Vaughn Dalzell breaks down how to bet the Elite 8 between two of the hottest teams in the country, the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies.
Gonzaga vs. Connecticut (-2.5): O/U 153.5
Gonzaga's tournament theme is struggle in the first half and play their high-tempo offense in the second half.
Against Grand Canyon, Gonzaga led 40-36 at half, then were down to TCU 38-33 before trailing UCLA 46-33. The Bulldogs are 0-3 ATS in the first half of the tournament.
In all three circumstances Gonzaga made their comeback and come out victorious. Last outing against UCLA, the Bulldogs were +9.5 at half time and +310 on the ML, so there will be better value on Gonzaga than the +2.5 now.
On the other hand, UConn has rolled its opponents winning by an average of 20.6 points per game (3-0 ATS).
UConn has the No. 13 ranked defense and is one of four teams remaining ranked top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, which is key because 19 of the last 20 NCAA Champs were in that category.
Both of these teams play similar tempos and have the top-three rated offenses in the nation, so no surprise we see a total of 153.5 with potential to climb.
With both squads' offenses going through their big men in Drew Timme and Adama Sanogo, I expect the Elite 8 contest to slow down at times and possessions to be more critical, so I lean the Under. If this goes to 155.5, I may grab a piece of it.
However, I am pulling for Gonzaga to win, but the best bet is UConn 1H ML at -135 odds, then go back on Gonzaga's spread at halftime with a sprinkle on the ML.
Pick: UConn 1H ML (1u)
MORE ON NCAA TOURNAMENT
Content Hub: Best bets, Underdogs, Previews YouTube: Selection Sunday Reactions
Betting Tools: Live Odds, Player Props, Top Trends, Game Predictions