NCAA Tournament Final Four Betting Preview
It’s been a crazy tournament full of wild upsets and thrilling finishes.
Despite the early-round upsets highlighted by the No. 15 seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks reaching the Elite Eight, we now have four blueblood teams that many expected to reach the Final Four (outside of the No. 8 seed UNC). Fans and sports bettors will be treated to two awesome games as the Duke Blue Devils will face the University of Carolina Tarheels and the Kansas Jayhawks will face the Villanova Wildcats. After an incredibly unpredictable first four rounds of action, Kansas is the only No. 1 seed remaining. However, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Duke is the slight favorite to win it all at +150 with Kansas slightly trailing at +185. Meanwhile, Villanova is listed at +450 and North Carolina is the biggest longshot at +500.
Now let’s dive into each game and find the best bets for these two matchups.
No. 2 Villanova Wildcats vs. No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (-4.5)
Villanova has thrived over the last decade. They have one of the best programs in the country and are led by arguably the best coach in all of college basketball once Mike Krzyzewski retires after this season. Although Jay Wright has led the team to a nine-game winning streak and a second-place finish in the Big East, it feels like the Wildcats are not getting the respect they deserve, despite being a No. 2 seed in the tournament.
Villanova is just two wins away from its third NCAA Tournament since 2016. This program has evolved into one of the best programs in all of college basketball. That said, they did have one of the easier paths to the Final Four. Nova crushed Deleware in the first round by 20 points before cruising past Ohio State (71-61) for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Fortunately for the Wildcats, the No. 3 Tennessee Volunteers fell flat on their faces against the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines. Michigan played a good game but Nova advanced to the Elite Eight after a hard-fought eight-point victory. Yet again, the Wildcats lucked out as the top seed in the region, Arizona, were upset by the No. 5 Houston Cougars. While Houston is a decent team, they are nowhere nearly as talented as Arizona. Nova played one of their worst games of the tournament against Houston, converting a dismal 28.8% of their field-goal attempts. They also lost their second-leading scorer, Justin Moore, after he suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Despite all of that, Houston couldn’t take advantage of their opportunity and Villanova’s 15-of-15 from the charity stripe sealed the deal and clinched a spot in the Final Four.
Nova ranks in the top 10 in offensive efficiency, the top 20 in defensive efficiency, and are ninth in overall efficiency. However, they have yet to be truly tested by an elite team. That will change on Saturday when they face the Kansas Jayhawks. And without Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels is going to have to play the game of his life. Samuels has scored in double figures and has converted at least 55% of his shots in all four games to this point in the tournament. The Senior forward is coming off a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double against Houston.
Kansas was the only No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four but they actually had an even easier path than Villanova. The Jayhawks have yet to face a team ranked in KenPom’s Top 25. The Jayhawks trounced Texas Southern by 27 points before meeting a decent Creighton team in the second round. Despite not being in the starting lineup, Remy Martin willed Kansas to victory with a team-high 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes off the bench. Martin only averaged 8.6 points per game in the regular season so his performance was critical as Kansas edged Creighton in the second round by seven points.
Next up in the Sweet Sixteen, the Jayhawks were challenged by the Providence Friars, the No. 4 seed in the Region. Providence led with under six minutes remaining before Kansas turned on the jets. Once again, Martin was extremely clutch off the bench with a game-high and season-high 23 points in 27 minutes. Jalen Wilson was just as pivotal in the Jayhawks’ five-point victory, as he tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds. Fortunately for Kansas, both Auburn and Wisconsin (the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Midwest Region) were upset in the second round. Therefore, the Jayhawks only had to beat the No. 10 Miami Hurricanes to advance to the Final Four. Kansas trailed by six at halftime before producing perhaps their best half of basketball all season. They quickly erased the deficit and won by a whopping 26 points. After sixth man Remy Martin led the team in scoring in the first three games of the tournament, Naismith Player of the Year Finalist Ochai Agbaji finally produced a solid stat line with a game-high 18 points while converting 75% of his field goals.
So now, two of the top coaches in college basketball – Jay Wright and Bill Self – will face off for a chance at the title. Both coaches have tons of experience and both teams have a boatload of talent. That said, Kansas is the clear favorite. This will be the second game of the tournament that Villanova will enter as the underdog (they were three-point dogs against Houston).
Losing Justin Moore could be the reason that Nova’s championship aspirations get cut short this weekend. Not only did they lose their second-best scorer but the Wildcats are not a team known for their depth. Caleb Daniels has been an excellent sixth-man but he will likely enter the starting lineup and nobody else on the bench has averaged more than 10 minutes per game. That could be a huge problem for Nova.
Meanwhile, Kansas is one of the deepest teams in the country. Kansas has gotten this far despite mediocre performances from Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji and big man David McCormack. Both finally performed well in the Elite Eight but the fact that Kansas was able to get that far despite their top players underperforming is a testament to their depth.
