March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2023

The Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball season is down to seven games.

Four will be contested over the next two days, which have colloquially become known as the Elite 8. The four champions of each region will be crowned, and the Final Four field will be set after long last.

There is just one of the top eight seeds left, and zero No. 1’s for the first time ever. With all that parity, anything is possible in the regional finals, but here’s our best directions for best bets for the Elite 8.

All bets are current as of 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 25, and are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook except where otherwise referenced.

Pat Pickens’ March Madness Betting Record: 25-16 (+14.1 units)

March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets

Note that CBB odds used for these Elite 8 betting picks are current as of Saturday, March 25, at midnight ET.

The Elite 8 is typically when Cinderellas run out of gas, just as 2022 darling Saint Peter’s did against North Carolina a year ago. However, there are tales of mid-majors, notably George Mason and Loyola (Chicago), who defied the odds even further to reach the tournament’s third weekend.

Before reading about Pat’s CBB Round 2 Best Bets, track our top March Madness odds for every game:

Zero No. 1 seeds will make the Final Four, and without that as a guideline, be sure to consider using Ken Pomeroy’s rankings to help you assess March Madness odds.

UConn vs Gonzaga: Over 153.5 Points (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

Nerves will undoubtedly be a factor for all the remaining teams with a Final Four berth on the line, and this is an extremely big number to reach. But Gonzaga has the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation, and UConn is scoring more than 78 points per game too.

Consider the fact UCLA went more than six minutes without scoring in the second half, and 11-plus minutes without a field goal in Gonzaga’s three-point win in the Sweet 16, and there was still 155 points in the game.

The big men will be the focus in the Huskies-Bulldogs game, with Naismith Player of the Year finalist Drew Timme of Gonzaga and Connecticut’s Adama Sanogo, a first-team All-Big East performer each leading his team in scoring. The winner of the duel will probably win the game.

These are two of the top three favorites to win the national championship, and the way each is playing, it has all the makings of a classic contest. I’m not sure which big, or which team, will win, but I am willing to bet on a lot of points in this CBB bet of the day.

Kansas State -2 vs Florida Atlantic (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 Unit

It’s not that the Owls can’t defy the odds and reach the Final Four for the first time in school history. They are amid their second double-digit winning streak of the season — the first was 20 straight — and have shown themselves capable of winning close games, with a 9-1 record in games decided by five points or less.

Read more NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 betting tips:

But FAU has not really been tested in the NCAA Tournament but will against the Wildcats. K-State is talented and battle-tested, and has an exceptional inside-outside threat in Keyontae Johnson and Most Outstanding Player dark horse Markquis Nowell, who had 20 points, 19 assists and five steals in the Wildcats’ 98-93 OT win over Michigan State.

A two-point spread is easy to lay, especially given the prospect for end-of-game free throws. I mentioned above that Cinderellas typically fall short of the Final Four, and the ninth-seeded Owls’ run feels like it will fall a game shy of the Final Four.

Miami +4 (-110) vs Texas • DraftKings Sportsbook

Wager: 1 Unit

The second-seeded Longhorns may look like the favorite and have a geographic advantage by playing Kansas City. But the Hurricanes must remember the Elite 8 from a year ago, where they led eventual national champion Kansas by six at halftime before being outscored 47-15 in the second half of their 76-50 loss.

The Hurricanes have flown under the radar all season as the ACC co-champs — they’ve been an underdog in each of their first three tournament games — but shocked the nation in its 14-point win over Houston, who was the No. 1 team in the country almost the whole season, in the Sweet 16.

Miami, led by ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong are a top-25 offensive team, and Texas has endured both the Big 12 and a tumultuous season to reach the Elite 8. I think the Hurricanes can go 2 for 2 in the regionals against Texas — I did bet them to win the region earlier in the tournament — and laying four points is a lot, especially this time of the year.


Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times,, Bleacher Report,, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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