Final Four Teams' Analysis and Betting Advice For the Weekend
Right from the first game of March Madness, there has been the drama and entertaining storylines that we all are pulled toward, most notably the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, who became the first 15-seed ever to reach the Elite Eight round.
The first game was a First Four double-overtime thriller between Notre Dame and Rutgers on St. Patrick’s Day. Then we had New Mexico State and Teddy Allen’s ‘walk through the paint’ that caused Connecticut to have an early exit.
Memphis came close to an upset of top seed Gonzaga in the Round of 32. Then there was Iowa State’s Tyrese Hunter, who hails from Racine, Wisconsin, who led the Cyclones to an upset against the Wisconsin Badgers.
But after 10 days of thrillers and upsets, we were left with four bluebloods in the Final Four.
These Teams Have Dominated Over the Years
Since 2008, these four programs — Villanova, Kansas, Duke, and North Carolina — have accounted for eight champions, and all have won at least one. Since 1982 — when the Final Four was first played in New Orleans — these four programs have accounted for 15 championships.
Final Four Teams’ Titles Since 1982
- North Carolina: 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017
- Duke: 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015
- Villanova: 1985, 2016, 2018
- Kansas: 1988, 2008
How Loaded Are These Teams?
So, how should you think about your college basketball betting for this weekend?
Over the past 15 tournaments, the No. 1-seed has won 11 and has won the past four. Kansas is the lone No. 1-seed left.
Let’s look at each team and how they’re built.
Duke starts five McDonald's All-Americans with a sixth one coming off the bench.
North Carolina has nine players ranked in the RSCI Top 100 High School players on their roster, including Caleb Love, who was ranked 13 in 2020.
Kansas has six players from the RSCI Top 100, including three freshmen.
Villanova has six players from the RSCI rankings, and that does not include two-time Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie.
So, there is a huge gap in talent and physical strength and size between the bluebloods and any other team in the nation.
Villanova guard and Gillespie’s side-kick Justin Moore suffered a significant lower leg injury and will not be able to play in the Final Four, which is a major loss for almost every other team not named Villanova.
For many of coach Jay Wright’s tenure at Villanova, his teams have played without a center and with three and sometimes four guards on the court.
The Wildcats have eight guards among the 15 players on the roster and I expect senior Caleb Daniels to start in place of Moore. Daniels has averaged 10.2 points per game, including 3.8 rebounds per game this season.
What are Futures Markets Telling Us?
I have Villanova to win it all from about a month ago at 17/1 odds.
That number has dropped to a current price of +500 or 5/1 and, ironically, they are the long shot of the four teams.
Duke is the favorite at +160, the Kanas at +180, then North Carolina at +475.
So, Villanova might not be a huge longshot bet to make here, but betting them using the moneyline will offer a far greater payout than accepting the +500 price tag.
If you like Wildcats to win the title, bet on them using the moneyline against Kansas.
If you wager $100 for a futures bet, then wager $100 on the moneyline at the +155 offered on the BetMGM Sportsbook app.
If Villanova loses, you will have lost the same $100 you would have bet on the futures line. However, if Villanova wins, you will have made a net profit of $155.Take half of those winnings, or roughly $80 and add the $100 to it for a $180 bet in the championship game. In that game, Villanova will be at least a 6-point underdog to either Duke or North Carolina.
That expected moneyline will be close to or at +200 or 2/1 odds. If Villanova wins, you’ll make at least $360 on that wager combined with the $155 from the semifinals win, bringing you a total of $515 plus the $75 you pocketed in profit from the first win for a total of $595.
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