Considering the fact that Kansas has huge momentum after overcoming a deficit at the half in the Elite Eight and their much deeper bench, I expect the Jayhawks to win this game by a decent margin. Now with Agbaji and McCormack having broken through the glass, the Jayhawks should cover the spread against the undermanned Villanova Wildcats.
The Pick: Kansas -4.5
University of North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils (-4)
Will this be Coach K’s last game? North Carolina would love to disrupt a storybook ending for the greatest college basketball coach in the history of the game. Despite Coach K’s age, his team is a group of youthful energetic kids, but we have witnessed these young men mature on their way to the Final Four. The Blue Devils have had to face some very tough opponents yet they have survived unscathed. Duke lucked out in avoiding a matchup with Gonzaga but they still had to beat Arkansas (who defeated Gonzaga) in the Elite Eight, a ferocious Texas Tech squad in the Sweet Sixteen, and a solid Michigan State team in the second round of the tournament.
Duke has been incredibly clutch and their ability to get buckets in crunch time has been instrumental in their success. The Blue Devils have a ton of offensive firepower but the Tar Heels might be the only team that can match Duke’s high-powered offense.
North Carolina erupted for 95 points and a 32-point margin of victory over Marquette in the first round of the tournament. Then, they shocked the world by defeating Baylor, the No. 1 seed in the East in a thrilling overtime game. But the fun didn’t end there. These Tar Heels like being the underdog and in the Sweet Sixteen, they upset the No. 4 UCLA Bruins. Ironically, their easiest game was in the Elite Eight when they dispatched the Cinderella team of the tournament – St. Peters – by a whopping 20 points.
North Carolina and Duke have been ACC rivals for as long as anyone can remember and this year, they play very similar styles. Interestingly enough, neither of these teams won the ACC Tournament this year. Virginia Tech defeated Duke in the championship game back on March 12. That’s the last time Duke lost. UNC hasn’t suffered a defeat since also losing to Virginia Tech in the semi-finals of the ACC Tournament. North Carolina lost by 13 points and Duke lost by 15 points. Don’t forget that North Carolina (despite being an 11-point underdog) defeated Duke in early March. The seeding in this matchup is irrelevant. The Tar Heels are playing like a top-10 team in the nation right now.
Both of these programs can do a little bit of everything. Both teams are great in transition and can get up and down the court in an instant, yet they each also are some of the best halfcourt teams in all of college basketball. Duke has the coaching edge (Krzyzewski over Hubert Davis) and Duke has the more talented lineup with immense upside. When all of Duke’s offensive weapons are on point, they are nearly unstoppable, evidenced by their second-half performance in the Sweet Sixteen against Texas Tech when they converted 70.8% of their field goals. Duke's Paolo Banchero may be a top-five pick in this year’s NBA Draft. He will be the best player on the court during this matchup. Duke ranks as the most efficient offense in the country according to KenPom. There is no way to truly stop the Blue Devils. But North Carolina might be able to outscore them. Duke is also the worst defensive team of the teams still alive. We have seen UNC pull off plenty of upsets and we have already seen them defeat Duke earlier this month.
All that said, I believe that the Blue Devils have matured immensely throughout this tournament and while I’m iffy about the spread, I’m confident that they will defeat the Tar Heels and advance to the championship game.
The Pick: Duke ML (-196)
Until now, there was a void in the industry. An all-in-one prop bet research tool for Over/Under rankings did not exist. Fantasy SP has changed that.
Of course, you could find betting trends on the internet but there wasn’t a place where you could have all the information for every single player on the same page at your fingertips. Well, we wanted to change that. We’ve created the definitive NFL prop bet research tool for pros and newbies alike.
In a typical NFL week, there can be over 1,000 player prop lines available. Traditional player game logs are not optimal for researching player props. Our unique tool allows you to quickly analyze thousands of lines on your phone, tablet, or computer, and find the props with the greatest value. Don’t just bet on the players you like. Become more data-driven with your props research by using Fantasy SP’s Player Prop Over/Under Rankings!
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Research Prop Bet Betting Example
Okay, enough talk, and let’s get to a simple real-world example of how to use the tool to help you place a bet.
For example, Jared Goff has had some of the most ridiculous home/away splits in 2022.
Goff has a passer rating of 106.9 with 2,217 yards (277.1 yards per game), 20 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions in eight games at home this season. Pretty good, right? On the road, he has a passer rating of 82.5 with 1,387 yards (231.2 yards per game), 3 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions in six games.
As you can see, Goff is averaging 46 more yards per game at home in 2022 entering Week 16. Vegas may try to trick you when Goff is on the road after coming off a massive home game but by using our tool, you won’t be fooled.
