Eli’s Elite Eight Breakdown: Betting Angles For Every Matchup

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 27, 2022
Elite Eight Bets

With the fourth round of March Madness in place, let’s break down the Elite Eight bets that I’m considering for each game.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting chat, where we dig into all of the games left in the big dance. You can reference my pre-tournament power rankings and current ratings — ahead of the rest of my bets.

BetMGM March Madness Special Offer! Bet $10 on a moneyline and win $200 if either team makes a 3-pointer!

No. 2 Villanova Wildcats vs. No. 5 Houston Cougars

Here’s a full breakdown of this matchup. I’m currently waiting to live bet this one, but that could change if the market bumps this up any more.

Best Available Line: Villanova
Best Available Total: O/U

Result: Win (+0.95)

No. 2 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks

While the Hogs are coming off an upset victory against the No. 1 overall seed, the matchup edges favor the Blue Devils.

For one, Eric Mussleman’s defense has struggled to guard the ball in isolation, which is where Duke’s offense thrives — in particular with five-star freshman Paolo Bachero.

On top of that, Arkansas is susceptible to yielding second-chance opportunities against bigger frontcourts, allowing a combined 62 offensive rebounds in a trio of home games against Auburn, Kentucky and LSU. On the flip side, Duke has a size advantage and generates the 61st-highest offensive rebounding rate in the country.

As long as Banchero and the 7-foot Mark Williams stay out of foul trouble, the Blue Devils should have their way in that department.

Moreover, Duke’s matchup zone was effective against Texas Tech because the Red Raiders presented an inconsistent perimeter attack. Well, Musselman’s unit showcases a bottom-45 3-point clip (30.4%) across Division I. If JD Notae isn’t burying his fair share of contested shots, Arkansas’ half-court offense will be an issue.

We may see a tightly-contested first half, similar to Duke – Texas Tech, yet Mike Krzyzewski’s crew should pull away at some point in the final 20 minutes. With that being said, there isn’t quite enough value to make this one of my Elite Eight bets.

Best Available Line: Duke
Best Available Total: O/U

No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 10 Miami Hurricanes

From a bird’s-eye view, the Hurricanes’ five-out offense could space out the Jayhawks and give them a game. But Jim Larrañaga’s crew thrives in transition, and the Jayhawks’ athleticism thwarts many of those looks — like we saw versus Providence.

In order to stymie Kansas’ defense, playing through the low-post must be the initial game plan. Miami delivers little to none of that, as the 6-foot-11 Sam Waardenburg mainly hovers around the perimeter.

On top of that, the Hurricanes rarely manufacture offensive rebounds. That was a major part of the Friars second-half comeback against the Jayhawks, tallying 16 of them.

At the other end, Miami’s lack of size is concerning. Not only is it notching the 42nd-lowest defensive rebounding percentage in all of college basketball, but it owns an exposable post-up defense too. The 6-foot-10 David McCormack should have his way inside, setting up lanes for Kansas’ dribble penetration in the process.

Overall, Bill Self will likely operate his offense at a slower pace to take the Hurricanes out of their rhythm. The first-half under is worth considering for Elite Eight bets as a result.

Best Available Line: Kansas 
Best Available Total: O/U

No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 15 Saint Peter’s

Although the Peacocks’ flight to the Elite Eight is one of the most historic runs across any sport, their odds of advancing further are slim.

Unlike Purdue, UNC boasts a competent head coach in Hubert Davis. The Tar Heels are also a more physical team, and their length should help them dominate the glass and dictate a quicker tempo throughout.

Additionally, Saint Peter’s won’t have nearly as much success matching up against Armando Bacot one-on-one as it did versus Zach Edey. Not only does Shaheen Holloway’s group lack the size to guard him, but Bacot is a more skillful big when it comes to converting at the rim. If he’s rolling early, it’ll undoubtedly provide North Carolina’s 3-point arsenal with plenty of clean looks.

There isn’t much value in any Elite Eight bets here, yet keep an eye out for the Final Four opening spread if the Tar Heels advance.

Best Available Line: UNC
Best Available Total: O/U

Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich