Sports Betting: Best Bets to Reach the 2017 NCAA Tournament Final Four

The first-ever Brackets for Good Nashville Tournament is raising awareness and funds for Music City charities.

The Vegas sports books are already winners.

Heading into this year's tournament, Villanova had the most to lose.

The three-day break between rounds calls for a deep dive into what's transpired so far. We've included times, channel information and point spreads. Football typically dwarfs the popularity of basketball, but the handle for these tournament games is similar to the average NFL game.

Should West Virginia progress to the Final Four the Mountaineers will play at the University of Phoenix Stadium, which will hold around 73,000 fans, more than doubling the entire 30,000 population of the Mountaineers home in Morgantown, West Virginia. The Trojans and Musketeers both closed as 7.5-point favorites and plus-310 (risking $1 to win $3.10) on the moneyline at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. It's actually insane - Six out of the 16 teams left are from one conference. Other high seeds in Duke and Louisville were also sent pack, but Gonzaga and fellow 1 seeds in Kansas and North Carolina still remain.

If your bracket wasn't completed busted by now chances are South Carolina's conquest of Duke has confirmed it.

You can make a reasonable argument against them, and say they play in a conference that's less than inspiring beyond its top 3 teams.

The Zags are going to turn the ball over against West Virginia because everybody turns the ball over against West Virginia.

-Fifth-seeded Virginia continued its trend of March disappointment with a humiliating 65-39 second-round loss to Florida. Interesting fact: West Virginia has had four instances this season where they had three game winning streaks end with a loss. But, like I said, I just can't see it. The Pac-12 is 8-1 and the Southeastern Conference is 7-2 so far, joining the Big 12 (8-3) and Big Ten (8-4) with three Sweet 16 teams each. They finally got that win over a team that was considered to be truly better than them, and now they have the "easiest" bracket left to make the Final Four.

John Calipari, Kentucky. Coach Cal can recruit and he can shout, too. The ability and confidence in knowing how to win close games at NCAA Tournament time is invaluable. SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell, a senior, is the tournament's leading remaining scorer as he's accounted for 53 points.

Kansas guard Josh Jackson celebrates a basket in the second half of a second-round game against Michigan State in the NCAA college basketball tournament on March 19, 2017.

No. 1 Gonzaga (-3.5) vs. Gonzaga posted a 41.8 field goal percentage - down from 51.8 the rest of the season.

At least half of the matchups could reasonably go either way. In the betting market, there could be some recency bias on the Bruins' side going into a game against Kentucky. Kentucky beat UCLA in the 1998 Sweet 16, and the Bruins defeated the Wildcats in 1975 to win the national championship. The Sweet 16 will become the Elite Eight, and by Sunday night the Final Four will be finalized. It's also the round's only rematch. The only thing between them and Phoenix is a SC team that was 2-5 in its seven games before the NCAA Tournament and either a Florida team that went 1-3 in its four games before the NCAA Tournament or a Wisconsin team that went 4-6 in its 10 games before the NCAA Tournament. The conference has gone 2-13 against the spread.

Suddenly, the conference that went into the tournament with no team seeded higher than No. 4 has three in regional semifinals, matching last year's total. The average is minus-4, which is the second-lowest of the last 10 years behind 2014.

  • Angelo Rivera