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March Madness - Betting the Final Four

America's Bookie

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By: America's Bookie
Date: Apr 5, 2019
   
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This year’s NCAA Tournament in men’s basketball pretty much went chalk through the opening two rounds. All four No. 1 seeds advanced to the Sweet 16 along with all four No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. The Pac-12’s No. 12 Oregon Ducks were the only double-digit seed in the final 16 teams. From there, the tournament went off the rails a bit over the next two rounds to leave a very interesting sample of teams in the Final Four.

Auburn Tigers vs. Virginia Cavaliers Preview and Predictions

The ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers found redemption after last year’s early exit in the opening round as a No. 1 seed. They were the top seed in the South Region this time around and they are now the only No. 1 seed left in the field.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Michigan St Spartans Preview and Predictions

Both the Big Ten’s Michigan State Spartans and the SEC’s Auburn Tigers were able to carry over the momentum of winning their conference tournament into this year’s Big Dance. While the Spartans’ four-game run to the Final Four is not that big of a surprise with the exception of upsetting Duke, Auburn is the closest thing there is to a Cinderella as the No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region. The Tigers had to get past No. 4 Kansas, No. 1 North Carolina and the rival No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats to earn their spot among the remaining four teams. They even needed overtime on Sunday to get the job done.

The Big 12’s Texas Tech Red Raiders came into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West Region after a stunning 79-74 loss to West Virginia as 13-point favorites in their first conference tournament game. That was the only straight-up blemish in their last 14 games with a profitable 7-1 mark against the spread in their last eight outings. The Red Raiders beat both Michigan and Gonzaga closing as underdogs.

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Virginia is a five-point favorite against Auburn for Saturday night’s Final Four opener at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The total line for that game is currently set at 131 points. Later that night, Michigan State will face Texas Tech as a 2.5-point favorite with the total set at 132.5 points. The early betting consensus is leaning toward the Tigers as underdogs and the Spartans as favorites. The play on the total line favors the UNDER in the first game and the OVER in the nightcap.

Seeing how the Cavaliers finished the regular season as the top team in the nation on defense when it came to points allowed (55.4) it could be a test of wills this Saturday with Auburn’s 80.1-point scoring average this season.

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Texas Tech is another team known for playing tight defense with a points-allowed average of 59.0. The held Gonzaga to 69 points after completely shutting down Michigan 63-44 in the Sweet 16. Michigan State is averaging 78.6 PPG behind Cassius Winston’s team-high 18.9-point scoring average to make this matchup another test of wills.

When it comes to betting the futures odds to win this year’s national title, Virginia gets the slight nod as a +160 favorite. Michigan State is next on the list at +175 betting odds followed by Texas Tech (+400) and Auburn (+600). The odds for the actual result in the championship game are a toss-up at +250 that the Cavaliers beat the Spartans or Michigan State cuts down the net with a win over Virginia. The longest odds at +1200 have Auburn beating Texas Tech.

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If you are banking on defense winning championships, then Virginia over Texas Tech at +450 odds would probably be your best bet. If you are betting on coaching being the difference, then you could go with Michigan State over Auburn at +500 betting odds. Either way, the final three games of this tournament should all be very interesting matchups.


 

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