Our college basketball handicapper shares his four proposition bets he’ll be making pertaining to the 2016 “Final Four”. Go inside to read this compelling and intriguing betting preview article.
National Championship Odds
According to the NCAA Tournament odds, North Carolina is the clear cut favorite to win the national championship. The Tar Heels are currently at odds of -110 to emerge as the kings of college basketball on Monday night, as offered at GTbets. They’re followed by Villanova who is +260. In a college basketball season that’s been defined by parity and outstanding senior players, I’m going to continue with that theme when making my college basketball picks in this category.
The first wager I’ve made is on the Oklahoma Sooners at odds of +350. They have the most experienced starting unit of the four remaining teams, and are led by arguably the best player in college basketball Buddy Hield. The Sooners were especially impressive in their “Sweet 16” wins over Texas A&M and Oregon. They barnstormed both of those opponents during the first half of each game, and neither was able to recover. They led Texas A&M by 19 at the half during their 77-63 win, and had #1 seed Oregon down by 18 at intermission time of an 80-68 West Regional Final victory. By the way, they’ve faced Saturday’s opponent Villanova once already this season, and hammered them 78-55 during a contest played in early December.
Don’t Discount “The Orange”
My second bet will be made on Syracuse at odds of +1000. The Orange is much better than they’ve been given credit for. They face what many believe is an insurmountable task in the National Semifinal against North Carolina. After all, the Tar Heels have beaten them both times they’ve met this season. However, they were hardly dominated on each occasion. North Carolina’s 11 point win at Syracuse was much closer than the final score indicates. The Orange were forced to foul on numerous occasions during the final moments of that loss in an attempt to extend the game, and failed to convert on the offensive end. Then on 2/29, Syracuse was beaten by a narrow 5 point margin at North Carolina, and easily covered as a 12.5 point underdog.
If the old sports cliché of defense wins championship applies to this “Final Four”, then Syracuse is clearly undervalued. “The Orange” has held its four NCAA Tournament opponents to just 55.6 points per game, and a paltry 36.4% shooting. During their two games against North Carolina, they battled the Tar Heels massive frontcourt pretty evenly, and there are very few teams this season that can make such a claim.
Most Outstanding Player
Buddy Hield +300
Based on the fact that I’m wagering on Oklahoma as one of my two NCAA Tournament picks to win it all, they’re not going to do so without outstanding play from its 6’4 senior guard. Hield is averaging an extremely impressive 25.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Saturday will be the 132nd game in a Sooners uniform for Hield. As a matter of fact, Hield has averaged 29.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. He had massive games of 36 points in a round two contest versus VCU, and then went for 37 in the West Regional Final against top seeded Oregon.
Michael Gbinje +1600
If you believe that Syracuse has a realistic chance of upsetting North Carolina on Saturday, and winning the national championship like I do, then it would be hard to imagine that occurring without Gbinje being a major catalyst. Freshmen guard Malachi Richardson has received a lot of praise for his superb performances during NCAA Tournament wins over Dayton and Virginia, but it’s Gbinje who’s been Syracuse’s most consistent performer all season. The 6’7 senior point guard averages 17.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game during this 2015-2016 college basketball campaign. The Duke transfer also provides versatility for a Syracuse team that pretty much goes just seven deep. He began his career at Syracuse as a power forward, and can also play the two guard position. Gbinje is averaging 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game during this NCAA Tournament.