We’re almost out of the woods with sports betting options, as we’ve got the baseball season starting up on Thursday. Until then, I’m doing what I can to provide good advice when I’ve got it and not make plays just to make plays. We’ve got plenty of guys at the network who bet the NBA regularly; I have no problem saying they know it much better than I do.
The Final Four is never easy to make a play for, because the lines are as sharp as can be and the public has already jumped on the side it wants. However, it’s still possible to find winners in New Orleans, and that’s what we’ll try to do. Here are my best bets for April 2.
KANSAS-VILLANOVA U133, -110
If Villanova is going to have any chance to win this game, it must do one of two things: hit a boatload of 3-pointers and foul shots or turn the game into a rock fight. I think the latter is the more likely path. The Wildcats have the defensive personnel to hang with Kansas and slow down their attack, but I don’t see the offense doing a lot in this matchup. I think these teams lock each other down and cancel each other out offensively, leading to a low-scoring contest.
KANSAS -4.5, -110
Villanova is the more talented team when fully healthy, but Villanova is not healthy. The Wildcats are down Justin Moore, and they have no depth at all now, as only five players on the current roster play over 10 minutes a game. Basically, if anyone needs to come out for foul trouble, the Wildcats have to put someone on the floor that they don’t want out there. Kansas is getting stronger with Remy Martin’s emergence, and that’s where I want my money.
PHILADELPHIA UNION AND U3.5, +120
I’m happy for my friend Will Palaszczuk that he’s been able to call back-to-back wins as Charlotte FC’s play-by-play man, but I think the streak stops at two for the Monarchs. Philadelphia’s defense is looking sharp, and I don’t see the Union conceding more than one at home tonight against a side that’s played well at home but will eventually begin to behave like an expansion team. Charlotte will compete, but Philadelphia should emerge victorious in a low-scoring affair.
NORTH CAROLINA +4, -110
With two meetings in the books between the rivals, which way do we go with the third? I lean toward what the Heels did in the second meeting. Duke is going to give Paolo Banchero opportunities, but that’s fine as long as he doesn’t get help from a second scorer. If the Heels can win the battle in the paint, they’ll be in control here.
NORTH CAROLINA-DUKE O152, -110
I’m a bit worried about the number, but I don’t think these teams can stop each other. I think the Blue Devils will get their number into the 80s, and if Duke does that, that means Carolina must do something similar if it’s going to battle in this matchup. That tells me points are the way to go.