Saturday night in Houston at NRG Stadium, the Connecticut Huskies will face the Miami Hurricanes in the second Final Four game. Tip-off will be approximately 8:45 p.m. ET, or about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opening game.
Traditional college hoops fans will have a big program to root for, the Huskies, who are seeking a fourth national championship this century. But those who get excited by the underdog can cheer for the Hurricanes, champions of the ACC, but a first-timer in the Final Four.
With only three games remaining in March Madness, not all the best bets are on the moneyline. Pay attention to the NCAAB player props and parlay markets from your favorite sports betting apps.
It’s tempting to climb on the bandwagon for UConn, the blueblood program with the championship pedigree. It’s tempting to think the Canes have no chance to get by the big bad blue bullies from the Big East. It's extremely tempting to give the 5.5 points and bet on the Huskies to get the title game.
That’s because it’s a smart move. UConn is better, deeper, and more well-tested than Miami. But, while we think the smart move is to give away the points and back the Huskies, we do think Miami will be a spirited opponent.
Here are five prop and parlay bets for the national semifinal game between Miami and UConn on Saturday. The NCAAB Championship odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Nijel Pack (Miami) To Score 15 Points (+104)
Through four games in March Madness, Pack is averaging 18.5 points. Against No. 1 Houston, the sophomore guard went for 26 when he made 7-of-10 from three-point range.
What do they say about jump shooters? When they feel it, they feel it. Watch out for Pack if he gets hot from deep, he could scorch the UConn backcourt from almost anywhere on the floor.
A winning $100 bet with FanDuel on Pack to score 20 or more, would pay $204, including your stake.
Nijel Pack (Miami) To Score First 3-Pointer of Game (+370)
How can we know which player will sink the first triple in this game? We can’t, but it’s fun to lay a little out on that prop bet. A winning bet of $10 on Pack to make the game’s first three-pointer would win you $47, including the original wager.
Wooga Poplar (Miami) To Score Over 10.5 Points (+102)
Talk about confidence: in his last three games, Poplar has gone from six points to 11 to 16 against Texas last weekend in the Elite Eight. That’s why we like the scrappy Hurricanes guard to go OVEr the 10.5 points against UConn, which would trigger a win from FanDuel on +102 odds.
Poplar has gradually siphoned minutes from the other guards on the Canes roster. He’s gone over 30 minutes in the last two games, which is the first time he’s done that in his college career.
Connecticut to Win AND Jordan Hawkins (UConn) to Score 25+ (+650)
Of the primary UConn scoring options, we like Hawkins to succeed against the trapping defensive strategy that Miami likes to employ. Canes head coach Jim Larranaga likes what he calls a “scramble defense” that sends opponents into an anxious state of having to make dangerous passes to avoid traps.
Well, Hawkins has a great move to either side of his dribble, and he can make a three (37% from 3-point range this season).
A modest $10 bet on Hawkins to score 25 in a Huskies win would pay out $65 plus your stake.
Same Game Parlay (+532)
The odds on this four-leg parlay for the Connecticut/Miami national semifinal game is +532. That means a winning $100 bet will win you $532.
We expect nerves to be tight in the early going of this Final Four matchup. That means a low score at the half. We expect something in the 33-30 range. Go UNDER for the total in the first half of the UConn vs. Miami game.
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