LAS VEGAS-- This year’s NCAA Tournament has been one of the most exciting we've seen in years. We had some great Cinderella stories with Nevada, UAB and Vanderbilt all getting to the Sweet 16.
Plus, we had real Cinderella slippers fitting Elite Eight teams like Alabama and Xavier. Let's stop short of calling third-seeded Georgia Tech a sleeper, but there aren't many bracketologists who tabbed the Yellow Jackets to make the Final Four.
Paul Hewitt's team didn't cover thek spread in its first two games of the tourney, and it barely covered in the Sweet 16 win over Nevada, squeaking out a five-point win as a four-point 'chalk.' The Yellow Jackets won outright as 4-½ point underdogs against Kansas to get to San Antonio, leaving them at 2-2 ATS in the Tournament to date.
The 'under' has been a solid bet in G-Tech games. Overtime pushed its game with Kansas 'over' the total, but the three previous games all fell well 'under' the number.
This is only the fourth time Georgia Tech has been a 'dog of five or more points this season. In thos spots, Tech has a 2-1 ATS record. The Jackets are the lowest scoring team left of the remaining four.
We also had some 'chalk' teams leading bettors to the window to collect cash.
Oklahoma State is a team that got here with a nasty defense that attacks opponents. But what many bettors don’t know is the Cowboys are No. 1 in the nation in FG shooting, making shots at a 51.4 percent clip.
A 3-pointer from John Lucas III lifted OSU past St Joseph’s en route to San Antonio.
For the first time since the Tournament began, OSU failed to cover the spread in that one, but the Cowboys are still 3-1 ATS in four outings.
Duke is here again. It just seems like it has a chance every single year to make the Final Four. Coming off a non-cover dogfight versus Xavier, the Blue Devils will face UConn in a rematch of the 1999 title game. Duke has covered three of its four Big Dance games so far.
UConn has beaten all of its tournament foes by at least 16 points en route to only its second-ever Final Four appearance. The Huskies' only non-cover game was the opener against Vermont. UCONN is 3-1 ATS in their four games.
UConn is number one in the land in rebounding and defensive FG percentage, giving up only 36.8%. The Huskies have won seven straight games since losing at Syracuse on March 7 and have the best talent in the nation.
This year more so then ever the Las Vegas sports books are raking in the profits. Why, you ask? There is so much square money coming in on college basketball over the last few years and the betting public does not have enough in-depth information to win over the long three-week tournament.
When it comes to handicapping this March Money Making Mayhem, the key is having a feel for who is underrated and who might be overrated. Due to national TV and general sports fans talking at the water cooler, public perception can and will influence the betting line. Enjoy the Final Four.
Mark Franco has been hammering the Vegas books. Franco has posted a 26-13 mark (66%) in total tournament plays and a 31-15 (67%) record including NIT picks!
Get Franco’s GAME OF THE YEAR in college hoops inside this pick pack.