NCAA March Madness: Best bets for every NCAA tournament game

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The 2023 NCAA tournament is finally here, and VSiN has you covered with best bets on every single game throughout the month of March Madness.

 

Here are our experts’ best wagers for Monday night’s championship game. 

Tourney record: 52-44 ATS

Championship game

UConn vs. San Diego State (+7.5, 132.5)

Greg Peterson: Both teams are stout on defense with Connecticut 12th in the country in points allowed per possession and San Diego State 16th in this category with both teams having different defensive strengths. The Huskies lead the country in rebound rate in games away from home while San Diego State third in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.

Connecticut relies heavily on 3-point shooting for their offense, getting 36.8% of their points in games played away from home on 3-point shots, the 37th-highest rate among the 363 Division I teams. There aren’t a lot of weaknesses with the Huskies as they are also eighth in the country in points scored per possession on offense, but can often times their biggest enemy is themselves.

On offense, Connecticut ranks 262nd in the country in turnovers per possession away from home while committing a foul on 23.9% of possessions away from home, which ranks 277th

The Aztecs are 64th in the country in total free throws made per possession in games played away from home and all five of their top scorers shoot at least 72.3% at the free throw line.

San Diego State enters Monday having surrendered 64 points or fewer in nine of their last 10 games and with nine different players averaging at least 16 minutes per game, the Aztecs will use their depth to keep Monday’s title game tight and give themselves a chance to pull the upset.

Pick: San Diego State +7.5

Matt Youmans: How can the Aztecs pull off the upset? Play their ‘A’ game and hope the Huskies show up with much less than their best. It will take relentless defense, offensive rebounding and at least two red-hot shooters for San Diego State to have a chance in the final four minutes. It’s not a far-fetched formula, and it’s what coach Brian Dutcher’s team plans to do. It’s not automatic that UConn, which has won its five tournament games by an average of 20.6 points, will run away and hide.

I made this number -7 and expected it to move a little higher, so there’s no real point-spread value either way. I’ll approach this with the same strategy I had prior to the Final Four — UConn -110 to win the title is in my pocket, so I’ll play about 25 percent back on the underdog (looking for +8, which probably will be available Monday) and hopefully hit a middle with the Huskies winning by seven or fewer.

The Aztecs are athletic at all spots, physical and should not be overwhelmed by the Huskies’ size. However, UConn is the most complete team in the nation on both ends and features the best players on the floor with Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins. I’ll be stunned if UConn does not win the game. Score projection: 74-66.

Pick: San Diego State (must get +8 or pass)
 

Dave Tuley: Before the Final Four, the advance lines I saw for this title game matchup ranged from UConn -5 to -6, which seemed about right with both teams favored in the semifinals. San Diego State has made an impressive run to the title game, including knocking off No. 1 overall seed Alabama, but UConn has been dominant as the Huskies are also 5-0 ATS, covering by an average of 15.4 points per game.

So, after San Diego State needed a buzzer-beater to get by Florida Atlantic and UConn rolled again over Miami-Florida, it wasn’t a surprise that most books opened on the high end of UConn -6. Early bettors still thought that was too low and it took about 10 minutes to go to -6.5 and -7 and was -7.5 by the end of Saturday night and has stayed there as of late Sunday afternoon.

That looks like too much of an adjustment and I have to take the Aztecs. UConn is certainly capable of another blowout win, but it’s more likely that this comes down to a few possessions. SDSU is still No. 4 in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com, and is No. 3 in opponent 3-point percentage, which will make it tough on UConn’s shooters. While some might think the Aztecs need to slow down the pace to be able to keep up with the Huskies, we saw in the win vs. FAU that they can win in a shootout as well.

While I think San Diego State can pull off the upset (worth a little to add +300 on the money line), I’m calling for a final score of UConn 69, San Diego State 66.

Pick: San Diego State +7.5

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