An amazing 2023 NCAA tournament will come to an end on Monday as fans turn their attention to college basketball's biggest stage, the Final Four. UConn, Miami, San Diego State and FAU will face off in the semifinals on Saturday night, the first time since 1979 that none of the top 3 seeds from each region have not made the Final Four.
Our betting experts have got you covered for this weekend with tips and picks for each game to help bettors make smart wagering decisions.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
NCAA Final Four Lines
The first matchup of the Final Four features two Cinderella teams in Florida Atlantic and San Diego State. The Aztecs marched through the South Region with consistent defense while Florida Atlantic took down some of the best teams in the country en route to its first Final Four appearance. What are your thoughts on the total and spread and who do you see advancing to their first NCAA championship game?
Erin Dolan: Florida Atlantic Team Total Under 65.5. San Diego State has cashed the under in 12 straight games. While this trend is impressive, I would isolate the Owls' team total and go under. San Diego State's defense has held opponents to 57 points in the tournament. The Aztecs most notably held Alabama to 64 points with the Crimson Tide going 3-for-27 from beyond the arc. The Aztecs' defense should come up big again.
Dalen Cuff: As Erin alluded to, the under is the play here but I also like FAU ML. I think it has more options offensively that can score and shoot better from 2-point and 3-point. Late in that Creighton game, SDSU's best offense was offensive rebounding, I think the Owls will clean up their glass and conversely can hurt SDSU on the boards just like they did KSU. The Owls aren't a Cinderella, they've won 35 games. Both these teams are veteran and tough but give me a little value on the Owls playing Monday night for the title.
Jeff Borzello: Like some of my colleagues, I like the under more than either side. San Diego State is going to play the game at its preferred pace, and it's not as if FAU will look to sprint up and down the floor. The Owls were middle-of-the-pack nationally in tempo this season and they were fine playing 60 and 58 possessions against Memphis and Tennessee, respectively. As Erin pointed out, SDSU has gone under in 12 straight games. Meanwhile, FAU has gone under in five of seven postseason games. As for the winner, I'll go with San Diego State. The Aztecs are playing at an incredibly high level on the defensive end right now, and I think their physicality and ability to keep opposing ballhandlers out of the lane will make life difficult for FAU's guards. The X factor could be Matt Bradley, the Aztecs' leading scorer who has shot 6-for-27 over his past three games, averaging just 6.0 points. He'll need to find his offensive game.
Kezirian: I am on the under as well. As you know from this space, I have been riding this streak the past few games. Obviously the Aztecs have an elite defense but the oddsmakers know this. So why could there be value? I just believe that it is impossible to simulate their length and athleticism in practice and you can only watch so much video. Their players disrupt the comfort zones of shooters and that is why we are getting so many unders. The Owls fared well against Tennessee, which plays a similar style as SDSU, but I will still ride the under.
The UConn Huskies opened as 5-point favorites over the Miami Hurricanes. The Huskies have dominated opponents throughout the NCAA tournament, winning four tournament games by an average margin of 22.5 points. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have used strong play in the second half to outlast opponents, culminating in a come-from-behind victory over Texas in the Elite Eight. Both teams have quality stars in Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and UConn's Adama Sanogo. What are your thoughts on the total and spread and whom do you like?
Fortenbaugh: UConn -5.5 and under 149.5. The Huskies' defense will be the difference, as they've held their four tournament opponents to the paltry average of 59.2 points per game. Miami is a solid 3-point shooting team, but the Huskies rank 13th in the country defending the 3-pointer. More importantly, the Hurricanes live at the rim and in the midrange, where UConn ranks 14th defensively.
Cuff: I've taken Miami ML or with the points in every game this tournament. I'll keep it rolling here but don't feel as good about it. UConn has so many answers on the interior and exterior. Sometimes it can struggle to guard the ball and rotate as well as it should. This is where Miami can hurt the Huskies because they always have three or sometimes four guys on the court who can create for themselves or teammates. I think UConn still wins but Miami can keep it tight. My favorite Final Four play is UConn to win it all -125. Of the three other teams in the Final Four, the biggest threat is the Canes. I don't think FAU or SDSU can knock off the Huskies.
Borzello: Again, I lean more toward the total than either side here. This time, it's the over. Both teams are executing at a tremendously high rate in the NCAA tournament, with UConn averaging 81.8 points and scoring 1.20 points per possession and Miami averaging 81.2 points and scoring 1.16 points per possession. Both teams love to play in transition and are accurate from 3 and the way to beat either team is to score a lot of points. These are two of the five-best offensive teams in the country and I think Saturday will show that. I have UConn advancing to the national championship game, though. They have too much size inside with Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan, and too much on the perimeter with Jordan Hawkins. While Miami's aggressive defense can create problems, UConn's off-ball movement and long list of shot-makers will prove decisive.
Kezirian: I do not want to lay the points but I sure as heck do not want to fade the Huskies. They are playing better than any team right now. I will take them -120 to win the national championship. If they defeat Miami, they will be solid favorites in the title game. I just don't see anyone knocking them off. They can beat you so many ways, although the Canes have solid guard play and that could be the right formula to defeat UConn. But for me, I think the Huskies cut down the nets.