13.5 C
New York
Thursday, May 19, 2022

NCAA Women’s Basketball: Elite Eight Best Bets

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

editor’s note: Don’t just bet on your favorite sports. LIVE YOUR GOOD LIFE! Get started today at PointsBet with two risk-free bets of up to $2,000. Bet now!

After an exciting Sweet 16, only eight teams remain in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, but the madness of March is still going strong. Sunday’s Elite Eight games begin at 7:00 p.m. I’m looking at that game as my best bet on Sunday’s slate, while Monday’s marquee matchup between UConn and NC State also offers some value.

South Carolina vs. Creighton

Creighton will have a hard time stopping National Player of the Year favorite Aliyah Boston, who posted a commanding 28 points and 22 boards in a Sweet 16 win over North Carolina to extend her SEC-record double-double streak to 27. consecutive games.

Creighton allowed opponents to shoot 61.5% from less than four feet from the rim this year, which is 2.6% higher than the NCAA average and puts the Bluejays in the 24th percentile. That mark has been even worse in the tournament despite Creighton’s deep run, with opponents shooting 62.9% from near the rim.

Protecting the rim will be crucial to this matchup if Creighton wants to shock the world and defeat South Carolina. The Bluejays allowed the most opponent points in the paint and field goal attempts in the paint of any remaining team in the tournament, so I expect Boston to put up big numbers once again.

Another worrying indicator is that Creighton rarely gets to the lane, which is a necessity when playing the Gamecocks’ intimidating defense. South Carolina led the country in block rate and held opponents under 10 free throw attempts per game so far in the tournament, trailing only the Michigan defense.

Creighton is the only team to advance past the first round while forcing an opponent turnover rate of 10% or less. It’s hard to beat South Carolina without getting easy buckets of steals, as the Gamecocks have a dominant midcourt defense and will get plenty of extra offensive possessions by grabbing rebounds. South Carolina leads all teams in the tournament with a 50.3% offensive rebound rate, making the Gamecocks the team only rebounding more than half of his own missed shots.

South Carolina has the best defensive rating in the country, both during the full season and in the tournament. With the Gamecocks possessing one of the best 3-point defenses in college basketball, Creighton may struggle to score after more than 40% of the team’s points came from beyond the arc in the final two games of the tournament.

Creighton had a hot streak as Cinderella’s double-digit seed, but I think the clock is ticking at midnight on his chances tonight. The swarming Gamecocks defense will send the Bluejays home and I’m backing the favorites to cover a -13.5 differential.

EDGE: South Carolina -13.5 (2 Units)

Publisher’s note: Now all our premium tools for Fantasy, DFS and Betting are included in one subscription for one low price. Customers can subscribe to NBC Sports EDGE+ monthly ($9.99) or save 20% on an annual subscription ($95.88). And don’t forget to use the promo code SAVE10 to get a 10% discount. Click here to know more!

North Carolina State vs. UConn

It’s not often you see a seeded team as an underdog to another team in their region, but that will be the case when NC State takes on UConn with a Final Four spot on the line. According to ESPN who chose who list of bracket selections, UConn is the people’s choice to reach the Final Four outside of the Bridgeport region, in part due to the partial home-field advantage offered by the Connecticut location.

I’m less concerned about home court advantage, especially since, as a standout program in college basketball, UConn fans would show up at any neutral site to support the Huskies in full force. Instead, I am more focused on the battle that will take place on the field between two of the best teams in the country.

UConn has struggled to stop opponents from beyond the arc so far in the tournament, allowing a three-point percentage that ranks in the 3rd percentile among all teams in the tournament. That could be a problem against an NC State team that drained 35.5% of shots from beyond the arc to start March Madness.

These are two relatively even teams, with each side ranked in the top 10% of the country in both offensive and defensive rating this year. In games like this, where it’s likely to go to the end, I often give the team the lead with a free-throw lead. The Huskies shot below 70% from the free throw line this season, a below-average mark. Wolfpack knocked down over 75% of giveaways this year and averaged more fouls committed per game than UConn.

No team featured a higher offensive rating entering the Elite Eight than NC State’s 123.2 points per 100 possessions, and the Wolfpack also set the pace in second-chance points per game.

NC State has already shown the ability to face adversity and emerge victorious in a close game. After a slow start to the Sweet 16, the Wolfpack came back and finished the game on a 15-4 run to defeat a tough Notre Dame team by three.

My projections have NC State favored at -1.5, which means there’s a lot of value in the underdogs at +3.5. I’m taking the points and hoping the Wolfpack can take down the mighty Huskies and end UConn’s streak of 13 consecutive Final Four appearances.

EDGE: NC State +3.5 (2 Units)

PointsBet is our official sports betting partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking on our links. CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, WV and VA. only. 21+. Terms and conditions apply. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Source link

- Advertisement -

New Articles