Goff has a 5-3 O-U record on his passing yard props at Ford Field this season. While his average line at home on DraftKings is 247 yards, his average result is 277.1 passing yards. Prior to throwing for 250+ yards against the Jets at the Meadowlands in Week 15, he was 2-3 on his passing yards props on the road. His average line on DraftKings on the road was only 10 yards fewer heading into Week 15 yet he averaged a full 50 fewer yards per game (227). This shows a clear pattern that he is much more successful at hitting the over and much more efficient when playing in front of his home crowd. There are countless examples of patterns you can spot using this brand-new prop tool that are even more eye-popping than Goff’s numbers.
How to Find Favorable Prop Bets
The key to placing informed bets is to place bets on clear patterns. Ideally, you want to see a player consistently going over or under. Grab a concise list of potential bets to place and compare to the lines at your favorite operator.
Let’s say you want to place a passing yards prop bet on Tom Brady. You check all the lines at your favorite operator (we suggest
Caesars or FanDuel) and need to put his line into context. How often does he go over? What outcomes occur against an easy matchup? What is his average result? How does he do at home versus on the road?
Using our exclusive Over-Under Rankings, you can utilize our premium filters to find out Brady’s historical prop record at home versus the road is even more volatile than Goff’s splits. (This is good and what we want to see.)
At home, Brady is averaging a whopping 307.3 passing yards and has hit the over in six of seven games heading into Week 15.
On the road, while his average line is only two yards fewer (271.2 to 269.2), he has a 1-5 O-U record and is only averaging 239 passing yards per game.
Fantasy SP has just highlighted a very promising prop bet whenever Brady is at home. Take the over. And when he is on the road, it’s a prime spot to smash the under.
Some players also tend to do much better when their team is the favorite such as running backs late in the fourth quarter when their team needs to kill time. Heading into Week 15, Dalvin Cook had a 7-2 O-U rushing yard record when his team was the favorite (79.9 yards per game). Conversely, when the Vikings were underdogs, he was 1-3 (57.8 yards per game). This is why filtering by favorite or underdog can be a critical data point to help you gain an edge at sportsbooks.
You can also filter by the last few games in case a player has begun to heat up or cool off. These filters will help you nail your bets in very specific scenarios. It’s the perfect tool for situational prop betting.
What the Experts Are Saying
Don’t simply trust our word. We provided a free preview to professional bettors and journalists and this is what they had to say:
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The dropdowns and filters on this tool are what really make this a game-changing feature. If you only want to see the most popular players on the page, simply slide the popularity to 75% or 100%. If you want to see players’ over-under records and their average results for only home games, simply click Home on the dropdown. If you want to see over-under records for players against teams in the bottom 5 at defending that position, simply click Bottom 5 under Position Rank. Not only can you get all of this insight, but the sliders and dropdowns all work interactively with a user-friendly interface so you can find out how a player is doing in a very specific situation. For example, let’s say Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are hosting the top-five San Francisco 49ers defense and are four-point underdogs. To get a much clearer picture of how Prescott has performed in similar situations, you can check off Home, Underdog, Indoor, and Top 5 under Opponent Rank to get his exact over-under prop historical record in this particular situation. If he is 0-3 on his passing yard prop in this scenario, you may want to smash the under.
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Stay tuned for our future article on even more in-depth tips and tricks.
France vs Argentina World Cup Final Betting Preview: Can Lionel Messi Capture That Elusive World Cup Title?
Picking up where they left off in 2018, the French National Team led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe have found their way back into the finals as they look to be the first back-to-back World Cup Champions since Brazil’s dominant runs in 1958 and 1962. Standing between that incredible feat for the defending champions is Argentina, who currently have their superstar, Lionel Messi, in top form. Messi is finding ways to create passes no one can see and he’s done it multiple times, assisting three goals (tied for the most) throughout the tournament. The legend is also scoring goals of his own and is tied with Kylian Mbappe (5 goals) for Golden Boot honors in this year’s World Cup. Regardless, soccer fans around the world are in for a treat on Sunday at 10:00 AM EST as two of the best players in the world face each other for their country’s World Cup glory.
After winning Group D, France defeated Poland in the Round of 16, England in the quarterfinals, and a strong Morocco team in the semis to advance to the Final. On the other side of the bracket, Argentina won Group C and dispatched Australia in the Round of 16. Messi and the Argentinians were then tested in the quarterfinals, needing a penalty shootout to defeat the Netherlands after blowing a late two-goal lead. Finally, Argentina played perhaps their best match of the tournament against Croatia in the semi-finals, winning 3-0. Now the stage is set for a blockbuster finale between two powerhouses featuring some of the top players in the world.
Note (from FanDuel Sportsbook): No team will play at home during Qatar's World Cup. For betting purposes, FanDuel explains that: “Home Team refers to the team listed first, Away Team refers to the second team listed.”
