The NCAA Final Four 2024 Betting: Lock In With UConn & Purdue or Gamble on Upsets?

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness, reaches its climax with the Final Four. This year, the action unfolds on April 6th and 7th at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

College basketball fans will witness intriguing matchups as the powerhouse UConn Huskies, last year’s champions and a number one seed, take on the surprising Alabama Crimson Tide.

Meanwhile, the dominant Purdue Boilermakers, also a number one seed, face off against the Cinderella story of the tournament, the NC State Wolfpack, the lowest remaining seed.

This article will delve into the key strategies for navigating the Final Four betting landscape. We’ll analyze the recent form and predictions for each team, explore alternative bets beyond the moneyline, and provide valuable tips to help you make informed decisions for your wagers.

March Madness Final Four Betting Guide
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Betting Beyond the Moneyline: Exploring Your Options

While betting on favorites like UConn and Purdue holds appeal, the Final Four offers a variety of wagering options. Point spreads, game totals, and even individual player performances all present exciting possibilities for bettors.

Purdue vs. NC State: Can the Wolfpack Extend Their Cinderella Run?

*Odds are provided by FanDuel and are subject to change

The Boilermakers are making their first Final Four appearance since 1980. Led by the reigning Wooden Award winner, Zach Edey, Purdue boasts a dominant interior presence and an average winning margin of 21.3 points in this year’s tournament.

They enter the semifinals as a heavy favorite, with a 9.5-point spread advantage against the resurgent NC State Wolfpack. However, NC State, led by senior forward DJ Burns Jr., has displayed remarkable resilience, securing its first Final Four berth since 1983. Their grit and determination suggest they might cover the spread.

Our experts are leaning toward the over-the-point total for this matchup. Purdue’s high-powered offense, anchored by Edey, could clash with NC State’s surprising offensive capabilities, leading to a high-scoring affair. This matchup promises to be a battle between Purdue’s experience and NC State’s hunger, making it one to watch for both fans and bettors.

UConn vs. Alabama: Can the Crimson Tide Upset the Defending Champions?

*Odds are provided by FanDuel and are subject to change

In the other semifinal clash, the Alabama Crimson Tide faces a daunting task against the reigning champions, the UConn Huskies. UConn, seeking back-to-back national titles, boasts a formidable lineup led by sophomore center Donovan Clingan and senior guard Tristen Newton. The Huskies’ dominance in both offense and defense has earned them the status of heavy favorites, carrying a 12-point spread advantage against the Crimson Tide.

However, Alabama, with senior guard Mark Sears leading the charge, has shown resilience throughout the tournament, pulling off several upsets. This matchup presents an intriguing battle of strengths, with Alabama’s outside shooting potentially challenging UConn’s stifling defense.

Our experts recommend taking the over-the-point total and favoring UConn on the moneyline. While Alabama might not pull off another upset, they could keep the score close.

Final Four Tips for Informed Wagers

Betting on the Final Four can be a challenge, as every team is playing high-level basketball in order to reach that round of the tournament. But there are a few things that bettors can do to make sure that they have the best chance to win their wagers. 

These tips, in particular, can be helpful when placing wagers in the penultimate round of March Madness.

Look For Trends

Trends can be a way to discover a consistent pattern with a team over a period of time. Those patterns can help bettors find value based on the betting lines for a given Final Four game. 

Looking for and finding trends surrounding the four remaining teams in the tournament is a great way to develop an understanding of what each team has been doing and how that will translate to their performance in the Final Four.

For example, a team can reach the Final Four on the back of a streak of hot shooting. If a team is greatly outperforming their full-season stats on field goal attempts, they could be about to regress back to their full-season averages. 

Comparing tournament stats to full-season stats and evaluating any previous matchups between teams in the Final Four can be helpful for placing bets in this round.

Coaching Matters

When you get to the Final Four, it takes a lot more than talent to be successful. Coaching is a huge factor in these games as well. The teams have close to a full week to prepare for the Final Four games.

This gives the coaches time to develop a game plan specifically for their opponents. With access to game film and the time to evaluate it effectively, teams with great tacticians for coaches have an edge in this stage of the tourney.

When you look at the teams with the most wins in Final Four history, the impact of coaches is fully understandable. UCLA and Kentucky have been led to the Final Four by legendary coaches like John Wooden and Adolph Rupp. And present-day coaches like Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Wright have helped deliver their teams to the Final Four also.

Parlay Both Semifinal Games

An idea for bettors who want to be adventurous with the Final Four is to parlay the two games in this round. The Final Four consists of two games that take place right after one another. So a parlay bet is settled within one night, for the chance at a handsome payout that is resolved over just a few hours in one day.

Pick the NCAA Champion

For those who want a bigger payout than a single-game bet offers, a futures bet at the Final Four stage might be the best move. Each team in this round needs just two more victories to win a national championship. 

Because of that, the odds for each team to win the title are much shorter than they were at the beginning of March Madness. But if the team you select wins its two remaining games, it could earn you a nice payday nonetheless.

Look For Live Betting Options

Just because a Final Four game has tipped off doesn’t mean it can’t still be wagered on. In-play betting on Final Four games allows bettors to wager on games that are in progress. Their odds are updated constantly with everything that happens in the game taken into account. 

This type of betting is wildly popular and can present better wagering opportunities than pre-game bets in some cases.

The reason in-play betting is so popular is the fact that bettors can often get better odds than the odds that were available before the game. For bettors who are willing to constantly monitor the live betting odds, this could be a great way to earn a profit betting on the Final Four.

final four betting

Final Four Pedigree: Does Past Performance Predict Championship Glory?

