History offers limited insight into the potential outcome of Arizona sports betting in the Sweet 16.

History Provides Few Hints at Wildcats Arizona Sports Betting Fate in Sweet 16
Fact Checked by Young Ruth

The Arizona Wildcats will be making their long-awaited return to the Sweet 16 on Thursday night, marking their 18th appearance in the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament’s second weekend since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

The game between the first-seeded Wildcats and fifth-seeded Houston in the South Region is the first chance to bet on the Sweet 16 since sports betting became available in Arizona.

Arizona has covered the spread in 14 out of 17 tournament appearances in the second weekend since 1988, highlighting the unpredictable nature of betting on teams in March Madness.

The game between the Wildcats and Cougars in San Antonio will begin at around 6:59 p.m. on Thursday, airing on TBS.

Here is a recap of the Wildcats’ performance against the spread in their last 17 Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games.

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ATS History of Arizona in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight

(17 trips to Sweet 16 between 1988 and 2017)
2017Xavier (L, 73-71)UA -7.5
2015Xavier (W, 68-60)UA -11.5
2015Wisconsin (L, 85-78)UA -1.5
2014San Diego St. (W, 70-64)UA -7.5
2014Wisconsin (L, 64-63)UA -3.0
2013Ohio State (L, 73-70)UA +3.5
2011Duke (W, 93-77)UA +8.5
2011UConn (L, 65-63)UA +3.0
2009Louisville (L, 103-64)UA +9.0
2005Okla. State (W, 79-78)UA +1.0
2005Illinois (L, 90-89)UA +5.0
2003Notre Dame (W, 88-71)UA -8.0
2003Kansas (L, 78-75)UA -2.5
2002Oklahoma (L, 88-67)UA +3.0
2001Ole Miss (W, 66-56)UA -12.0
2001Illinois (W, 87-81)Pick’em
1998Maryland (W, 87-79)UA -8.5
1998Utah (L, 76-51)UA -10.5
1997Kansas (W, 85-82)UA +10.5
1997Providence (W, 96-92)UA -3.0
1996Kansas (L, 83-80)UA +5.0
1994Louisville (W, 82-70)UA -3.0
1994Missouri (W, 92-72)UA -4.5
1991Seton Hall (L, 81-77)UA -3.5
1989UNLV (L, 68-67)UA -3.5
1988Iowa (W, 99-79)UA -7.5
1988UNC (W, 70-52)UA -5.5

TOTAL: 14-13 ATS in last 17 trips to second weekend of NCAA Tournament.

Arizona has failed to cover the spread in their past five games during the second weekend of play.

Wildcats have had difficulty covering in their recent appearances.

A common betting trend in college basketball is the Wildcats’ difficulty in covering the spread during past Sweet 16 appearances.

Arizona has failed to cover the spread in their last five Sweet 16 or Elite Eight games, including their recent 73-71 loss to Xavier in the 2017 Sweet 16.

Even though they won against San Diego State (70-64) and Xavier (68-60) during their second weekend games in 2014 and 2015, the Wildcats were unable to cover the spread.

The Arizona Wildcats’ winning streak was halted in the Elite Eight by Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers teams in 2014 and 2015, with losses of just one point in 2014 and seven points in 2015.

Arizona has failed to cover the spread during the second weekend of March Madness since 2013, when they were a 3.5-point underdog and suffered a three-point loss to Ohio State (73-70).

The Wildcats made a surprising run to the Elite Eight in 2011 under the leadership of second-year coach Sean Miller. They pulled off a stunning 93-77 victory over Duke before falling to eventual champions UConn in a tight 65-63 game.

Arizona defied the odds in both of their second weekend games that year. They were 8.5-point underdogs against the Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 and 3-point underdogs against the Huskies in the Elite Eight, but managed to cover the spread in both matchups.

The Wildcats have covered the spread in all their games during the second weekend of the tournament in 2005, 1997, 1994, and 1988.

Arizona failed to cover the spread in 2014 and 1998, finishing with an 0-2 record in both years. Additionally, they went 0-1 ATS in 2009, 2002, 1991, and 1989.

Arizona’s Odds Vs. Houston

Arizona sports betting apps have set the spread at -1.5 in favor of the Wildcats on Thursday, giving them a chance to cover as the favorite once again.

BetMGM Arizona has odds of -125 on the moneyline and an over/under of 145.5 total points for the upcoming game in Arizona.

Caesars Sportsbook has Arizona at +140 to win the South Region, with their most recent Final Four appearance in 2001. Houston Cougars, led by Kelvin Sampson, are listed at +240 to make a return to the Final Four this year after their impressive run last season.

One thing we can learn from the Wildcats’ 17 appearances in the tournament’s second weekend is that the odds become more unpredictable at this point.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher, with over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona, now heads the writing team at yengols.com. He has previously written for ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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