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March Madness Best Bets: Saturday Picks for the Elite 8 (March 25)

March Madness action continues on Saturday with a two-game slate of NCAA Tournament March Madness action. This article will examine the best bets for Saturday and offer professional opinions and evaluations to assist you in making wise and well-informed betting choices, with the aid of OddsShopper’s college basketball odds and best bets resources. Nonetheless, onto our March Madness best bets and Elite 8 predictions.

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March Madness Best Bets & Elite 8 Predictions

Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State

The Elite 8 kicks off with a marquee matchup between Florida Atlantic and Kansas State. Florida Atlantic has knocked off Memphis, Fairleigh Dickinson and Tennessee to reach this point. On the other side, Kansas State defeated a significantly more difficult level of competition in Montana State, Kentucky and Michigan State. ShotQuality graded all three of Kansas State’s games as losses by single digits. For what it’s worth, the Tennessee game was also graded as a loss for Florida Atlantic. As it stands, the Wildcats are 2.5-point favorites over Florida Atlantic in a game with a 144.5 total.

On paper, this is a tough matchup for Florida Atlantic. The Owls rely on their elite 3-point shooting. Florida Atlantic ranks 17th in 3-point attempts and 41st in 3-point percentage on the year. However, Kansas State is 15th in 3-point defense. It should be noted that Florida Atlantic did just defeat the No. 1 3-point defense in the country, but they still only shot 29.6% from 3. The win against Tennessee had as much to do with the Volunteers’ own collapse, rather than anything Florida Atlantic did particularly well.

On the other side, Kansas State is notably bigger than Florida Atlantic, ranking 79th in height to Florida Atlantic’s 285th. The Owls still attack the glass with more efficiency than Kansas State. However, the size advantage should lead to more efficient interior scoring than what Uros Plavsic provided for Tennessee. On top of its elite perimeter defense, Kansas State ranks 31st in turnovers forced. Florida Atlantic committed 12 turnovers against Tennessee, but the incompetent Volunteers offense failed to capitalize on most of them. With more dangerous scorers across the board for Kansas State, the 2-point spread looks like a strong value.

March Madness Best Bet: Kansas State -2.5 (+100) at BetMGM

 

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Gonzaga vs. Connecticut

Gonzaga takes on Connecticut as a 2.5-point underdog in a game with a 153.5 total. Connecticut rattled off wins over Iona, Saint Mary’s and Arkansas to reach this point, and Gonzaga defeated Grand Canyon, TCU and UCLA in one of the most exciting games of the NCAA Tournament to this point.

On paper, this is one of Gonzaga’s more difficult draws. The Bulldogs have solid height, ranking 68th overall. However, UConn is 60th in rebounding, much better than most of Gonzaga’s opponents. On top of that, Connecticut has the individual talent and depth on the interior to neutralize Drew Timme. Adama Sanogo rightfully drew Big East Player of the Year consideration, while freshman 7-2 center Donovan Clingan has developed into the best interior defenders on the team, per EvanMiya.

Conversely, Gonzaga plays putrid defense, particularly on the interior. The Bulldogs are 175th in defensive efficiency, while Connecticut is ninth on offense. Gonzaga is also 218th 2-point percentage, which clashes with UConn’s 50th-ranked interior offense. Even if Gonzaga dedicates extra resources to stopping Sanogo inside, the Huskies are 35th in 3-point attempts per game and 69th in 3-point percentage. Gonzaga is no better at defending the 3, ranking 254th in 3-point defense. Connecticut has too many advantages for the spread to be this tight.

March Madness Best Bet: Connecticut -2.5 (-105) at BetMGM

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