Elite Eight Betting Preview: Saturday, March 30
Who will be the first teams to earn a trip to Atlanta and make the Final Four? On Saturday night, we found out as the four of the top eight teams in college basketball take part in the Elite Eight from Washington D.C. and Arlington, Tx. By now, your March Madness brackets have been probably been destroyed but if you bet on the games, you don't really worry about it. Let's take a look at the Elite Eight games in the East and Midwest regions with key betting trends and angles along with March Madness statistics.
#9 Wichita State Shockers (29-8 SU, 18-14-2 ATS) vs. #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (29-7 SU, 20-13-1 ATS)
Ohio State is a 4.5-point betting odds favorite. The total is 130 after opening at 133.
Key Betting Trends:
Wichita State is:
4-0 ATS last 4 non-conference games.
4-1 ATS last 5 vs. Big 10.
5-2 ATS last 7 NCAA Tournament games.
3-10 last 13 matchups on the under bet following a SU win.
Ohio State is:
6-2 ATS last 8 overall.
5-2 ATS last 7 neutral site games.
15-7 ATS last 22 following an ATS loss.
2-5 ATS last 7 non-conference games.
13-5 last 18 matchups on the over bet following an ATS loss.
Who has the edge?
Ohio State has won 11 straight games. The only team hotter right now is Louisville. They beat Arizona, 73-70 to reach the Sweet 16, giving 3 on Thursday and downed Iowa State, 78-75, giving 7.5. They also need two last-second shots to get to Los Angeles. Aaron Craft hit a three-pointer to beat Iowa State, while LaQuinton Ross nailed one on Thursday to beat Arizona.
Wichita State destroyed La Salle on Thursday, 72-58, giving 4.5 They also beat No. 1 seed Gonzaga, 76-70, getting 6.5 last Saturday. You can't say they haven't beaten a team from a power conference, because they dominated Pittsburgh, 73-55, on March 21, getting 4. Carl Hall (6-8, 238) hit his first five shots for the Shockers and scored 14 of his 16 points in the paint against the undersized Explorers. Ohio State tends to play smaller lineups, when they take Amir Williams (6-11, 250) out of the lineup. Wichita State, who outrebounded La Salle, 44-23, should be able to hang with the Buckeyes on the boards.
Both teams play very good defense. Wichita State held their last three opponents to a combined 35.5 percent. Ohio State holds teams to just 39.6 percent from the floor and 32.2 percent from beyond the arc. Wichita State wants to push the little more. Will the Shockers become the first Missouri Valley Conference team to make the Final Four?
#4 Syracuse Orange (29-9 SU, 19-15 ATS) vs. #3 Marquette Golden Eagles (26-8 SU, 14-15-1 ATS)
Syracuse is a 3.5-point betting odds favorite. The total is 127.5 after opening at 126.
Key Betting Trends:
1-4 ATS last 5 following an ATS win.
0-5 ATS last 5 Saturday games.
7-16 last 23 matchups on the under bet following an ATS win.
5-0 ATS last 5 in series.
Dog is 5-1 ATS last 6 in series.
1-4-1 ATS last 6 overall.
1-3-1 ATS last 5 following a SU win.
Who has the edge?
This is a rematch for these two Big East teams. Marquette won only game played between these teams on Feb. 25, 74-71 at home, getting 1.5. Marquette outrebounded Syracuse, 30-26 as Davante Gardner scored 26 points (12-of-13 FT) and grabbed eight boards to lead the way. Gardner is a 6-8, 290 beast who had his career game. Marquette had struggled in their first two games to get by Davidson (59-58) and Butler (74-74) last Saturday. But on Thursday night, they dominated second-seeded Miami-Florida, 71-61, getting 5.5. They outreboudned the Hurricanes 35-31 and held them to 22-of-53 from the field. The Golden Eagles are just one game away from their first Final Four appearance since 2003.
Syracuse has won six of the last seven, including a dominant performance over Indiana, 61-50, getting 5 on Thursday. They held Indiana to just 34 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent (3-of-15) from beyond the arc. Indiana couldn't solve the Syracuse 2-3 zone, which also produced 11 steals and 11 blocks. Syracuse's length is key to the 2-3 zone, led by 6-6 guard Michael Carter-Williams and 6-4 Brandon Triche, playing the top of the zone.
Syracuse holds teams to 28.7 percent shooting from three-point range and 37.2 percent shooting from the field. Marquette is strong defensively, holding teams to 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc. Both teams are going to miss early and often. If Marquette can win the backboards by a big margin, they can take this game. If Syracuse defends the paint as well as they did against Indiana, they'll win this game big.
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