Final Four Betting

SB3 has the ultimate Final Four betting guide. See which sportsbooks we recommend. Next, learn the best Final Four betting opportunties. Review our historical data to identify profitable wagering opportunties.

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April 2, 2018 11:00 pm Final Four Betting - Top 20 Teams
Teams Odds $100 Wins
1. Villanova (1)
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-110$90.91
2. Michigan(3)
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+250$250
3. Kansas (1)
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+350$350
4. Loyola Chicago (11)
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+850$850
Odds feed last modified: 03/31/2018 17:40:12 Eastern

Chapters

  1. Best Bets
  2. Last Year’s Highights Video
  3. Best All Time Final Fours
  4. Betting Tips
  5. Best Buzzer Beaters Video
  6. Tables/Reference
  7. Live Final Four Odds – Tap Here
2018 March Madness Schedule
Event Site 1st Game
Date
Selection Sunday TBS 6:00PM ET
Live Stream
March 11, 2018
First Four Dayton March 13, 2018
Rounds 1&2 Pittsburgh, Wichita,
Dallas, Boise
March 15, 2018
Rounds 1&2 Charlotte, Detroit
Nashville, San Diego
March 16, 2018
West Regional Los Angeles March 22, 2018
South Regional Atlanta March 22, 2018
Midwest Regional Omaha March 23, 2018
East Regional Boston March 23, 2018
Final Four San Antonio March 31, 2018

Final Four Betting Opportunities

1. Final Four Prop Bets

Carefully handicap each Final Four team. Sift through all prop bets for the best opportunities. The following are common Final Four props. Actual odds may vary.

1. Team to score the first 10 points in the Championship game

  • Team One +160
  • Team Two -210

Which team will score the first 10 points?

Note each team’s juice. Minus numbers indicate the most likely result. Bettors must risk the amount listed to make $100. Plus numbers indicate the least likely. Bettors must risk $100 to win the amount listed.

Tip
Taking the most likely team isn’t necessarily an obvious winner. The least likely team could be a better value. Always research scoring trends of each team.

2. Total Points Each Team

Don’t confuse this prop with an over under total bet. A straight total bet estimates a combined total. These prop bets estimate each team’s total points separately.

Total Team Points – Team One

  • Over/Under 68

Total Team Points – Team Two

  • Over/Under 62½

Look at Team Two’s number. A ½ point total means no tie bets are possible. There are only two possibilities: over or under.

Compare this to Team One’s number. If the result is exactly 68 all bets tie. That means there are 3 possibilities: over, under or tie.

Similar first half props might be offered.

Tip
Add both team’s predicted points together. Compare this number to the game’s total line. Are they consistent? Differences may indicate line moves ripe for sharp betting opportunities.

3. Individual Player Props

Top players will have prop bets for:

  1. Points Scored
  2. Total Rebounds
  3. Total Assists
  4. Total 3 Pt Shots Made
  5. Total Blocks
  6. Total Free Throws Made

If you’ve studied the players on likely Final Four teams all season, here’s your chance to cash in. These props reward smart college basketball handicappers.

Carefully match each player against the team’s opposition. For example, is it likely a player can score 15 pts against a strong man-to-man defense? Take the under. But against a zone? Take the over if they can penetrate to the paint.

Likewise, can a good defensive player tally blocks against a team with more than one good shooter? If so, take the over. If not, take the under.

Tip
Foul shots might be one of the easiest prop bets to take. Just research each player’s season shooting percentage, including recent tournament numbers.

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2. Fade the Public

Suppose North Carolina vs. Kentucky opens Kentucky -6. Kentucky must win by 6 or more points.

First research North Carolina’s record against the spread. Check how often they’ve covered as underdogs.

Second check the line. Suppose it’s moved to Kentucky -8. Remember the sportsbook wants to balance its action. Increasing the line – giving more points to North Carolina – makes taking the underdog Tar Heels more attractive. Don’t continue following the public!

Take North Carolina if they’ve consistently won against the spread. Bet against the public when line moves present an opportunity!

Tip
Wait until 30 minutes before tipoff to see which underdogs get money. This is sharp action coming in. Bet with the sharps.

