March Madness Previews, Picks, and Predictions for the Elite Eight
We break down a sample of Saturday’s March Madness Elite Eight games and give you betting advice.
We have a pair of 2-seeds in the Villanova Wildcats and the Duke Blue Devils still alive. Duke is favored by four points over the 4-seed Arkansas Razorbacks, who were more than impressive in their 74-68 defeat installed as 9.5-point underdogs of the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs Thursday.
As a side note I was on Arkansas as a 4% bet (grading is 3, 4, and 5% max bets) and including a 1% bet on Arkansas using the moneyline, getting a return of +385 with the win.
Let’s face it, most NCAA basketball fans, even if they do not want to admit it (because they just might be North Carolina supporters), don’t want to see Mike Krzyzewski’s career end before the championship game.
In the South Region championship, the No. 5-seed Houston Cougars, who dominated the 1-seed Arizona Wildcats, are favored by 2.5-points over the 2-seed Villanova Wildcats.
Over the past 15 NCAA Tournaments, the underdogs have done quite well in the Elite Eight, earning a 38-24-2 against the spread record, for 61.3% winning bets.
(5) Houston vs. (2) Villanova
- South Region
- AT&T Center, San Antonio
- 6:09 p.m. ET, Saturday
The total for this matchup opened at 127 points and has seen a steady flow of interest in betting the Over and has shifted the price to 128 points.
I like the Over bet in this matchup up to and including 130.5-points.
The trends and angles that follow are supportive of making the Over bet.
Villanova is 33-17 Over the total when on the road, including neutral court settings, and have won three or more consecutive games against the spread.
They are also 19-7-1 Over in road games, including neutral court settings, when coming off two games in which they recorded 12 or fewer assists in each one in games played over the past three seasons.
(4) Arkansas vs. (2) Duke
- West Region
- Chase Center, San Francisco
- 8:49 p.m. ET, Saturday
The line opened with Duke installed as a four-point favorite and has remained at that level amid balanced betting action.
The total is at 147 points after opening at 147.5 points and currently DraftKings is pricing the total at 146.5 points.
I like the first half Under bet that is lined currently at 68.5 points. My predictive models show reason to believe that one of these teams will score more than 30 points in the first half, but not both teams.
This betting strategy is supported by many trends and angles, and I will mention the major ones.
Arkansas is 7-0 Under the first half total after game No. 15 of this season and taking on a foe that has won between 60% and 80% of their games.
They are also 12-3-1 Under using the first-half total after game number 15 of this season when taking an opponent that has outscored their opponents by at least 4 points per game.
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