Free Final Four Betting Picks
We are finally here, the Final Four of March Madness! Come Saturday, No. 1 Kansas will take on No. 2 Villanova, and No. 2 Duke will take on No. 8 UNC. The craziest part of the Duke and UNC matchup is this will be the first time in tournament history these rivals face one another. UNC is now the tournament underdog, and Coach K’s Blue Devils will look to win and go one more game under the Hall of Fame coach.
Doc’s Sports offers college basketball expert picks for every game on our NCAA basketball predictions page.
No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) over No. 2 Villanova: Saturday, April 2 at 6:09 p.m. ET.
Analysis: Being in the Final Four for Kansas is nothing new. Most recently they were here in 2018. And since 2008, they have been the No. 1 or No. 2 seed nine times! Their last Championship was in 2008. The Jayhawks have had a few close games this tournament, especially in the Sweet 16 vs Providence, winning 66-61, but have mostly taken care of business. Forcing turnovers on the defensive end and being efficient in the final minutes of all their games, I like how well-rounded coach Bill Self has his squad going into Saturday. Being a Top 20 team in defensive efficiency, and a Top 15 shooting team in the nation, they are the perfect all around No. 1 seed, and that is evident during this year’s March Madness.
Villanova has tasted victory much more recently than Kansas, with their 2016 and 2018 Championships. Is 2022 their next? In a close game, the edge can sway in the Wildcats favor, with their free throw shooting being at 83% on the year. Any coach will tell you games are won off free throw efficiency. In the tournament, ‘Nova has shot 90% from the charity stripe, while Kanas is at 67% in the tournament. A team that is also excellent on both sides of the ball, this is going to be a great game. The only negative for Villanova is the loss of All-Big East Guard Justin Moore. The Wildcats BPI ranking doesn’t improve with losing their versatile defender. He is also the second leading scorer behind Collin Gillespie for the Wildcats.
Prediction: I am going with Kansas money line (-200) in this one. I feel the injury and depth of Villanova won’t be able to handle the steady Jayhawks. I believe they pick up where they left off in the second half against Miami and come in shooting red hot.
No. 8 North Carolina over No. 2 Duke (-4): Saturday, April 2 at 8:49 p.m. ET.
Analysis: Anyone who has watched, read, or even blinked at the NCAA March Madness Tournament knows UNC has not played like a No. 8 seed. They’ve played like a Top 2 seed all tournament. Statistically over the season, the Tar Heels are not as good as Duke, but we all saw the outcome of Coach K’s last game at Cameron’s Indoor Stadium, with UNC taking the W over Duke, 94-81. They are the hottest team going into the Final Four, and teams with momentum in this tournament are very dangerous. The Tar Heels play great under pressure, and Saturday’s game will be a testament to that.
Duke is coming off a very dominant win over Arkansas and arguably have the best offensive team in the tournament. Duke is aware what happened last time vs UNC, and you know Coach K has been making adjustments since that disappointing loss. With a 2021-22 record of 32-6, and having so much on the line, a “movie-like” script can be made if they win Saturday.
Prediction: I am big on storylines, and the deeper meaning of games. The emotion, pressure, and passion in this one will no doubt go down in history, and therefore I am predicting Duke to take this one. I am betting Duke moneyline (-200) vs UNC. I believe Duke will make adjustments they missed in the second half of their last matchup with UNC, and exploit the Tar Heels’ weak points.
I cannot wait to watch both of these games, and I am riding the favourites. March truly has some madness, and I bet Saturday will not lack any.
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