When betting on the Final Four round of the NCAA Tournament, there are two games to wager on. The champions of the East, West, South, and Midwest regions take part in these games, already having won four games to reach this stage of the tournament. 

Because they’ve each already won four games, each team is playing some of its best basketball coming into this round. Making a Final Four bet is rather different than the typical March Madness betting as a whole. Here are some things to consider when looking to make picks.

Best Record in the Final Four:

In the history of the NCAA Tournament, there are just five teams that have won 10 Final Four games or more. UCLA leads all programs with 13 victories in this round.

Kentucky and North Carolina are just behind it, with 12 victories each in the Final Four. Duke has 11, and Kansas has 10. These are five of the biggest programs in the history of college basketball, with their track record in the biggest games earning them that reputation.

After the schools that have earned at least 10 wins in the Final Four, there are three more programs that have won in the Final Four five or more times. Michigan has picked up seven Final Four wins, Indiana has 6, while UConn and Ohio State have picked up five, respectively. 

Given how hard it is to win five times in a single-elimination tournament, it isn’t surprising that this is a limited club.

Most All-Time NCAA Championships:

The winningest program in the history of the NCAA Tournament is UCLA. They have won 11 championships, with John Wooden spearheading the program to 11 titles in 12 championship game appearances all-time. 

Kentucky’s eight championship game victories are good for second-best all-time, while North Carolina (6), Indiana (5), Duke (5) and UConn (5) are the only other schools to win five or more tournament titles.

Arena/Venue Can Affect Shooting:

When betting on the Final Four, it is important to remember just how impactful the venue for these games can be. The earlier rounds of the NCAA Tournament are held at venues designed for basketball games. 

When the Final Four rolls around, though, the games are held in massive venues that are often meant for football games. This is done to get as many fans as possible into the Final Four but can be important on the court.

The prevailing thought surrounding the venue change for the Final Four is that it makes life more difficult for jump shooters. In a bigger stadium, the distance surrounding the basket has been said to have an impact on the depth perception of shooters. 

And when a team has a bad day shooting the basketball in the Final Four, this argument resurfaces on a consistent basis.

But the impact of the larger venue on shooting percentages in the Final Four has been proven to be something of a myth. Shooting percentages do not change in any meaningful way in Final Four games at a large stadium. 

In fact, some of the most memorable shots in recent tournament history have been made from the outside at these stadium Final Fours.

Who Will Make the Final Four?

Whether you are filling out a bracket or putting in a futures bet on which team will make the Final Four, it can be difficult to predict which squads will get to the last weekend of the season. But looking at historical trends on the performances of teams and seeds in the tournament can help make these predictions a little easier.

Most Final Four Appearances of All-Time:

The team with the most Final Four appearances of all-time is North Carolina. They have been to the Final Four 21 times all-time. 

UCLA has 19 appearances, while Kentucky and Duke have both reached the Final Four 17 times.

There have been eight programs that have reached the Final Four 10 times or more. While this history is interesting, it also does not guarantee success in an individual year.

Final Four Appearances By Seed:

As you would expect, the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament reach the Final Four more than the lower seeds. One seed has reached the Final Four 57 times total. Two seeds have made it there 29 times, while three and four seeds have made it 17 and 13 times, respectively.

The highest seed to reach the Final Four has been the 11-seed. There have been four 11-seeds to reach the Final Four in the history of the NCAA Tournament. Those four teams have gone down in tournament lore for pulling upset after upset to get to that stage.

Cinderella Runs Usually End:

The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is usually dedicated to upsets and fantastic finishes. But the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament is where Cinderella stories usually end once and for all. 

There have only been six instances of teams seeded higher than fifth in their region to make it to the national championship game. And, yes, all four 11-seeds to make the Final Four have failed to advance to the title game.

Should You Pick the Final Four Now Or Wait?

The best time to bet on the Final Four depends on what a bettor’s strategy for betting is. If their goal is to try and place a bet before the lines move in an unfavorable direction, then betting early is the way to go. 

If their goal is to react to the line movements, then waiting and seeing what the markets do is the best way to handle things. As is the case with most facets of sports betting, there is no one size fits all answer.

Final 4 Betting FAQs

Betting on the Final Four can be complicated, especially for new bettors who are getting involved in the Final Four for the first time. Here, we answer some of the more commonly asked questions about betting on the Final Four to make things as easy as possible for bettors new and experienced.

How to find the best Final Four odds?

Finding the best Final Four odds requires bettors to look at a number of sportsbooks to find the best possible prices. Line shopping is something that every sports bettor should do, as it can help bettors be more profitable in the long run than accepting the odds at just one sportsbook at all times.

Can I make Final Four odds this early?

Final Four odds are typically available only once the NCAA Tournament field is released. But some sportsbooks may have futures odds pertaining to the Final Four before the field is set. As long as a bettor feels that there is value in their selection, it is never a bad idea to get involved early.

Which Team has the most Final Four appearances?

Eight teams have made it to the Final Four 10 or more times. North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Louisville are the most prolific programs in college basketball history in that regard. And there do not appear to be any programs that are going to overtake them soon.

How to Bet on the Final Four?

Final 4 betting is an easy process. Bettors only need to visit a regulated online sportsbook, choose what bets they want to make, and select the amount they want to put on those bets. While there is some research involved in making Final Four picks, the process is very straightforward.

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