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Final Four Betting Guide

The regions have crowned their champions, and we have whittled a tournament of 68 teams down to four. The Final Four tips off Saturday afternoon, and we’re here to help break down the games and help you enter the betting market confidently.

Here are the wagers from FanDuel Sportsbook!

#1 Baylor Bears vs. #2 Houston Cougars, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Bears -220, Cougars +184

Spread: Bears -5 (-110), Cougars +5 (-110)

Total: o134.5 (-110)

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament: Bears +260|Cougars +800

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000!

#1 Baylor Bears vs. #2 Houston Cougars News, Analysis, and Picks

The Houston Cougars are getting it done with defense this tournament, but that’s not surprising. The Cougars entered the tournament with a top-ranked defense, and that efficiency has been consistent throughout the tournament.

Houston’s opponents have been limited to an average field goal percentage of 39.3% through four tournament games, including 34.2% from three-point range. Opponents haven’t scored more than 61 points in a tournament game against the Cougars, and the most attempts they’ve allowed from the charity stripe was 23 against the Cleveland State Vikings back in the First Round. The Cougars are smothering opponents.

The Baylor Bears have been playing to their strength this tournament as well, but their focus comes with the ball in hand. Baylor has scored 76 or more points in three of four games, at the same time relying on their underappreciated defensive set to hold opponents to 63 or fewer in three of four games. But the one game the Bears were held to below 76 points is the blueprint for beating Baylor.

In the Sweet 16 against the Villanova Wildcats, the Bears were limited to 62 points on 44.1% shooting and only 15.8% from beyond the arc. The Bears hit only two of 12 three-point shots in the first half against the Wildcats before going down low and relying on points in the paint to outpace Nova in the second half.

Houston is proficient in limiting opponents from three and in the paint; the key will be recognizing the shift and not letting the Bears catch them off guard. On the season, the Cougars have the 11th best three-point defense, and so far this tournament, no opponent has scored more than 26 points in the paint.

Houston has the tools to derail the Bears season. Defensively they are the superior team, and from an advanced perspective, Baylor’s offense doesn’t hold that big of an advantage. Baylor has the third-ranked offense when adjusted for opponents but 28th ranked defense. Houston checks in at seventh, and eighth respectively. We’re taking the Cougars to upset the Bears on the moneyline and spread.

The Bets: Cougars +5, Cougars moneyline (+184)

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #11 UCLA Bruins, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Bulldogs -1200, Bruins +750

Spread: Bulldogs -14 (-116), Bruins +14 (-106)

Total: o145.5 (-110)

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament: Bulldogs -190|Bruins +2700

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000!

#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #11 UCLA Bears News, Analysis, and Picks

The UCLA Bruins deserve some laudation. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a play-in 11th seed that were underdogs in the First Four matchup. Now, they take on the favorite to win it all, Gonzaga Bulldogs, in the Final Four.

Offense was the key to the Bruins’ success early this tournament as they averaged 78.5 points per game, leading up to their Elite Eight showdown with the Michigan Wolverines. The Bruins beat Michigan at their own game by locking things down defensively. But the Bruins got lucky, and it was the Wolverines that shot themselves in the foot at the end of the game. The Wolverines missed four shots in the final 12 seconds that would have put them in the lead and ultimately, help them secure the victory. The Bruins’ strategy may have paid off in the Elite Eight, but the last thing the Bruins can do is try and beat the Bulldogs at their own game by trying to outscore them.

UCLA has the 184th ranked defense that, even when adjusted for opponent, only improves to 45th overall. That should allow the Bulldogs some room to operate and help them build an early lead they won’t look back on. The Zags operate with pace and efficiency, which will keep the Bruins on their heels all game. The Bruins have the offensive tools to trade blows with the Bulldogs at times, but not enough defensive structure to limit the Bulldogs when needed.

Except for their first game against Norfolk State, the Bulldogs have come out hot in each one of their contests. They have put up at least 23 points in the first 10 minutes of the first half and force opponents to play their game. It’s worked so far as they’ve scored no fewer than 83 points in any of their first four tournament games. UCLA doesn’t have the defensive ability to limit the Bulldogs.

Based on our analysis, it’s past midnight, and the Bruins’ magical run in the tournament will turn back into a pumpkin. As we’ve seen all tournament, no number is too high for the Zags. Take the Zags -14 to get past the Bruins.

The Bets: Bulldogs -14 (-116), over 145.5 (-110)

The post Final Four Betting Guide first appeared on SportsGrid.

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