3. Spread and Total Straight Bets

Finding good spread bets isn’t hard if you can handicap college basketball. Look for matchups where the sportsbook’s spread overestimates a favorite’s ability to cover. Here you’ll take the underdog.

Also look for matchups where the sportsbook’s spread underestimates a favorite’s ability to cover. Here you’ll take the favorite. It’s OK to be a chalk eater. A small win is better than a big loss.

You can identify good total betting opportunities from a sportsbook’s spread and total numbers. See our calculation here. You have an edge if total isn’t consistent with the calculation.

If the projected total is under the sportsbook’s total, bet the under. If the projected total is over the sportsbook’s total, bet the over.

Tip
Review SB3’s live college basketball odds here.

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Last Year’s Final Four Highlights

Best Final Fours All Time

1. 2012 Champion: Kentucky Wildcats

A near-perfect 32-2 season produced another win for John Calipari’s Wildcats. Coming off a SEC championship loss to Vanderbilt, Kentucky steamrolled its way to the Final Four.

A 69-61 close call with Louisville, reminiscent of an epic December battle just months earlier, sent the Wildcats to the Championship against Kansas. There they finished the first half 14 points ahead, later winning 67-59.

2. 1982 Champion: North Carolina Tar Heels

A stacked Tar Heels team featuring James Worthy, Sam Perkins and a young Michael Jordan barely made the Final Four, squeaking by a determined James Madison team in the first round.

Coach Dean Smith steered them past Houston the first Final Four game, notching a five point win. Then the Tar Heels faced Georgetown in the National Championship. Foreshadowing future greatness, Michael Jordan sank a jump shot with 15 seconds to go, giving North Carolina a 63-62 lead.

Georgetown turned the ball over to James Worthy on the next possession, ending their attempt to win at the buzzer. The 1982 Tar Heels are considered North Carolina’s greatest team of all time.

3. 1992 Champion: Duke Blue Devils

Respect to Mike Krzyzewski’s 1992 Blue Devils, the forefathers of today’s Duke Dynasty.

After a dominant 28-2 regular season, Duke was behind in its Elite 8 matchup versus Kentucky. But Christian Laettner’s legendary buzzer beater sent the Blue Devils to the Final Four. Many still hate Laettner! His last name is a four-letter word, still sour in mouths of Duke’s competitors.

Duke edged by Indiana 42-37 in the semifinal game, later crushing Michigan’s Fab Five 71-51 in the National Final. Grant Hill and Laettner led Duke in final, while Bobby Hurley was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

4. 1979 Champion: Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State, Indiana State, DePaul and Penn made the Final Four.

In the end, Earvin Magic Johnson led the Spartans 75-64 over Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores.

5. 1976 Champion: Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana, Michigan, UCLA and Rutgers

Topping a perfect 32-0 season wasn’t a challenge for Quinn Buckner and Kent Benson of Indiana, defeating Michigan 86-68 in an uneventful Final Four. It was Coach Bobby Knight’s first National Championship.

6. 1988 Champion: Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Duke

Incredibly, #6 seed Kansas pulled the ultimate upset against #1 Oklahoma, winning the game 83-79. Danny Manning led the Jayhawks. It was Kansas’ first national title in nearly 50 years.

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Final Four Betting Tips

  1. Refresh your bankroll before Final Four Betting begins. Deposit early to avoid last minute credit card processing glitches.
  2. Monitor Final Four prop bets closely. Visit your sportsbook’s prop page regularly.
  3. Shop college basketball lines at multiple sportsbooks. SB3 has live odds here.
  4. Consider a 2 team parlay on the first two Final Four games if the numbers are favorable. Otherwise stick to straight bets only: spread, total or money line.

Best March Madness Buzzer Beaters

It takes less than 1 second!

