NCAAB: Men’s Final Four Betting Preview

NCAA Basketball Sports News


  • The Men’s Final Four starts Saturday in Phoenix with U. Conn taking on Alabama and Purdue meeting NC State.
  • 11th seeded NC State is this year’s Cinderella story. The Wolf Pack are in the Final Four for the first time since 1983. The lowest seed to ever win the national championship is 8.
  • U. Conn is looking to become the first team to repeat as champions since Florida in 2007.

Will the Final Four be a U.Conn coronation or will we get one more surprise as March Madness moves to April?

The Huskies have been the best team in men’s college basketball since Jan. 1 and are still the big favorite to cut down the nets in Phoenix as national champions. In their four NCAA Tournament games to date, they’ve held teams to 52, 52, 58, and 52 points. Take a bow Northwestern, you’ve played the Huskies the closest of anyone so far (17 points).

It’s Final Four mania at Michigan Sportsbooks. BetRivers and BetMGM will have the standard point spreads and totals open for each game and bets on who will be the Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Let’s look at the two match-ups Saturday.

Purdue vs. NC State, 6:09 p.m. ET 

The line: Purdue by 9.5 (at BetMGM

So many people find fault with Purdue, but all they do is win. Big man Zach Edey looks slow, doesn’t shoot threes like other big men do today, but he’s dominating. He’s averaged 30 points in the tournament so far and has earned the John Wooden Award as national Player of the Year. Who cares about his NBA future right now? 

NC State is a great story. They were tenth, yes, tenth in the ACC. They needed a miracle shot at the buzzer in the ACC Tournament just to force overtime over Virginia. They lost to Syracuse. They lost to Ole Miss by 20. Yet, they’re here. They’ve won nine in a row. Big man D.J. Burns has become a social media star with his big body (that’s saying it nicely) and big game. 

U.Conn vs. Alabama, 8:49 p.m. ET 

The line: U.Conn by 11.5 (at BetMGM) 

Alabama is in the Final Four for the first time in school history. Yes, they are better known for what they do in football, but have quietly been building to this moment. They finished tied for second in the SEC, but led the nation in scoring at just over 90 points game. They’re led by point guard Mark Sears.

Meanwhile, U.Conn just blasts everyone. Coach Danny Hurley’s squad has scoring with Tristan Newton and Cam Spencer and rim protection with 7-foot-2 sophomore center Donovan Clingan. The Huskies are 35-3, won 11 in a row and another national championship would give them six total, which would tie North Carolina for third most all-time.

The Betting Numbers

Three of the four teams are 4-0 against the spread in the NCAA Tournament. The only team that’s 3-1 is NC State, and that’s because they beat Oakland by six points, and the line was 6.5.

Purdue is 21-15-1 against the spread this season, one game better than Alabama. U.Conn is 26-12 against the spread this season and 9-1 in their last 10 games against the line. So either way, U.Conn has been the best bet.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.