2017 NCAA Tournament Free Picks – Elite 8 (Sunday)
The Final Four will be set after today’s games. They begin early with South Florida taking on Florida at 2 pm EST and then Kentucky versus North Carolina at 5 pm. Check back here for more picks culminating with the National Title game.
August 2019 Safest Betting Sites
South Carolina (7) versus Florida (4) -3 Total: 134.5
South Carolina takes on Florida with a trip to the Final Four on the line in the East region.
The Gamecocks have been one of the most impressive teams so far, easily handling their opponents so far. They had no issues with Troy in the Round of 64 and took care of No. 2 seed, Duke in the Round of 32. Last time they took the floor, they took care of Baylor 70-50 to advance to the Elite 8.
The Gators road has a little tougher. They breeze through the early round games, only to get taken to overtime against Wisconsin in the Elite 8. Florida needed a three-pointer at the buzzer in OT to defeat the Badgers 84-83.
Florida opened briefly at -3.5 but has moved to -3 at just about every sportsbook online as of this writing. Wagers have been relatively even between the two sides, with a slight edge to South Carolina.
South Carolina’s defense has been outstanding in this tournament, but it may come to an end tonight. Florida doesn’t need to score from their guard spots (although, that’s preferred). They can be much more balanced on the offensive side.
The Gamecocks are playing their best basketball of the year right now, but I am still not sure that is enough. I am going with a Florida squad that is deeper when it comes to both depth and talent.
Pick: Florida -3
Kentucky (2) versus North Carolina (1) -2.5 Total: 159.5
Kentucky and North Carolina face off for a trip to the Final Four, making the South the only region that the No. 2 and No. 1 seeds will face on the region’s final game.
The Tar Heels have looked strong in the tournament so far. They built a huge lead in the first half against Butler to advance to the Elite, holding on to their large first half lead and winning 92-80. Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II had huge games for North Carolina, combining for 50 points.
Kentucky hasn’t blown out many teams in this tournament, but they did handle a tough UCLA team to advance to the Elite by a score of 86-75. De’Aaron Fox led the Wildcats with a career-high 39 points in the victory.
North Carolina opened as a -2.5 favorite. So far, the odds haven’t moved off this number.
I like the Wildcats in this one, and I expect the odds to move closer to -2, rather than go the other direction, so I would grab them now. Kentucky has played stingy defense throughout the tournament and North Carolina while talented offensively, is not a powerhouse on that side of the ball.
Pick: Kentucky +2.5