Final Four Betting
While every Division I college basketball team would love to win the NCAA title, just reaching the Final Four is an amazing accomplishment in itself. Here, the last four remaining NCAA Tournament teams battle it out to see who'll make it to the championship game. The action is intense and high profile, the latter of which draws millions of bettors. Because of this, people will find lots of Final Four betting opportunities in early April. That said, let's take a closer look at the basics of wagering on the Final Four, including different types of bets and strategy.
Types of Final Four Betting
Just about any online sportsbook will offer your basic moneylines for the Final Four. Here, you're just betting on which team will win the game outright. But there are odds attached to each team to even out action on both sides, as you can see below:
Many bettors already know the moneyline, but we'll rehash it just for the sake of beginners. Kentucky is the favorite here because bettors are risking $125 to win $100 in profit. Anybody wagering on the underdog Connecticut would be risking $100 to earn $135 in profit. Of course, people can wager more or less, but you get the idea.
Aside from the typical moneyline, there are a wide variety of prop bets. Remember, the Final Four is huge, so sportsbooks make sure to offer any prop bet that they think will interest Final Four viewers. Here's a quick look at some possible Final Four prop bets that you might see offered:
- Over/Under for how many points a certain player will score
- Will first points of the game be on free throws?
- Which team will make the first three-pointer?
Okay, so this only scratches the surface, and there are many other different props offered during the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. You'll also find a wide range of Final Four live wagering opportunities available. Most live wagers are similar to prop bets, except that they're offered after the game begins. For example, you might see a bet offered in the middle of a game that asks if a star player will go over or under a certain point total.
One more kind of Final Four betting worth discussing is the regular over/under (totals). Again, many bettors are already familiar with totals, but we'll give an example below for beginners:
Kentucky -125 over 138.5 (-110)
Connecticut +135 under 138.5 (-110)
If both teams combine to score more than 138.5 points in this Final Four game, those taking the over would win. Assuming these two teams combine for less than 138.5 points, bettors taking the under would win. The (-110) indicates that people are risking $110 for every $100 in profit.
Final Four Betting Strategy
One of the most important things that any bettor can do in the earlier rounds of the NCAA Tournament is shop for soft lines. But when the Final Four rolls around, everything tightens up considerably. With only two games left in the tournament, most sportsbooks are very good at setting lines that reflect how the public will bet. Even still, you can occasionally jump on a favorable line at certain sportsbooks right after they're released.
You'll probably gain much more of an advantage by studying the actual Final Four games, though. Remember, you're essentially betting against the public. So if you can understand the stats and players better than others, you have more of a chance to win your bet. Some of the main things that you want to research with Final Four betting include looking at how teams have performed on the road, rebounding margin, defensive field goal percentage, common opponents and momentum.
The latter is really important because you want to know how teams are gelling and what their chemistry is like heading into the Final Four. Of course, everybody has won four games to get to this point so they're all doing really well. However, some teams are going to be playing better than others. You might want to check out what handicappers have to say about the matchups too just to get a different perspective on everything.
There are plenty of other aspects that you can research when betting on the Final Four as well. The more time you put into the matter, the more likely you are to be successful with your bet(s).