Argentina (-104) vs. France (-112)
Argentina Keys To Victory
Lionel Messi has played incredibly for Argentina throughout this World Cup. He is leaving opposing defenders in the dust, taking on multiple players at once, dragging them away from his teammates, which is opening up the field for his fellow goal scorers. Every time Messi has the ball at his feet, there seems to be more than one threat. Messi is playing just as well as he always has in 2022. He’s served his team as a playmaker and as a goal-scorer in Qatar. He’s also had some help from Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez who’s scored a handful of goals in this World Cup (including two in Argentina’s decisive victory over Croatia). If Alvarez and Messi are able to link up while on the attack, the depleted French defense and midfield could be in for some trouble.
France Keys To Victory
One of the biggest headlines heading into this World Cup Final is the return of French striker Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid star and winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or hurt his hamstring in one of France’s first practices soon after arriving in Qatar. He flew back to Madrid where he immediately completed his recovery work which was set at three weeks from the time of injury. Right now, Benzema is flying back to Doha and could be starting for France in the final. At the moment, France’s HC Didier Deschamps has declined to comment on whether or not he will be including KB9 in the starting lineup. France’s ball movement has been excellent throughout the tournament, but their key to victory against Argentina will be efficient defense. Over the last few games, France’s defense seems to have slowed down. Not only will they need to stop Messi, but they will need to turn defensive stops into counterattacks. Mbappe and Olivier Giroud (four goals thus far in the tournament) will need to be electric on offense and test the Argentinian keeper. Antoine Griezmann may be an x-factor for France as he has three assists in this World Cup and was inches away from scoring against Morocco.
It’s only fitting that Lionel Messi will finally hoist the World Cup trophy in his last World Cup match. Expect him to score a goal and lead his team to victory in a tightly contested battle.
The Pick: Argentina (-104)
World Cup Final Best Prop Bets
Kylian Mbappe: To Score Or Give Assist (+100)
Mbappé has been relatively quiet over France’s last few games. Still, he is the main wing on France’s team who is capable of breaking down defenses through his skillful technique and ridiculous speed. He currently is tied with Messi for the most goals in the 2022 World Cup. If he isn’t able to score in this game, then expect him to at least make an assist. For France to win this one, the 23-year-old will need to have a big game.
Lionel Messi: Anytime Goalscorer (+190)
Messi has stepped up his performance big time this World Cup. If you have watched Argentina play in this tournament, you know how crucial of a role Messi has played in the team’s success. He is tied for the most goals in the tournament with Mbappe and has a great chance of putting the ball in the net at some point during Sunday’s big match. This is a particularly great prop to target since Messi takes all of Argentina’s penalty shots and has converted four-of-five throughout the tournament.
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Calling every sports fan across the globe! The best month for all things sports is here: December. NFL and CFB are getting into the thick of things — I mean, we are finally not seeing Alabama and Clemson in the CFP, not to mention both the NBA and NHL are underway and college basketball just tipped off!
Despite all of these different sporting events going on, the World’s biggest Sporting event is down to the Semifinals, the World Cup.
Although Soccer is the World's most popular sport, it still struggles to gain support in the US. However, every 4 years Soccer takes the country by storm and this year, and these last few games are going to be amazing.
Let us introduce you to your new go-to app, FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s the place to be for not only the usual sports, but for this year's World Cup!
FanDuel Sportsbook is providing a multitude of features with a few market differentiators.
- World Cup Winner
- Who will win the Golden Boot (the award for the top goal scorer of the World Cup)
- Highest scoring Group
- And more
- Popular Markets - outside of the normal Moneyline, Spread & Over/Under lines, FanDuel will also be offering:
- Anytime Goal Scorer
- First Goal Scorer
- Shots on Goal
- Correct Score
- Number of Corner Kicks
- Half-Time Result
- Tournament Goal Scorer Parlay Builder - build your own tournament-long Goal Scorer parlays with your favorite players from every team.
- Daily Specials:
- Highest scoring team of the day
- Total daily goals
- Player specials
- And More!
- Live Parlays
Out of all the betting apps we’ve used, signing up for FanDuel Sportsbook is also the easiest. Simply download the app and create an account by providing an email, credit card, and SS# — that’s to protect your winnings and ensure you're not a sporting professional.
FanDuel is undoubtedly the best site/app to parlay across multiple sports. It’s designed for bettors at any stage. The clear interface is ideal for beginners and you can make a bet in just a few clicks! It’s complete with a number of betting guides that explain the rules and resources to safely bet.
One of the best parts is that once the game ends, you can cash out your winnings right away. No minimum, no wait.
There’s also the incredible New User Offer: sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook and get up to $1000 in Free Bets if you lose your first bet!
Their app has everything you need — from tutorials to real-time game scores. Get amped for the World Cup with FanDuel Sportsbook. Enhance your Sportsember by downloading the FanDuel Sportsbook app today!