Opening Final Four Odds: Who Is Favored In New Orleans?

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on March 27, 2022 - Last Updated on March 28, 2022
Final Four odds

By Sunday evening, the field of 68 in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will have been reduced to just four. It’s a field of all blue bloods, with North Carolina, Duke, Kansas and Villanova combining for 17 tournament titles. Now that the Final Four is set, it’s time to check out the odds.

Here, you’ll find opening Final Four odds along with brief previews and schedule information.

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Matchups And Opening Odds For Final Four

Until the Sunday Elite Eight games go final, we won’t know the Final Four matchups, scheduled for April 2. Once we do, we’ll provide opening odds right here with a brief look at how each team compares to its opponent in some key metrics including KenPom adjusted efficiency.

If you are unsure which way you lean on the Final Four opening odds, we’ll provide some helpful tools that you can use during the week. Use our interactive Final Four bracket to track the line movement on each game. Plus, look for in-depth breakdowns by resident college hoops expert Eli Hershkovich when he dives into each matchup.

South No. 2 Villanova Vs. Midwest No. 1 Kansas (5:09 p.m. ET on TBS)

Adjusted efficiencies: Kansas +25.87, Villanova +25.37

Kansas took advantage of their bracket getting cleared of high seeds and easily took care of Miami in the Elite Eight with a dominating display of second-half defense. Villanova also dodged some higher seeds but did best a very strong Houston team.

KenPom’s numbers have these teams basically dead even.

There’s definitely a contrast in style of play here, with Kansas happy to get out and run while Villanova plays as slowly as almost anyone. That figures to make it tough for KU to get their transition game cooking, especially since Villanova ranked 27th in the nation in offensive turnover rate.

Another key battleground will be Kansas’ ability to defend the perimeter. Villanova relies heavily on 3-point shooting. Kansas locked up Miami from the perimeter, but Villanova presents a much tougher challenge.

A notable injury could hurt the Wildcats. Starting guard Justin Moore went down with what looked like a bad injury in the Elite Eight. If he remains out, his 14.8/4.8/2.3 will represent a large chunk of missing production.

Above are the current, live odds across legal U.S. sportsbooks. Here’s where the game opened:

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Kansas
Bet now
-3.5
Bet now
-3.5
Villanova
Bet now
+3.5
Bet now
+3.5

East No. 8 North Carolina Vs. West No. 2 Duke (7:49 p.m. ET on TBS)

Adjusted efficiencies: Duke +25.48, North Carolina +19.19

Both of these teams have stronger offenses than defenses, with North Carolina a little more transition-focused while Duke has better half-court efficiency.

In terms of talent, few if any teams can measure up to Duke’s across-the-board star power. They potentially have five first-round draft picks on the team, including possible No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. AJ Griffin is also a potential lottery pick.

North Carolina got a lot of mileage out of their rebounding prowess thus far. They significantly outrebounded the opponent in all four games thus far with an average margin of +12.25. That’s no fluke since they ranked fifth in rebound rate, but Duke is no slouch on the boards either, ranking 42nd.

Both teams bring conservative, disciplined defenses that rarely force turnovers but also rarely foul. Both also protect the ball extremely well, ranking in the top 60 in turnover rate. They split the season series, each winning on the road by a double-digit margin.

Above are the current, live odds across legal U.S. sportsbooks. Here’s where the game opened:

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
North Carolina
Bet now
+4.5
Duke
Bet now
-4.5

Win Prizes In TheLines’ Free Final Four Contest

Bracket busted? You’re certainly not alone, considering the likes of Miami and St. Peter’s made deep runs in the tournament while favorites like Gonzaga, Kentucky, Arizona and Baylor fell by the wayside much earlier than anticipated.

Instead of despairing and starting your prep for the MLB season, though, you can still win prizes in TheLines’ free March Madness contest. More than $1,500 in prizes is up for grabs in two separate contests, one for the Final Four and one for the NCAA championship game.

Click the banner below to make your free picks.

Free Pick’Em Contests! Compete for prizes every day by entering our free betting games. NFL, MLB, golf and more!

Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

View all posts by Mo Nuwwarah