Final Four ‘Under’ Whelms on Scoreboards

Michigan Wolverines

Willie Bee

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 12:50 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018 12:50 PM UTC

College basketball odds are out for Saturday’s Final Four in San Antonio, and our handicapper likes both matchups to fall short of the targets.

There isn’t any doubt who the public is behind in this year’s Final Four, and by public, I’m not just talking about the betting public. Loyola-Chicago is definitely the crowd favorite, and Sister Jean will be the biggest celebrity in San Antonio this weekend.

Of course, for sinners playing the college basketball odds in the two contests on Saturday, our favorite boils down to who brings home the cheddar. Naturally, I will tithe my winnings to a charity…just in case I run into Sister Jean down on the Riverwalk and she raps my knuckles for being among the sinners, specifically, those sinning with totals wagers.

No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (32-5 SU, 24-9 ATS) vs. No. 3 Michigan (32-7 SU, 24-13-1 ATS)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Under 129½Best Line Offered: at Heritage

America’s Team Tips Early Game Against Maize & Blue

The betting public is indeed all over Loyola-Chicago in Saturday’s opener against Michigan. There was 5½-6 point chalk offshore and in Sin City to start the proceedings, and that leveled on -5 by Monday afternoon. The total, meanwhile, has been on the way up, starting at 126 in Vegas and 128 offshore before climbing to 129½.

It will be interesting to watch both lines as the week goes on. The Ramblers and Wolverines have been good moneymakers against the spread, but neither really trended high or low on totals in the regular season. Michigan is 19/19 O/U up to now, and Loyola stands 13-20 after sitting 12-14 prior to the Ohio Valley and NCAA Tournaments. The Ramblers’ first six games of postseason play streaked ‘under’ before that run ended against Kansas State. Michigan’s four Big Ten games went ‘over’ and the four at the Dance are 1-3 O/U. Can the Wolverines come even close to shooting as well in their rout of Texas A&M, or will the Ramblers play their tight defense that ranks fourth in the country (62.2 ppg)? My free college basketball pick is ‘under.’

No. 1 Kansas (31-7 SU, 20-16-1 ATS) vs. No. 1 Villanova (34-4 SU, 26-12 ATS)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Under 155½Best Line Offered: at Heritage ‘Nova & Kansas Collide In No. 1 Showdown

This matchup reminds me so much of the 1983 semifinals between Houston and Louisville. That game was really supposed to decide the championship with very few giving either NC State or Georgia much chance in the other matchup. Villanova and Kansas meet in the nightcap, Heritage carrying the Wildcats -5½ with 155½ for the scoreboard target.

‘Nova was an ‘over’ machine during the regular season, 20 of those 30 lined affairs sailing past the marks, KU slightly the other way (14-16 O/U). The Jayhawks are 5-2 O/U going back to the Big 12 tourney with the ‘Cats checking in 4-3 in that span. Once again, I’ll take the ‘under.’

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Here's what Sister Jean looked like the last time Loyola-Chicago went to the Final Four: pic.twitter.com/74huzc2FEs

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 25, 2018
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