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Saturday, April 6, 2013

NCAA Final Four Cash-In

Wild on Sports
NCAA Final Four Cash-In

We're back! After a bit of a hiatus, the batteries are re-charged and we are ready to go bringing you two great ATS picks for today's NCAA Men's Final Four.

Lets start with one important note - the Big East is the toughest and therefore most tournament ready conference every season so it is no surprise that the conference's two best teams this season in Louisville and Syracuse have made it to the Final Four. Lets keep this in mind as we move through our selections.

Without further adieu, lets get to the picks!
#1 Louisville Cardinals (33-5, 23-14-1 ATS) 
vs. #9 Wichita State Shockers (30-8, 20-14-1 ATS)
Line: Louisville -10, O/U 132.5
Louisville can be a frustrating team from a betting stand point. In the first half of games they seem to do just enough to keep it close or maintain a small lead then the 2nd half comes rolling around and they explode for double digit victories. Louisville coach Rick Pitino calls Wichita State "the best defense we will have played all season." With all due respect to the new Hall-of-Fame inductee, that honor belongs to the team they will be playing in the Championship game, but we will save that for later.


Louisville is 16-3 ATS on neutral court over the last 2 seasons.
Louisville is 15-4 ATS in NCAA tournament games over the last 2 seasons
The last eight Louisville games have gone OVER the total
Wichita St. is 17-8 ATS vs. teams with a winning record this season
Wichita St. is 10-3 ATS in non-conference games this season
+10 is the most points Wichita St has received all season

Louisville will win the game. I think that sentiment is pretty unanimous across the country, the big question is by how much? If you are a high roller and want to play the -600 with Louisville, be my guest. Its just about guaranteed money. If you are looking for a better return on your money, the majority of experts out there are taking the points with Wichita St, expecting a fairly close game. Personally, I like the under 132.5. The early games traditionally go under as teams take some time to get adjusted to the atmosphere. Louisville will play defense well enough to keep the Shockers in the low 60's, if not 50's. On the other side, Wichita St. will hang around in the first half before the better team takes over down the stretch.

Pick: UNDER 132.5 (or Louisville -600 for the real high rollers)

#4 Syracuse Orange (30-9 SU, 20-15 ATS) 
vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines (30-7 SU, 18-16-1 ATS)
 Line: Michigan -2, O/U 129.5
I was very surprised to see Michigan open as two point favorites. I really believed this one would be a pick'em or even Syracuse at -1. Instead, its the Orange and their seemingly impenetrable 2-3 zone-defense getting two. Remember what I said about Big East teams earlier? Well, let me back it up here with a trend I love. Jim Boeheim is 3-0 in Final Four games - has never lost, ever. Granted three games is a fairly small sample size, but I love this team's preparation, length and defensive style. They have held opponents to a shooting percentage of just 29%, holding two opponents – Marquette & Montana – under 40 points. They’re allowing an average of 45.8 points per game thus far in the tourney. 

Michigan comes in with probably the most offensive depth in the country led by the National Player of the Year in Trey Burke. If they can get quick transition buckets before the Cuse defense can get set, they have the horses to get the job done offensively. Michigan has been fun to watch this season. Unfortunately, this will be the last time we watch them play this season and it is their defense that will be the cause of it. They are allowing 62.9 points per game. While not an offensive juggernaut, Syracuse should get to, and surpass that number, while keeping the Wolverines in the low 60's themselves.

Michigan is 4-0 ATS over its last four games
Michigan is 10-8 ATS versus teams that made the NCAA tournament this season.
Syracuse is 5-2 ATS over its last seven games
Syracuse is 3-0 Straight Up in Final Four appearances under Jim Boeheim

Pick:  SYRACUSE +2 (I like the Orange outright at +110 as well, but at nearly the same odds, why not take the 2 point cushion)


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