March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets | 2022 Elite 8 NCAA Tournament Betting Picks
After an exciting Sweet 16, we move on to the Elite 8. With Gonzaga and Arizona knocked out of the tournament, the National Championship is wide open.
Below, I go over my best bets for each of the four Elite 8 games.
Please note that all March Madness odds are current as of Friday, March 25, at 2:30 p.m. ET.
March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets: Villanova vs Houston
The Sweet 16 matchup between Houston and Arizona was one of the most exciting games that I have ever seen. The No. 5-seeded Cougars — as slim underdogs — dominated the No. 1-seeded Wildcats from start to finish. Zona was one of the best college basketball teams in the nation this year, and Houston picked them apart.
Houston has been underrated all season based on their weak strength of schedule, but after impressive victories against Illinois and Arizona, they are now rightfully the favorite to win the tournament.
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Villanova, like Houston, was underrated this season, mostly due to their seven regular-season losses. Sure, they were able to beat all three of their opponents in the tournament quite easily, but they were also a bit lucky as none of those teams were in the top 25.
Stylistically, both Nova and H-Town are mirror images of each other. Both squads are slow-tempo teams with strong offenses and defenses.
Houston is the better team in my opinion, not just based on their dominating victories against Illinois and Arizona, but because they rank in the top 10 in both adjusted defensive and offensive efficiency.
It will be a close game, but Houston should win by two possessions in one of our CBB bet of the day picks.
Houston vs Villanova Pick: Houston 63, Villanova 58
Best Bet: Houston -2 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
If Houston is favored by a possession or less, they are the best bet in their Elite 8 matchup. Villanova has impressed me this season, but Houston is the best remaining team in the tournament. Yes, even better than Kansas.
- Read more on our Villanova vs Houston prediction.
I’m sure Villanova will make me sweat my Houston bet, but I am confident that the Cougars will hold them off. I might even bet Houston up to -2.5.
Houston: Cover -2 Spread vs Villanova
Bet $20, Payout $38
March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets: Duke vs Arkansas
I’ve been telling people all season that Arkansas and Duke were two of the most overrated teams. Now I have egg on my face as both teams face each other in the Elite 8.
The question I must ask myself is this: Has anything happened in the tournament to make me change my mind about either team?
Arkansas beat Gonzaga in one of the most shocking tournament upsets that I have ever seen (outside of UMBC beating Virginia and St. Peters beating Kentucky). This is nothing to sneeze at as I believe Gonzaga was the best team in the country this season.
The Razorbacks also beat Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn during the regular season. Despite those wins, Arkansas is only rated as 17th-best team in the country according to KenPom.
- Read more on our Duke vs Arkansas prediction.
Duke is Duke, so I am always suspicious that their value is inflated because they are a popular team. But the Blue Devils played in an ACC Conference that was the weakest out of all the power conferences this season, and they had a few embarrassing losses.
What changed my opinion about Duke was their impressive win against Texas Tech. TTU was one of the best teams in the country this year, and they led Duke for most of the game. The Red Raiders also had the best adjusted defensive efficiency this season, yet Duke laid 78 points on them and won by five points.
I am not sure how Duke will do in the Final Four, but I am very confident that they will be playing in it.
Duke vs Arkansas Pick: Duke 74, Arkansas 65
Best Bet: Duke -3.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Wager: 1.5 Units
Duke should beat Arkansas, but can they cover? I believe they’ll win by at least two possessions because of the strengths and styles of each team.
Duke has the second-best adjusted offensive efficiency in the country. Arkansas is an up-tempo team with one of the best defenses in college basketball.
What I can see happening is Duke jumping out to an early lead, then trying to slow down the tempo. Arkansas will then try to push the tempo to try and regain the lead.
More possessions means a higher likelihood that the Blue Devils can score enough points to win big. That is why I not only believe that Duke will win, but they will cover as well.
In fact, I’d bet Duke’s line up to -5.5.
