NCAA Tournament 2013: Breaking Down Latest Odds, Smartest Picks for Final Four

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 2, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 31:  Mitch McGary #4 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates their 79 to 59 win over the Florida Gators by cutting down a piece of the net during the South Regional Round Final of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on March 31, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Regardless of how your bracket has gone so far or how your predictions have fared through the opening few rounds, the Final Four stands a great chance to finish strong in the NCAA tournament.

The matchups have been set and we've got two thrilling games slated for the week—both of which provide great opportunities for us to nail our predictions.

Keen to finish March Madness with a good run and with a winning prediction? Read on to see the smartest picks and odds for the Final Four this year.


NCAA Tournament Schedule: Final Four

Date Matchup Time (ET)
April 6, 2013 [1] Louisville vs. [9] Wichita State 6:09 p.m.
April 6, 2013 [4] Michigan vs. [4] Syracuse 8:49 p.m.


[4] Michigan vs. [4] Syracuse

Spread: Michigan -2

Over/Under: 131.0 points

Syracuse is coming off the back of a very strong postseason in the Big East tournament and has carried that all the way through March Madness this year.

The Orange's suffocating defense has been pertinent to their success throughout that time—something we've seen to be true once more in the NCAA tournament. Averaging just 45.8 points against per game, they'll be looking to continue that here, but it doesn't seem as likely against the dominant offense that Trey Burke brings to the table for the Michigan Wolverines.

Burke has been simply explosive so far in the tournament, and he will look to continue that here against the Orange's defense. Regardless of the pressure that Syracuse brings with its zone, it's hard to see the Wolverines sputtering offensively enough to see this one slip away.

Especially not when their defense is solid enough to force stops at the other end—something that should help the overall points in this one as well.

Predictions: Michigan -2, Under 131.0 points


[1] Louisville vs. [9] Wichita State

Spread: Louisville -10.5

Over/Under: 130.5 points

After an emotionally-charged victory over Duke to claim the Midwest Region, No. 1 seed Louisville will look to knock off upset kings Wichita State as it heads through to the NCAA championship game.

And by all accounts, it's a win that the Cardinals should record relatively easy.

Russ Smith is playing lights-out at the moment, and unless the Shockers have their best shooting night of the tournament, it's hard to see them having the offense required to keep up in this one. Especially not against the defense of Louisville, which is one of the best in the country.

The bigger question then is as to how these respective teams will fare against the spread, with the 10-point spread one of the biggest seen this late in the tournament in over 25 years. After all, there is a reason why spreads usually aren't this large.

Had this game been played so close to the Duke win, then you'd have backed the Cardinals to explode all over the Shockers.

However now, you get the feeling that whilst it will be a solid win, it might not have the same dominance as originally expected.

Louisville's offense should come close to covering the 10-point spread alone, however, and once you throw in its defense, it should still cover it. And that defense should also do enough to keep this one relatively low-scoring in the first half, which will be enough to take the under points overall.

Predictions: Louisville -10.5, Under 130.5 points

(Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider; subject to change)


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