Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his best bet in the Final Four between the Miami Hurricanes and Connecticut Huskies.
Miami (FL) vs. Connecticut (-5.5): O/U 149.5
The Huskies have rolled in all four tournament games by an average of 24.7 points per game and won by a combined 99 total points. UConn hasn't had much competition whatsoever and this game should see plenty of it.
However, there is some big news ahead of this game. UConn's Jordan Hawkins is questionable for this game and he is the second-leading scorer on this team (16. PPG) and second in terms of Most Outstanding Player odds (+270).
Hawkins is dealing with an illness and missed practice yesterday, so even if he plays, he will not be 100-percent and shooting on that floor for the first time outside of shoot around.
UConn allows opponents to score 23.7% of their points from the free-throw line, which is the 7th-most in the nation. On the other hand, the Huskies only permit 22.8% of points from three, which is 361st or the third-best (lowest).
Miami has been hot from everywhere on offense, but with how aggressive the Hurricanes' guards are, expect plenty of free-throw attempts. The Hurricanes scored 85, 88 and 89 points in the last three games and went 52-of-64 (81.2%) from the free-throw line in that stretch.
The Hurricanes went 28-of-32 (87.5%) from the free-throw line against Texas and Miami ranks 15th in the nation with a 78% mark from the line. Both teams are ranked top 5 in offensive efficiency, so expect neither team to be completely out of this game.
The Hurricanes sniffed a Final Four last year before blowing a halftime lead against Kansas in the Elite 8, but they proved versus Texas last week that Miami is over the hump. With the Huskies winning so easily in four-straight games, I have to take Miami here to keep it close after bringing back most of their roster and some key transfers.
If Hawkins is out for the Huskies, then the Hurricanes could and should win. I played Miami +5.5 at -110 odds and sprinkled the Hurricanes' ML at +200. If you want a pick on San Diego State vs. Florida Atlantic, go here.
Pick: Miami +5.5 (1u), Miami ML (0.25u)
Final Four Fun Facts:
These games are being played at NRG Stadium, which is owned by the NFL's Houston Texans arena, which we know makes things a little weird for some teams. 1H Unders are usually the angle of attack in NFL stadiums.
Per Action Network, "Historically, Connecticut (-135) or San Diego State (+360) will likely win the national championship. In 17 of the past 18 Final Fours, one of the two favorites entering the weekend went on to win it all. The one exception was in 2014 — when UConn won it all."
Per Action Network, "The public was 0-3 ATS in last year's Final Four and is 5-13 ATS since 2016."
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