough to make me think that they’ll be able to have a performance like that again. LSU is too talented of a team and too tough defensively for UCLA to remain competitive in this one. Give me LSU big in this one.

The Pick: LSU -2.5 (-115)

Baylor vs USC Women's Prediction and Pick

Baylor enters this game coming off of a close win over Virginia Tech which they won 75-72. Guard Jada Walker had a career high 28 points as she scored 11 of Baylor’s last 13 points to seal the deal. As for USC, they enter this game looking in command of Region 3. Juju Watkins is unguardable, McKenzie Forbes is one of the most underrated guards in the country and Rayah Marshall is a presence down low.

Baylor is a team that lives or dies by the three and they almost died by it in the round of 32 as they were just 5-18 from three-point range. Shooting like that will not be a recipe for success against a USC team that’s averaging 80 points per game so far during the tournament.

Baylor is 24-5 in games where they score 62 or more points in this season. While USC isn’t known for their defense, they’ve held both opponents to 55 points in the Tournament and held their opponents to an average of 61.7 points per game this season. Baylor provides a balanced scoring attack, but they escaped out of the round of 32, whereas USC has looked dominant in this tournament so far. Kansas, who was dominated by USC in the round of 32, 73-55, dominated Baylor earlier in the year 87-66. While I’m not a fan of compare and contrast, this feels like another statement game from USC who has shown no signs of slowing down. Give me the Trojans in this one as Baylor has been too inconsistent at times this season and if they’re off for even a few minutes in this one, USC will pull away with it.

The Pick: USC -3.5 (-110)

Duke vs Connecticut Prediction and Pick

Geno Auriemma has his Connecticut Huskies looking like a well oiled machine, yet they’re flying under the radar. They beat a good Syracuse team in the round of 32 and slowed down one of the top scorers in the nation in Dyaisha Fair, who was 6-22 from the field. Paige Bueckers, who took a backseat to Caitlin Clark as the face of Women’s Basketball with her injury last season, is showing the College Basketball world that she’s back.  Bueckers is averaging 30 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the tournament so far. With Bueckers shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and Aaliyah Edwards looking unfazed by a broken nose as she has the paint locked down, this Huskies team is looking ready to get another banner for Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

As for Duke, they’ve fared well this season and had a statement win over Ohio State in the round of 32, winning 75-63. But outside of that win over Ohio State the Blue Devils have been a mediocre team at best this season. The Cinderella slipper was a perfect fit for Duke in the round of 32, but the clock has struck dawn for Duke as they’ve met the superior opponent here. With Connecticut defending as well as they have and shooting 42.3 percent from behind the arc, this Huskies team is very scary right now. Give me Connecticut to cover the spread as they’ll advance to the Elite 8 easily.

The Pick: Connecticut -8.5 (-105)

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