Final Four betting cheat sheet

Final Four betting cheat sheet

Throughout this NCAA Tournament full of historic upsets and unpredictability, UConn has been the lone contender and blue blood to survive the carnage and reach the Final Four.

The Huskies are odds-on championship favorites (-130) as they face Miami as 5.5-favorites in the national semifinals.

"If you asked 10 college coaches which Final Four team is the best, there is no doubt all 10 would say UConn. It's the most complete team on both ends of the floor," longtime Las Vegas handicapper Matt Youmans told ESPN. "I'm a dog player and the dogs could be live on Saturday, but I bet UConn -110 to win the championship."

In the other semifinal, San Diego State is laying three points over Florida Atlantic. Both schools are making their first trip the Final Four, and the No. 9 seed Owls are trying to become the lowest seed to ever win it all.

However, the over/under is a more intriguing betting angle. The Aztecs have cashed the under in 12 straight games. In theory, the mathematical odds of that is one in 4,096, or .02%.

Adding even more improbability to that is the fact that we often see market correction and their totals are already quite low, given their elite defensive ranking. Yet, they continue to deliver unders.

"I don't remember this kind of run this late in the season. That is pretty strong," South Point Hotel sportsbook director and Las Vegas veteran Chris Andrews told ESPN. "The analytical guys are taking the under but the general public is still taking the over."

Andrews shared that his sportsbook has taken about five times as much money on the under than the over, but the ticket count only slightly favors the under.

2023 NCAA Tournament: Schedule | Lines | Check your bracket | Live scores | ESPN Basketball Power Index

(9) Florida Atlantic vs. (5) San Diego State (-3, 132)6:09 p.m. ET, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

Both teams have surprised to reach this stage but I feel like Florida Atlantic can beat you more ways. The Aztecs are excellent at forcing you to play their type of game, which is highlighted by those 12 straight unders. Their length and athleticism disrupt the comfort zone of opposing shooters and they are methodical on offense. I expect a really strong FAU performance in a tight game.

Pick: FAU +3

(5) Miami at (4) UConn (-5.5, 149.5)8:49 p.m. ET, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

I cannot lay 5.5 points against a Miami squad that is well-coached by Jim Larranaga and that continues to prove doubters wrong. The Canes have excellent guard play and are capable of making this a tight game. However, I have no desire to jump in front of this UConn train. I would need eight points to bet into the Huskies. They are clearly the team to beat.

Pick: UConn -130 to win title

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6 of June 2023