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Final Four Odds and Picks April 6

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/03/2019

We entered the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament with all four No. 1 seeds still in contention.

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We head to the Final Four with only one standing. Powerhouses Duke, North Carolina, Gonzaga and Kentucky were ousted and this version of the national semifinals features a pair of teams making their first appearance.

The Auburn Tigers might be the scariest team of the bunch after taking down No. 1 seed UNC and No. 2 seed Kentucky in the span of three days, extending their winning streak to 12 in a row. Michigan State bounced No. 1 overall seed Duke in the Elite Eight and Texas Tech sent Gonzaga packing. The lone top seed still hanging around is Virginia, and a National Championship will make them forget about that memorable loss in last year’s Tournament.

BookMaker.eu will have college basketball odds and live betting options for this weekend’s Final Four.

Auburn Tigers vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Date and Time: Saturday, April 6, 2019, 6:09 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Opening CBB Odds: Virginia -5.5, O/U 131

Auburn vs. Virginia TV Coverage: CBS

Auburn took down college basketball behemoths Kansas, UNC and Kentucky in its last three games, so I seriously doubt the Cavaliers are going to scare them. What will be frightening is UVA’s defense, a group that leads the nation in fewest points allowed, ranks fourth in three-point percentage defense and fifth in over field goal percentage defense.

Virginia has consistently had one of the better defensive teams in the country under Tony Bennett and that trend has continued. The difference this season is that the Cavs can score and don’t have to rely on stopping opponents to win games. That was evident against Purdue when a last second jumper tied the game and the Cavs put up 80 points behind 25 from Kyle guy and 24 from Ty Jerome. De’Andre Hunter totaled just 10, but four of those were big OT points that allowed Virginia to pull away in the extra session.

The depth of Auburn will keep this game close, but the bench shrunk a bit with the loss of leading rebounder Chuma Okeke to a knee injury. The Tigers showed how deep they are by challenging Kentucky on every possession and doing it with a rotation of nine players. That gives time for a breather, but Auburn needs Bryce Brown and Jared Harper to continue playing at a high level. The two combined for 50 points in the Kentucky game and rarely took a seat.

The Cavs are just a poised, efficient team and they keep their cool during the course of a game. They didn’t get flustered against Purdue when Carsen Edwards lit them up for 42 points. Instead, they stuck to their game plan, limited turnovers and made their free throws. The Cavs can frustrate teams with their plodding, methodical style and if Auburn can’t push the pace, the Cavs win on the floor and on the scoreboard.

Final Four Score Prediction: Virginia 71, Auburn 67

Texas Tech vs. Michigan State

Date and Time: Saturday, April 6, 2019, 8:49 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Opening CBB Odds: Michigan State -2.5, O/U 132.5

Texas Tech vs. Michigan State TV Coverage: CBS

Another team making its maiden appearance in the Final Four, the Red Raiders have done it with defense. As much as chicks dig the three-pointer, there is a theme among the last four. And if you haven’t figured it out, it’s about defense. Well, except for Auburn, but the Tigers locked down in the tourney so that says a lot about what gets teams to the final weekend. And nobody has done it better than the Red Raiders, who had the top defense by several advanced metrics.

Tech surrenders just 59 points per game to rank third in the country, but analytics gurus point to their No. 1 ranking in defensive BPI according to ESPN, and they’re tops in adjusted defensive efficiency according to kenpom.com. In other words, it’s tough to score against their swarming defenders. The Red Raiders are a talented bunch that commits to playing defense. They throttled Northern Kentucky in the first-round, held Buffalo, a team that averaged close to 85 points per game, to just 58, and Michigan did nothing in the Sweet 16.

If anyone can crack the code it’s Cassius Winston. The Big Ten player of the year carried the Spartans to a share of the regular season conference title and the tournament championship following the loss of Josh Langford earlier in the season. There were a number of games without Nick Ward and Kyle Ahrens also sustained a season-ender late in the campaign. Through it all Winston has been the guy. He scored 20 points with 10 assists to beat Duke and he’s gotten help from Xavier Tillman. MSU’s interior defense is solid and the Red Raiders will have a hard time converting inside.

Final Four Score Prediction: Michigan State 65, Texas Tech 60

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