March Madness 2023 – NCAA Men’s Elite Eight Betting Tips
After an exciting Thursday and Friday of college basketball action, we’re down to the final eight teams in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. March Madness lived up to its name, with plenty of exciting upsets including No. 1 seed Alabama and Houston heading home and some great performances from some of the biggest stars in the country.
Now the remaining teams are set to face off this weekend in the Elite Eight for a coveted trip to the Final Four in Houston.
While some teams like Gonzaga have been in this situation, others like Florida Atlantic, San Diego State and Miami are entering uncharted territory and will be looking to make a statement. When it comes to all betting opportunities…we’ve got you covered.
We’ve assembled our betting experts and asked some of the most pressing Elite 8 match questions to help you make the best betting decisions this weekend.
All odds are from Caesars Sportsbook.
1. Both FAU and Kansas State opened as underdogs in their Sweet 16 matchups and managed to pull off upsets to advance to the Elite Eight. After Markquis Nowell’s magical performance against Michigan State, can the Wildcats advance to the Final Four or will the FAU continue to prove the doubters wrong and win again as the underdog ?
Jeff Borzello: Is it even possible to pick against Markquis Nowell at this point? Fourteen first-round assists, 27 points and big hit after big hit against Kentucky, and then his record-breaking performance against Michigan State. He’s this year’s Kemba Walker – and some of his shots against the Spartans were eerily reminiscent of Walker’s key buckets in the 2014 UConn run. I think FAU will do a better job of not leaving their defenders on a island against Nowell and will be more disciplined off the ball than Michigan State against Nowell’s teammates, but that won’t be enough. Kansas State has size, it has versatility, it has older guys — and it has Nowell and Keyontae Johnson. Give me the Wildcats -2.
Dalen cuff: I rode with Kansas State the last two games where I felt they were the underdog to Kentucky and Michigan State. In both of these games they were expected to win by Kenpom, considered underdogs by bettors. In this game, the script is reversed as Kenpom predicts that an FAU will win by one point. I think the Owls are great and that line is pretty much where I thought it would be. However, my reasoning holds true with the Wildcats. They have played a tougher schedule, with better wins and have more dynamic players than their opponent. So I put the 2 with the KSU.
Tyler Fulghum: I’m leaning towards Kansas State -2. This number is almost oddly low, but I’ll bite. FAU is obviously a very good team, but K-State has done nothing but meet every test this season by playing the brutal Big 12. I think this game is designed to be a mature environment for two offenses, so I would also play the total over 144.5but ultimately, I think Markquis Nowell and the Wildcats win and make it to the Final Four.
Anita Brands: K State has the tournament’s best 1/2 punch with Harlem native Nowell and forward Keyontae Johnson. They were magical Thursday night at the Garden, and the crowd will be back tonight to cheer on Nowell – who’s averaged 21 points, 14 assists and 4 rebounds in his last 3 games. He had 19 assists against Michigan State. Seek it to shine again tonight, and be THE highlight reel for One Shining Moment. I take Nowell OVER 30.5 PAR (points, assists) at -120.
2. The No. 3 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs narrowly escaped with a victory over UCLA in Las Vegas on Thursday night, courtesy of Julian Strawther’s three-point clutch. Meanwhile, the No. 4 seeded UConn Huskies easily handled Arkansas in their game against the Sweet 16 on Thursday. The Huskies opened as two-point favorites over the top-ranked Western Bulldogs. Do you like UConn advancing to its first Final Four since 2014, or will Gonzaga advance for the second time in the last three years?
Joe Fortenbaugh: UConn-2. Gonzaga qualified for the Elite 8 despite shooting an abysmal 52.9% from the free throw line while finishing with an incredible -10 turnover differential against UCLA. So why are they here? Excellent question. UCLA ran out of gas in the second half as the Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor in the 40-minute contest. Good luck replicating that kind of performance against the UConn freight train, which has carried its March Madness opposition to the tune of a +62-point differential through three contests so far.
Borzello: Scorers, elite big men and rosters packed with shooters. This game should be great, two top offenses that are both in fantastic form right now. For me, the safest bet is over 153.5, mostly because it’s hard to imagine the game not being played in the 80s. As far as a winner goes, the key for me is UConn’s ability to get a few more saves offensively. Gonzaga has the best offense in the nation, but UConn has some size and length to throw at Drew Timme and the Huskies have the physicality on the perimeter to confuse Gonzaga’s guards. On the other end, Gonzaga can struggle to contain dynamic teams. UCLA had three healthy scorers across their team and came in at 76, TCU was inconsistent offensively and scored 81. UConn is significantly better than both teams offensively. Can Sanogo cause Timme early foul problems? That would be a game-changer, just like the reverse. I will take UConn -2.
Cuff: This could be the best match of the tournament. Two teams that have dynamic inside scorers in Drew Timme and Adama Sanogo, great guards and pros on the wings. Both can play to the beat and score in different ways. I imagine UConn will get a lot of love for how they have played the last three games dominating their opponents. But I see some value on the MoneyLine with the Zags. Experienced players and coach who have held this position before. Also, the Zags defense (outside of the first half against UCLA) has been much better over the past 4-5 weeks. I think they do enough to win a very close game against the Huskies.
Brands: UConn has been the nation’s top overall efficiency team since February. Their defense keeps opponents at 39% shooting, while they are averaging 51% from the field. Gonzaga managed to dominate the boards against UCLA, but that won’t happen here with Sanogo in the paint for the Huskies. The Zags defense ranks 75th in efficiency: take over with UConn.