Best Value NCAA Tournament Picks On Madness Board's Final Four

Doug Upstone

Monday, March 28, 2016 3:47 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 28, 2016 3:47 PM UTC

After seeing four No.1 seeds reach the Elite 8, only one advanced to the Final Four as the March Madness NCAA basketball odds continued, giving us our first-ever No.10 seed in the tourney.

We have almost a whole week to determine the merits of the various aspects of the NCAA tournament odds boards and decided to look at what could be the best value plays as we start championship week in college hoops. Each team believes at this juncture they are going to win two games and be crowned champions, but only one will be standing on April 4th for their "One Shining Moment". What at this time looks like the best plays to make for NCAA tournament picks, let's commence with the discussion in no particular order.


Oklahoma and Villanova Under the Total
This is a rematch from Dec.7th on Pearl Harbor Day in Hawai'i when Oklahoma dismantled Villanova 78-55. In that game the Sooners buried the Wildcats in a barrage of three-pointers, making 14 of 26, while Villanova, one trailing by double digits, could not toss shots in the nearby Pacific Ocean let alone a basket and was sickly 4 for 32 from behind the arc. The opening total of 149.5 has been dropped to 147, as each team has played exceptional defense. Most of their numbers are reflective of what we have seen all season, but it has been how they have played which has been the difference and why they are here.

In both teams case, it has been the offense which has gotten the notoriety, but both have held opposing teams to only 40.5 percent shooting. That is a credit to the head coaches and the players listening. Villanova took Kansas out of almost everything they wanted to run with outstanding man to man defense and they were able to create excellent double teams on certain players favorite spots on the floor, which helped them cause 16 Jayhawks turnovers.

Oklahoma has been fabulous is switching man defense, not allowing penetration in the first 20 to 25 seconds of opposing teams offenses other than VCU, then the opponents have gotten panicky and started heaving three's. With Nova 9-2 UNDER in a neutral court game when the total is 140 to 149.5 and the Sooners 14-4 UNDER on neutral courts the past two seasons, expect more of the same.

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Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Under 146 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Prop Bet - Buddy Hield OVER on Points Scored
No lines published yet for this prop wager, but at this point, going against Buddy Buckets makes no sense. Oregon employed the right basic strategy in trying to make him a ball-handler and he had six turnovers. However, as long has his teammates also continue to make shots, even a team as good as Villanova cannot cover everyone, as we saw in previous matchup. Best guess is sportsbooks have him at 25.5 or 26 for this prop since he is averaging 25.4 points a game and he does what he does, make shots.


Syracuse First Half Bet vs. North Carolina
Don't count me among those happy to see Syracuse in the Final Four, they should not have never been invited and are big underdogs to North Carolina who has already beaten them twice this season. Nevertheless, this is not about personal feelings, it's about wagering and the Orange most likely at +5 for first half bet makes sense.

Sure they trailed Virginia by 14 points at the half and shot under 37 percent in winning their past two games miraculously. However, coach Jim Boeheim can play the "respect" card for the rest of the week to secure complete team unity. This can be quite beneficial, especially in the first half when Syracuse is surely to put forth their best effort and this season they are 7-1 ATS vs. the first half line on all neutral courts. Also, the 'Cuse has risen up against better competition and is 8-1 ATS against the first half line versus teams shooting 45 percent or better with a defense permitting 42% or less of shots made this season.

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Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Syracuse +9 (-102)
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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