Final Four Preview and Betting Analysis

On Sunday, Auburn upset Kentucky 77-71 in overtime, while Michigan State upset the Duke Blue Devils 68-67 to fill out the final two spots in the 2019 Final Four. On Saturday, Virginia outlasted Purdue 80-75 in overtime, and Texas Tech beat Gonzaga 75-69. This Saturday, Auburn takes on Virginia, while Texas Tech takes on Michigan State. Check out Final Four analysis, BetAmerica odds, and free picks!

 

[Saturday, April 6]

Auburn Tigers vs. Virginia Cavaliers -5
(6:09pm ET)

It’s amazing that Auburn not only forced overtime, but that they also beat Kentucky straight up on Sunday. The Tigers entered their Elite Eight matchup arguably without their top player, Chuma Okeke. Okeke suffered a torn ACL in the win over North Carolina in the Sweet 16.

Auburn was supposed to have no shot against the Wildcats. At the end of the first half, it looked like Kentucky might cruise to a win. The Wildcats were up 35-30. Auburn came out blasting from three, though.

The win proves that Auburn belongs among the elite college basketball programs in the nation. They face the lone remaining 1-seed in the tournament in Virginia, and more than a few college hoops handicappers expect the Cavaliers to dominate the Tigers.

That won’t be the case. Virginia struggled against a much-less-talented team when they beat Oregon in their Sweet 16 match. The Cavaliers needed a last-second shot in regulation to push the game into overtime versus Purdue. They even got lucky in overtime when Purdue player Carsen Edwards threw an errant pass on the Boilermakers’ last possession.

I’m throwing out the trends in this matchup because Auburn has improved during the tournament. They’ll force Virginia into an up-and-down game, and the Cavaliers won’t keep up. Auburn wins on the moneyline.

Final Four Free Pick: Auburn +210

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Michigan State Spartans -2.5 (8:49pm ET)

Everyone’s going to jump all over Michigan State after the Spartans knocked out the overall 1-seed Duke Blue Devils in a stirring 1-point victory. MSU has the team to win the NCAA championship. Led by point guard Cassius Winston, the Spartans have answered the bell in every game since the tournament started.

Actually, Michigan State’s been close to dominant since early February. Since losing three straight to close out January, the Spartans have won 14 of 15. Their lone loss was on the road to Indiana back on March 2.

But as well as Michigan State has played, Texas Tech, like Auburn, has gotten better while playing in the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raiders flipped the switch in their dominant 72-57 win over Northern Kentucky. They haven’t let up since, beating Buffalo 78-58, Michigan 63-44, and Gonzaga 75-69.

The Red Raiders have proven they can play any style, meaning if Winston and Coach Izzo want to slow it down, Texas Tech will slow it down. If Izzo wants his team to push the pace, the Red Raiders will run.

Texas Tech also has a major advantage with Jarrett Culver. The future NBA lottery pick has been awesome in every game in the tournament. He can single-handedly dominate slow-footed teams, and he’s got impeccable defensive skills. Culver will lead the Red Raiders to an upset victory and a date with Auburn in Monday’s National Championship. Texas Tech wins straight up.

Final Four Free Pick: Texas Tech +135


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