Final Four Betting Predictions for NCAA Totals
by Dave Schwab - 3/26/2012
There are just three more games left in this year’s NCAA Tournament before we crown a new NCAA National Champion. Hopefully you have been cleaning up on betting the sides for this year’s tournament games, but there is a tremendous opportunity to add to your overall return on investment with a few timely wagers the total line for this Saturday’s Final Four matchups.
The following is a betting guide that covers a few facts and figures for each of the two contests that should help in your college basketball handicapping efforts as well as our free betting predictions for the ‘over/under’ for each. All lines quoted have been provided by BetOnline.
No. 4 Louisville Cardinals (30-9) vs. No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (36-2)
Total Line: 138.5
Louisville worked its way to a Big East Tournament title and a spot in the Final Four as the four-seed in the West Region behind a smothering defense that has held its opponents to an average of just 56.3 points in its last eight games, which is even lower than a season average of 60.8 points.
The Cardinals have given up more than 70 points in just one of their last 12 games.
Given these numbers, it is little wonder that the total has stayed under in six of Louisville’s last eight games. It has actually stayed under in 21 of 36 games overall this season and in 12 of 19 games on the road.
Kentucky has taken the opposite approach to its run to the Final Four by scoring an average of 88 points in its four NCAA Tournament games, which is substantially higher than a season average of 77.9 points. The Wildcats pinned 102 points on Indiana in the South Region semifinals and 82 points on Baylor in the finals.
Overall, 19 of Kentucky’s 37 games have stayed under the total, including 12 of its 19 games on the road. The total has gone over in all four of the Wildcats NCAA Tournament games. It has stayed under in eight of the last 10 meetings between the two, including earlier this season in a 69-62 Kentucky win with the total set at 136.
This time around the total is going over in a Wildcat win as their current form will be just too much for Louisville’s defense to handle for a full 40 minutes.
The Pick: OVER
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks (31-6) vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (31-7)
Total Line: 135.5
Kansas’ 80 points against North Carolina in the Midwest Region finals were the most it has scored since the opening round of this year’s Big 12 Conference Tournament when it posted 83 points against Texas A&M. The total has stayed under in its first three games of this tournament and in 15 of the Jayhawks’ 20 games away from home this season.
Overall, they are averaging 74.2 points a game while holding their opponents to 61.6 points. However, the Jayhawks are averaging 67.3 points while giving up an average of 58.5 points in their last five games. The total has stayed under in 21 of 36 of Kansas’s games this season, which equates to just over 58 percent of the time.
Ohio State has stayed pretty much true to form in this tournament with an average of 77.3 points in its four games in relation to a season-average of 75.1 points. The total has gone over in all four games and has now gone over in 10 of its last 11 games overall.
All-American forward Jared Sullinger is averaging 17.6 points a game for the Buckeyes this season, but he has ramped things up a bit for this tournament with a combined 60 points in his last three games. Defensively, Ohio State is giving up an average of 59.7 points a game, but it has given-up an average of 65.3 points in its last four games.
The total has gone over in 20 of the Buckeye’s 33 games this season with a posted line and in 13 of their 18 games on the road. The total went over the 137-point total when these two teams played one another on Dec.10 in a 78-67 Kansas victory with Sullinger out of the lineup with back spasms. He is more than ready to go this time around which will lead to an even higher-scoring affair come Saturday night.
The Pick: OVER
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