NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four Odds and Picks

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

By Tom Wilkinson
BETCRIS NCAA Tournament College Basketball

The Final Four takes place on Saturday in San Antonio on TBS with the No. 11 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers playing the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines, while the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks take on the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats. The first game has the Wolverines listed as a 5-point favorite with the total listed at 129, while the late game has the Wildcats listed as a 5-point favorite with the total listed at 155. Let’s look at both games rand Final Four picks.

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Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs. Michigan Wolverines

Date and Time: Saturday, March 31, 2018, 6:07 p.m. Eastern

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Final Four Odds at BetCris: Michigan -5, O/U 129

Loyola-Chicago vs. Michigan TV Coverage: TBS

The first game in San Antonio on Saturday has the Cinderella Ramblers an underdog against the Wolverines. Loyola is just the fourth No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four. None of the previous three No. 11 seeds made it to the title game, as LSU lost to Louisville in 1986, George Mason lost to Florida in 2006 and VCU lost to Butler in 2011.

Both Loyola and Michigan come in red-hot, as the Ramblers have won their last 14 games, while the Wolverines have won 13 straight. Loyola has needed a late game-winning shot to win three of their four games in the NCAA Tournament, while the Wolverines needed a major miracle shot to get past Houston in the second round.

Both Loyola and Michigan are very good on defense, so this should be a low scoring game. This is the best defensive team that head coach John Belein has ever had. They are No. 3 in the country in defensive efficiency.

Final Four Picks

This has all the looks of another defensive battle, similar to what we saw with Florida State and Michigan. I will take this game under the total.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Villanova Wildcats

Date and Time: Saturday, March 31, 2018, 8:49 p.m. Eastern

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Final Four Odds at BetCris: Villanova -5, O/U 155

Kansas vs. Villanova TV Coverage: TBS

The late game on Saturday in the Final Four is a matchup between No. 1 seeds. The Jayhawks survived against Duke in overtime, while Villanova took out Texas Tech. Kansas has not gotten much respect as a No. 1 seed but they have some very good players including point guard Devonte Graham and center Udoka Azubuike. They also have a great closer in Malik Newman.

The Wildcats are the best scoring team in the nation and nearly impossible to stop. The only way to beat Villanova is to hope they go cold from the outside. That actually happened in the game against Texas Tech and Villanova still won. Villanova has an excellent guard in Jalen Brunson and a lot of other scorers in Mikal Bridges, Omari Spellman, Donte DiVincenzo and Phil Booth. Villanova has handled their two Big 12 opponents in this year’s tourney, as they pulled away to beat West Virginia 90-78 and they defeated Texas Tech 71-59.

The Jayhawks are listed as underdogs in this game but they are not without a chance. You may not know that the last time the Final Four was played at the Alamodome it was Kansas under Bill Self beating Memphis to win the title. The Jayhawks have enough talent to contend with Villanova if Azubuike can stay out of foul trouble. He has fouled out in the past two Kansas games and he has not played more than 25 minutes in a tourney game.

Final Four Picks

If Kansas is to win this game then everything has to go right. They need Graham and Newman to play great and Azubuike to stay out of foul trouble. The Jayhawks also have to hope that Villanova isn’t hitting on all cylinders because if Villanova plays their best, and Kansas plays their best, it will be the Wildcats winning a shootout. I will lay the points and take Villanova and also play the game over the total.

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