Duke: Covers -3.5 Spread vs Arkansas
Bet $20, Payout $38
Want more March Madness Elite 8 Bet Tips?
March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets: Kansas vs Miami — NEW
The Big 12 by far was the toughest conference in college basketball this season, and Kansas won the conference. This was no small feat as they had to get through Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas.
Miami, on the other hand, played in the ACC which in my opinion was the weakest of the power conferences this season, even though KenPom rates the Pac-12 as weaker. The Hurricanes beat Duke and North Carolina during the regular season but still had a 23-10 regular-season record with a weak schedule.
Miami’s fortunes changed in the tournament after it beat a strong Auburn team by 18 points, but Kansas will be the Canes’ toughest opponent yet. The Jayhawks are currently the betting favorite to win the tournament.
- Read our Kansas vs Miami prediction.
KU has the sixth-best adjusted offensive efficiency in the country, which is an important distinction as that metric considers their tough schedule.
Miami, on the other hand, has a strong offense — but only the 114th-best adjusted defensive efficiency in the country out of 358 teams.
As a basketball fan, I would like nothing more than Miami beating Kansas, as I am tired of the same teams winning. The problem is that a strong, up-tempo Kansas team is likely to blow the socks off Miami.
In what should be the least exciting of all the Elite 8 games, Kansas should easily beat Miami.
Kansas vs Miami Pick: Kansas 83, Miami 72
Best Bet: Kansas -6 (-110) at BetRivers … and I would bet up to -7
Wager: 1 Unit
The NCAA tournament is a different animal, but how Kansas could be favored by only six points against a borderline tournament team is beyond me.
The Jayhawks beat Creighton by seven points, and nearly covered the spread against Providence before getting complacent and nearly blowing a double-digit lead.
Miami has had a good season, but they are punching above their weight class. I would bet the Jayhawks up to seven points.
Kansas: Cover -6 Spread vs Miami
Bet $20, Payout $38
March Madness Elite 8 Best Bets: North Carolina vs Saint Peter’s — NEW
As a New Jersey resident, I can’t bet on games involving New Jersey state colleges. Even though I can buy liquor, I can’t pump my own gas or bet on Saint Peter’s in my own state.
Luckily, I will be in New York on Saturday night, and when I am there, I will be betting on this game.
Both North Carolina and Saint Peter’s have surprised me and the entire world this March Madness.
If UNC were a different college basketball program with their resume this year, then they may not have made the tournament. Even though they have a top-25 offense, their only noteworthy wins this year were against Duke and Virginia Tech.
- Read our UNC vs Saint Peter’s prediction.
Saint Peter’s is only in the tournament because they got an automatic bid because they won their conference. The Peacocks played in the MAAC which is the 16th strongest conference out of 33 conferences and only had a 19-11 conference record. They weren’t even the best regular-season team in their conference as Iona had a better record.
Due to the Peacocks’ weak resume, they were slotted as a 15-seed. Despite the high seed, the Peacocks beat top-10 Kentucky and Purdue teams in nail-biters. They also beat a formidable Murray State team by 10 points.
Like North Carolina, Saint Peter’s has gotten lucky in the tournament this year. I don’t quite have the guts to go across the river to bet on the Peacocks to win, but I’m going to bet on them to at least keep the game close.
North Carolina vs Saint Peter’s Pick: North Carolina 74, Saint Peter’s 70
Best Bet: Saint Peter’s +8.5 (-110) at FanDuel … I would bet up to +7.5
Wager: 1 Unit
North Carolina has had a great tournament run, but nine points or more is a lot to win by. Saint Peter’s, in my opinion, likely will slow down the tempo to try and keep the Tar Heels lead to a two-possession lead or less.
It will be a sweat, but I believe that the Peacocks should at least keep the game close and maybe even win.
Saint Peter's: Cover +8.5 Spread vs UNC
Bet $20, Payout $38