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College Basketball

πŸŽ“ College Basketball Betting Picks: March Madness Final Four Futures | Alabama +175

Matt Gajewski



March Maddnes Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament betting picks tonight

With two full rounds already in the books, March Madness picks up again this weekend with the Sweet 16. While most already saw their brackets busted, the following rounds provide another chance to stay involved with potential futures bets. The first and second round featured a number of upsets. However, that also creates a buying opportunity for certain teams heading into the final rounds of the tournament. Let’s get into some of my favorite March Madness picks to target heading into this weekend’s action.

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College Basketball Betting: March Madness Futures Picks

Alabama +175 Final Four

Alabama is hitting their stride, having rolled Iona and Maryland in their first two tournament games after winning the SEC championship. Alabama displayed their efficiency during the regular season, losing only six games overall. The Crimson Tide rank 72nd in offensive efficiency and 17th in defensive efficiency, with upside for improvement. Battling injuries through stretches on the season, Alabama now fields a fully healthy roster with the return of Joshua Primo.

Looking towards the future, Alabama arguably received the top draw among the No. 2 seeds. Michigan has the top seed in their region, but Michigan is widely viewed as the weakest No. 1 seed due to their loss of Isaiah Livers. Even in their second-round game against LSU, the Wolverines only won by 8 points in a game that remained competitive throughout. The other potential Elite Eight matchup comes against Florida State. Florida State presents an even more interesting matchup with their propensity for turnovers. The Seminoles rank 256th in offensive turnovers, while Alabama’s 17th ranked defense continues to put pressure on opposing offenses.

Even from an odds perspective, Alabama is a 6.5-point favorite in their Sweet 16 matchup against UCLA. This line opened with Alabama pegged as a 4.5-point favorite. However, money continues to flow in on the Crimson Tide side. Meanwhile, Michigan is a 2.5-point favorite in their Sweet 16 matchup has +155 odds to make the Final Four. Simply offering more value in the futures market, Alabama is worth a shot at +175 to reach the Final Four.

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Arkansas +240 Final Four

Arkansas’ path to the Final Four mirrors Alabama in many ways, outside of Baylor being a better No. 1 seed. Arkansas survived scares from Colgate and Texas Tech in the first two rounds to find themselves facing Cinderella story Oral Roberts in the Sweet 16. While many discounted Arkansas along the way, they finished with just six losses coming against elite competition. Also similar to Alabama, Arkansas battled injuries all season. After Justin Smith missed multiple games and Jaylin Williams sat out the SEC tournament, this team finally looks healthy.

Arkansas has a lopsided 11.5-point line in the first round against the lowest remaining seed, Oral Roberts. Theoretically, this gives them the second-best chance to make the Elite Eight behind Gonzaga. As the name suggests, March Madness embraces the volatility within a single elimination tournament. Grabbing elite odds in the Sweet 16, knowing the Elite Eight matchup spreads will be close in every game, makes sense.

Once past Oral Roberts, Arkansas draws the winner of Baylor and Villanova. Most expect this to be Baylor after Villanova lost superstar Collin Gillespie towards the end of the season. Still, Arkansas should open as a slight underdog in that spot. The Razorbacks rank 38th and 24th in offensive and defensive efficiency this season. However, the biggest mismatch actually comes on the glass between these opponents. Arkansas ranks 15th in rebounding, while Baylor ranks 89th. Baylor displayed this weakness against Wisconsin, grabbing just 25 total boards. With Williams back for Arkansas providing size, this could again be a struggle for Baylor here. Either way, Arkansas’ Sweet 16 odds give them a distinct advantage in the futures markets.

Syracuse +600 Final Four

Whiley they were certainly not a popular Final Four pick at the beginning of the tournament, Syracuse now has a legitimate shot to pull off the Cinderella story. They finished with a 9-7 record in conference play before losing to Virginia in the ACC tournament. However, they frustrated both San Diego State and West Virginia in their first two matchups with their patented zone defense. Interestingly, this region has also experienced the most chaos, with Loyola-Chicago, Oregon State and Houston the remaining teams.

Unlike the teams mentioned above, Syracuse is a 6-point underdog in their third-round matchup against Houston. However, Houston continues to deal with injuries to DeJon Jarreau and Quentin Grimes. While the two stars will likely play, their overall effectiveness is to be seen. The Syracuse zone defense is also one Houston has yet to experience this season, creating the potential for another upset. Likewise, Houston is used to having a distinct rebounding advantage, which they will have in this matchup; they rank seventh in rebounding to Syracuse’s 136th. However, Syracuse possesses a height advantage with Marek Dolezaj and Quincy Guerrier, while the tallest starter on Houston stands just 6-foot-7.

Beyond Houston, Syracuse likely will open as an underdog against Loyola and a favorite over Oregon State. Respectively, each of those teams is a No. 8 and No. 12 seed in the tournament. Unlike the other regions, this environment creates a more likely scenario for a Cinderella like Syracuse to make a run to the Final Four. For similar reasons, both Oregon State and Loyola are interesting with their +1100 and +170 odds to make the Final Four. With another weaker No. 2 seed after injuries ravaged Houston, taking a shot on an underdog Final Four pick in this region brings upside in the futures market.

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Matt Gajewski graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Economics. Matt has worked in the fantasy industry for the past four years, focusing on DFS and Sports Betting. Matt specializes in NFL, College Football, College Basketball, XFL, and MMA. With GPP victories across the major sports, Matt also qualified for the DraftKings 2020 Sports Betting Championship and won a seat to the College Basketball Tourney Mania final.

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