Heels Are Final Four Favorites, but Zags Are This Capper's Call

gonzaga basketball

Mark Lathrop

Monday, March 27, 2017 8:28 PM GMT

If this was baseball, I’d be a Hall of Famer with my .500 batting average of selecting two of the Final Four teams. As this is decidedly not baseball, I will be sending some cash to my college roommate who got his PhD in mathematics from Oregon – and has his bracket filled out accordingly. Here's a breakdown of the futures wagers available now that the Final Four field is set.

East No. 7 South Carolina

South Carolina had +5000 odds to win it all before this last weekend and now the Gamecocks are still the long shots to come out the eventual champion. Bovada has them at +750, which makes sense as they would be an underdog in the next two games. In fact, South Carolina can be found at +252 at BetDSI right now just for a win over Gonzaga. South Carolina has used its length in the backcourt to give teams issues, with starting guards P.J. Dozier and Sindarius Thornwell listed at 6-foot-6 and 6-5, respectively. Thornwell has been scorching hot in the tournament as the fifth-year senior scored 29 points against Marquette, 24 against Duke, 24 against Baylor and 26 against Florida. He’ll matchup with the best defense he’s seen all year in Gonzaga, though, with his length being neutralized somewhat.

 

West No. 1 Gonzaga

With futures odds similar to Arizona at +650 entering the Sweet 16, the Zags sit just below North Carolina in championship odds at +180 right now. After skating by likely the toughest defense other than themselves in the tournament in West Virginia, Gonzaga finally put a clean effort together in their 83-59 dismantling of 11th seeded Xavier in the Elite 8. Gonzaga is a heavy favorite against South Carolina, with moneline odds sitting anywhere from -265 to -310. If you like that matchup against South Carolina, a futures bet at +180 could have some interesting hedge possibilities depending on who makes the championship game from the other side of the bracket.

 

Midwest No. 3 Oregon

Oregon knocked off the odds-on favorite to win it all in Kansas, and the Ducks' futures odds have improved from +1800 to +550 as a result. They are listed as underdogs in their Final Four game against North Carolina, with the moneyline ranging from +170 to +185. Like South Carolina, Oregon is riding the play of a hot guard through the tournament as Tyler Dorsey has doubled up his season averages in wins over Iona (24 pts), Rhode Island (27 pts), Michigan (20 pts), and Kansas (27 pts). You can’t say that Oregon hasn’t played and beat a top team at this point either, with their win over Kansas coming as a 6.5-point underdog. They’ve weathered the storm after losing starting forward, Chris Boucher, shortly before the tournament began, but at some point that loss will create a matchup problem for the Ducks they can’t solve.

 

South No. 1 North Carolina

North Carolina survived the South Region as seeding held throughout the first two weekends. Their futures odds have gone from +500 as before the Sweet 16 began to being the new odds on favorite at +140 at Bovada. Unlike Oregon and South Carolina, the Tar Heels have seemingly found a new hero in each game of the tournament, with forward Luke Maye the chosen one against Kentucky. Maye has averaged 5 points per game all year before exploding for 16 and 17 points against Butler and Kentucky, respectively. North Carolina’s depth should continue to serve it well against Oregon, which as mentioned above is missing a key player. Like Gonzaga, if you take that futures wager at +140 it will open up interesting hedge possibilities if they make it to the championship game.

Original Final Four Picks: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, North CarolinaCurrent Championship Pick: Gonzaga +180Bet On NCAA Tournament Futures At SBR's Top Sportsbooks