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Miami vs. UConn 2023 NCAAB Tournament Final Four Odds & Picks

Wooga Poplar Miami Hurricanes March Madness
Wooga Poplar 55 of the Miami Hurricanes reacts as he dunks the ball against the Texas Longhorns in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament at T Mobile Center on March 26 2023 Jamie SquireGetty ImagesAFP

It’s still the underdog and the Under for our Final Four March Madness picks – at least for Saturday’s Miami-UConn matchup.

NCAAB Pick: Miami +5.5 (-106) at FanDuel


Miami Hurricanes vs. Connecticut Huskies

Saturday, April 01, 2023 – 08:49 PM EDT at NRG Stadium


The UConn Huskies look unstoppable. They destroyed the Gonzaga Bulldogs 82-54 in last Saturday’s Elite Eight battle, cashing in as 2.5-point favorites and cashing in the Under for two of our three Drew Timme player props – he still grabbed 10 rebounds (Over 7.5). Can’t win ‘em all.

In theory, the Under should still be the generic choice for your college basketball picks when it comes to this Saturday’s Final Four games. But the past two rounds of March Madness weren’t following the script; after the Under went 55-28 to start the postseason, the Over is 12-8 since, NIT and other games included. 

That shouldn’t scare us from taking the Under for this Saturday’s Final Four matchup between No. 4 UConn and the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes. But adjusting our bet size down would be prudent, and you might want to do the same for our other old-school pick: the underdogs from Miami, who are priced at +5.5 (-106) at FanDuel as we go to press.

Can Miami Beat UConn? 

It won’t be easy. But the Hurricanes (29-7 SU, 22-14 ATS, Under 18-17-1) have already rattled off three straight upsets in the Midwest Region, over No. 4 Indiana (-1.5), No. 1 Houston (-8) and No. 2 Texas (-3.5). All three went Over, by the way.

Miami did catch a bit of a break against Texas. The Longhorns were without forward Dylan Disu, which helped us sweep all three of our NCAAB player props for that contest. It also helped the ‘Canes win 88-81 after a titanic second-half comeback.

But even if we discount that victory, when Miami beat Houston 89-75 in the Sweet Sixteen, they beat the top-ranked team on Ken Pomeroy’s Division I efficiency charts. And that spot now belongs to UConn (29-8 SU, 25-11-1 ATS, Over 20-17). 

History has been known to repeat itself. 

Why Not Bet the Moneyline? 

Maybe if UConn were smaller favorites. You’ll sometimes find more value with a moneyline wager when the spread isn’t more than, say, three points, but that’s not the case for this particular game. The best price on the moneyline at press time is Miami +205 at Caesars Sportsbook

Translating those NCAAB odds to equivalent point spreads is a bit of an art form, but if you’ve got the ‘Canes at +5.5, you’d need something closer to +225 before switching to the ML – and that’s not even considering the -106 juice FanDuel has attached to this spread.

A moneyline of +205 aligns more closely to a spread of +5, and that half-point makes a world of difference. It takes what may have been a slight lean on Miami and gives them enough potential profit margin for a standard single-unit wager, at least in our estimation. 

What Do the Projections Say?

That depends on which ones you look at. The computer picks at OddsTrader project UConn to win 81-79; they’re almost certainly on the high side for both teams when it comes to points, but their projections do help us identify value against the spread. 

Looking at the Pomeroy charts, he’s got Miami ranked No. 22 overall in efficiency, but with a considerable gap of 10.72 points per 100 possessions behind the Huskies. Put them down for 68 possessions apiece given their respective tempos, and you get close to UConn -7.25 for a quick-and-dirty projection. 

That’s a bit on the high side compared to others out there. Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today has UConn winning by anywhere between 4-7 points using his various metrics, with a combined total of 150.72 points scored – yet another reason to be leery of the Under this Saturday. 

Nate Silver and his crew at FiveThirtyEight are even more optimistic about Miami’s chances. They have the Huskies winning 64% of the time, which translates to a “fair” moneyline (no hold percentage) of –178. Getting the Hurricanes at +205 can’t be too bad; getting them at +5.5 (-106) is even better.

The Picks

The thing is, there’s no hurry if you want to put Miami in your March Madness picks. There’s a good chance you’ll get a better price closer to Saturday’s tip-off when the betting public is more likely to come in and pound the favorites from UConn.

They’re also more likely to bet the Over, giving you a better price on the Under if you’re patient. 

The early consensus at OddsTrader is 75% on the Over, so that’s probably sharp bettors locking in their price as usual; Miami ATS has 51% consensus at press time, which once again makes that our preferred pick for Saturday. 

Bet accordingly.

NCAAB Pick: Under 149.5 (-109) at BetRivers


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