March Madness Betting Tables and Reference

NCAA Div I Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four Teams 1985-2017
+ Taps out more teams
Year Winning Team Runner Up Final Four Final Four
2017 N. Carolina #1 Gonzaga #1 Oregon #3 South Carolina #7
2016 Villanova #2 N. Carolina #1 Oklahoma #2 Syracuse #10
2015 Duke #1 Wisconsin #1 Kentucky #1 Michigan St. #7
2014 Connecticut #7 Kentucky #8 Florida #1 Wisconsin #2
2013 Louisville #1 Michigan #4 Wichita St. #9 Syracuse #4
2012 Kentucky #1 Kansas #2 Louisville #4 Ohio St. #2
2011 UConn #3 Butler #8 Kentucky #4 VCU #11
2010 Duke #1 Butler #5 West Virginia #2 Michigan St. #5
2009 N. Carolina #1 Michigan St. #2 Villanova #3 UConn #1
2008 Kansas #1 Memphis #1 N. Carolina #1 UCLA #1
2007 Florida #1 Ohio St. #1 UCLA #2 Georgetown #2
2006 Florida #3 UCLA #2 George Mason #11 LSU #4
2005 N. Carolina #1 Illinois #1 Michigan St. #5 Louisville #4
2004 UConn #2 Ga. Tech #3 Duke #1 Oklahoma St. #2
2003 Syracuse #3 Kansas #2 Texas #1 Marquette #3
2002 Maryland #1 Indiana #5 Kansas #1 Oklahoma #2
2001 Duke #1 Arizona #2 Maryland #3 Michigan St. #1
2000 Michigan St. #1 Florida #5 Wisconsin #8 N. Carolina #8
1999 UConn #1 Duke #1 Ohio St. #4 Michigan St. #1
1998 Kentucky #2 Utah #3 Stanford #3 N. Carolina #1
1997 Arizona #4 Kentucky #1 N. Carolina #1 Minnesota #1
1996 Kentucky #1 Syracuse #4 Umass #1 Miss. St. #5
1995 UCLA #1 Arkansas #2 Oklahoma St #4 N. Carolina #2
1994 Arkansas #1 Duke #2 Arizona #2 Florida #3
1993 N. Carolina #1 Michigan #1 Kansas #2 Kentucky #1
1992 Duke #1 Michigan #6 Indiana #2 Cincinnati #4
1991 Duke #1 Kansas #3 UNLV #1 N. Carolina #2
1990 UNLV #1 Duke #3 Georgia Tech #4 Arkansas #4
1989 Michigan #3 Seton Hall #3 Illinois #1 Duke #2
1988 Kansas #6 Oklahoma #1 Duke #2 Arizona #1
1987 Indiana #1 Syracuse #2 UNLV #1 Providence #6
1986 Louisville #2 Duke #1 LSU #11 Kansas #1
1985 Villanova #8 Georgetown #1 Memphis St. #2 St. John’s #1
Seed Performance Through All Tournament Rounds 1985-2017
(Exs. 94.0% #2 make 2nd Round. 87.0% #1 make Sweet 16)
+ Taps out more Rounds
# 2ND 16 8 4 Final Champ
1 100.0% 87.0% 69.6% 40.4% 23.4% 14.8%
2 94.0% 63.9% 47.3% 22.2% 10.7% 4.1%
3 84.0% 50.4% 24.2% 10.9% 7.0% 3.5%
4 80.0% 46.4% 15.8% 10.3% 2.6% 0.8%
5 64.0% 33.3% 6.3% 4.7% 1.9% 0.0%
6 64.0% 33.3% 11.0% 2.3% 1.5% 0.8%
7 61.0% 17.7% 6.9% 1.5% 0.8% 0.8%
8 50.0% 9.5% 6.4% 4.0% 2.4% 0.8%
9 50.0% 4.0% 1.6% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0%
10 39.0% 18.3% 6.4% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0%
11 36.0% 14.8% 4.7% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0%
12 36.0% 15.5% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
13 20.0% 4.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
14 16.0% 1.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 6.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

