The NCAA got what it wanted. This weekend, the four bluebloods will play in the Final Four, looking for an NCAA Championship. While upsets are exciting and fun, it’s always good to have the best talent in the Final Four.
North Carolina is an eight-seed, but the Tar Heels have played much better than that recently. Meanwhile, Kansas, Villanova, and Duke are the other three remaining teams and are one and two seeds, respectively.
With two intense and predictably close games, here are our best bets for the Final Four.
Villanova vs. Kansas: Kansas -4.5 (-110)
(6:09 pm ET)
The Villanova Wildcats will be shorthanded without Justin Moore, who has an Achilles injury. Moore was very good at limiting turnovers with Villanova and shot 35.6% from deep while hitting 43.7% from inside and 75% from the foul line. It’s a tough loss for Villanova and someone that the Wildcats will miss significantly in the Final Four.
Villanova is still one of the best offensive teams in the nation. The Wildcats are shooting 35.7% from deep and 49.9% from inside the arc while also hitting 83% from the foul line. However, Kansas holds opponents to 29.6% from deep and 47% from inside the arc. This team won’t get worn down by Villanova waiting nearly 20 seconds per possession.
Meanwhile, Kansas is shooting 35.6% from deep and 53.8% from inside the arc while dominating the offensive glass this year. The Jayhawks have 33.1% offensive rebounds this season, and Villanova allows 28.7% offensive rebounds. Kansas has the better matchup and is obviously more healthy.
North Carolina vs. Duke: North Carolina +4 (-110)
(8:49 pm ET)
North Carolina has been red hot in the second half of the season. At one point, It seemed like the Tar Heels weren’t even going to make the NCAA Tournament with mid-season losses to Notre Dame, Miami, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, and Duke.
But after an embarrassing loss to Pittsburgh at home, North Carolina turned things around, winning five straight regular-season games, with the final game being a 94-81 win over Duke, on the road, on Senior Day.
North Carolina eventually lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC Semifinals, but Virginia Tech won the tournament. So that loss doesn’t look so bad anymore. The Tar Heels are now playing their best basketball after four straight wins in the NCAA Tournament.
Duke is still the best offense in the nation, shooting 37% from deep and 56.3% from inside the arc. There’s good reason to think Duke will have some quality looks from deep. However, if Duke misses those shots early, second chances will be hard to come by against North Carolina.
Neither team fouls all that much, and neither team earns a bunch of turnovers. It comes down to North Carolina’s rebounding and Duke’s shot-making ability. I’m going to believe that North Carolina defends the three a bit better than usual. That would keep North Carolina in this game and help the Tar Heels cover.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Choose a Sportsbook — or head to more advanced strategy — like Which Sports Are Most Profitable to Bet? — to learn more.