Welcome to the Final Four of the 2023 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament! There's not a single No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed in sight as one of the most surprising March Madness tournaments ever — upsets galore.
If those upsets have busted your brackets as effectively as they've busted ours, you're probably looking for a new opportunity to get in on the action. Here are some ways to do it.
No. 9 FAU vs. No. 5 San Diego State — 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS
No. 5 Miami vs. No. 4 UConn — 8:49 p.m. ET on CBS
Let's break down the most common bets you can make on the men's Final Four.
Think you know who will win one of these two Final Four matchups? Great, that's step one to placing your moneyline bet — AKA, a bet on which team will win! Teams favored to win are indicated with a minus sign, while underdogs are indicated with a plus sign.
Bets on the favorite are considered less risky, considering that the team you're betting to win is already perceived to be the likely winner. Since the bets are considered less risky, you make less profit when they cash. The number that comes after the minus sign tells us how much money we'd have to wager in order to win $100 in profit if the bet cashed. Less risk, less reward!
Conversely, bets on the underdog to win are considered riskier (makes sense, since they're seen as likely to lose!) — so, these wagers will make more money if they hit. More risk, more reward! The number that comes after the plus sign tells us how much profit we'd make if we were to wager $100 on that team to win and the bet cashed.
Here's a look at the moneyline odds for the men's Final Four games:
One of the most common types of bets in college basketball is the point total, sometimes called the over/under — AKA, a wager on how many points the two teams will combine for in a game.
Over/under for San Diego State vs. FAU: 131.5 points. A bet on the under would cash if San Diego State and FAU combined for 130 or fewer points.
Over/under for Miami vs. UConn: 149.5 points. A bet on the under would cash if Miami and UConn combined for 149 or fewer points, while a bet on the over would cash if UConn combined for 150 or more points.
This is called a spread bet! Here's how that works:
The team favored to win is indicated with a minus sign (-). The number afterward projects by how many points they'll win. Favorites can cover the spread if they win by more than they were projected.
The underdog is indicated with a plus sign (+). The number afterward projects by how many points they'll lose. Underdogs can cover the spread In two ways — either by winning outright or by losing by fewer than the number of points indicated in a bet.
Basically, this is the sportsbooks way of evening the playing field between two unevenly matched teams. These bets are more or less coinflips — neither risky, nor safe.
Here's a look at the point spread for each team playing in the men's Final Four:
San Diego State -2.5 — A bet on the Aztecs to cover the spread at -2.5 would win if they beat the Owls by 3 or more points.
FAU +2.5 — A bet on the Owls to cover the spread at +2.5 would win if one of two things happen — either they win the game over San Diego State outright or they lose by 2 or fewer points... boy howdy, this is projected to be a close one, folks!
Miami +5.5 — A bet on Miami to cover the spread at +5.5 would win if one of two things happen — either they win the game over UConn or they lose by five or fewer points.
UConn -5.5 — A bet on UConn to cover the spread at -5.5 would win if the Huskies beat the Hurricanes by six or more points.
These types of bets are less common in college sports, but some types of bets you might see available in select markets include bets on the number of points, rebounds or assists a player might have. These are called player props.
If you're not psyched about betting on the outcome of a single game, you can bet on the outcome of the entire tournament!
Continuing to use the idea that minus odds mean more likely outcomes, we can see here that UConn is the favorite to win the tournament at -130!
Think you know exactly who will make it to the championship game and who will win it? You can bet on that too.
Hint: the odds for each of these individual Final Four matchups indicate that San Diego State and UConn are favored to advance to the championship game. As noted above, UConn is the current favorite to win the tournament. Therefore, if our odds were projecting accurately (which, to be fair, they haven't so far in this crazy March Madness!), a UConn win over San Diego State is considered the most likely outcome (and least risky bet!).