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Final Four Appearances By School
School Final Four Final Two Champs
North Carolina 20 11 6
UCLA 18 13 11
Kentucky 17 12 8
Duke 16 11 5
Kansas 14 9 3
Ohio State 10 5 1
Michigan State 9 3 2
Indiana 8 6 5
Louisville 8 2 2
Michigan 7 6 1
Arkansas 6 2 1
Cincinnati 6 3 2
Oklahoma State 6 3 2
Syracuse 6 3 1
Connecticut 5 4 4
Florida 5 3 2
Georgetown 5 4 1
Houston 5 2 0
Illinois 5 1 0
Oklahoma 5 2 0
Villanova 5 3 2
Arizona 4 2 1
Kansas State 4 1 0
LSU 4 0 0
Nevada-Las Vegas 4 1 1
Utah 4 2 1
Wisconsin 4 2 1
California 3 2 1
Iowa 3 1 0
Marquette 3 2 1
Memphis 3 2 0
North Carolina State 3 2 2
San Francisco 3 2 2
Texas-Austin 3 0 0
Baylor 2 1 0
Bradley 2 2 0
Butler 2 2 0
CCNY 2 1 1
Colorado 2 0 0
Dartmouth 2 2 0
DePaul 2 0 0
Georgia Tech 2 1 0
Holy Cross 2 1 1
La Salle 2 2 1
Maryland 2 1 1
NYU 2 1 0
Oregon 2 1 1
Oregon State 2 0 0
Providence 2 0 0
Purdue 2 1 0
Southern California 2 0 0
Stanford 2 1 1
St. John’s 2 1 0
Temple 2 0 0
Virginia 2 0 0
West Virginia 2 1 0
Wichita State 2 0 0
Charlotte 1 0 0
Dayton 1 1 0
Drake 1 0 0
Duquesne 1 0 0
Florida State 1 1 0
George Mason 1 0 0
Georgia 1 0 0
Gonzaga 1 1 0
Indiana State 1 1 0
Iowa State 1 0 0
Jacksonville 1 1 0
Loyola-Chicago 1 1 1
Massachusetts 1 0 0
Minnesota 1 0 0
Mississippi State 1 0 0
New Mexico State 1 0 0
Notre Dame 1 0 0
Penn State 1 0 0
Pennsylvania 1 0 0
Pittsburgh 1 0 0
Princeton 1 0 0
Rutgers 1 0 0
Santa Clara 1 0 0
Seattle 1 1 0
Seton Hall 1 1 0
SMU 1 0 0
South Carolina 1 0 0
St. Bonaventure 1 0 0
Texas-El Paso 1 1 1
Virginia Commonwealth 1 0 0
Wake Forest 1 0 0
Washington 1 0 0
Washington State 1 1 0
Western Kentucky 1 0 0
Wyoming 1 1 1
Grand Total 308 154 77

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Appearances by seed 1979-2017
Seed Final Four Appearances Percentage
#1 63 40.38%
#2 33 21.15%
#3 17 10.90%
#4 14 8.97%
#5 7 4.49%
#6 6 3.85%
#7 4 2.56%
#8 6 3.85%
#9 2 1.28%
#10 1 .64%
#11 3 1.92%
#12 0 0%
#13 0 0%
#14 0 0%
#15 0 0%
#16 0 0%
Seeds Advancing Past Final Four 1985-2017
# WINS LOSSES WIN %
1 30 22 58%
2 13 15 46%
3 9 5 64%
4 3 10 23%
5 3 3 50%
6 2 1 67%
7 1 1 50%
8 3 2 60%
9 0 1 0%
10 0 1 0%
11 0 3 0%
12 0 0 0%
13 0 0 0%
14 0 0 0%
15 0 0 0%
16 0 0 0%
Seeds Winning Championship 1985-2017
# WINS LOSSES WIN %
1 19 11 63%
2 5 8 38%
3 4 5 44%
4 1 2 33%
5 0 3 0%
6 1 1 50%
7 1 0 100%
8 1 2 33%
9 0 0 0%
10 0 0 0%
11 0 0 0%
12 0 0 0%
13 0 0 0%
14 0 0 0%
15 0 0 0%
16 0 0 0%

References


sportsbookreview.com/picks/ncaa-basketball/march-madness-betting-101-why-you-should-fade-public/70095
cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/final-four-betting-lines-odds-prop-bets/
thoughtco.com/march-madness-statistics-3126162
betfirm.com/seeds-national-championship-odds/
printyourbrackets.com/final-four-appearances-by-seed.html
usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2013/04/02/final-four-rank-experts-best-1-to-15/2044593/
fansided.com/2017/03/31/best-final-four-teams-all-time-ncaa-tournament-history/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NCAA_Division_I_Men%27s_Basketball_Tournament_Final_Four_participants