Elite 8 Betting Lines

Elite 8 Betting Lines

The mantra heading into the 2014 NCAA Tournament was unpredictability. In a season where several teams traded turns looking like the best in the country, it’s only fitting that the Elite 8 is comprised of a trio of favorites, last year’s runners-up, a pair of surprises, the nation’s most underrated team, and a freshman-laden roster playing at their highest level. Here’s a breakdown of the weekend’s action.

(11) DAYTON VS (1) FLORIDA -10

It’s hardly a stretch to assume very few pundits and fans had the Flyers advancing this far. Sure, they avoided Kansas, but close wins over Ohio State and Syracuse shouldn’t be easily dismissed. Dayton has excellent size, adequate athleticism, and plenty of depth to give most opponents fits. That said, Florida is unlike any other opponent. They’ve won 29 in a row led by an experienced, disciplined starting five that plays suffocating defense. Scottie Wilbekin in the leader, but the Gators don’t care about stats or style points. They are on a mission to cut down the nets on April 7.


The Badgers have a history of coming up small in March. The last time they made it to a regional final was 2005. Bo Ryan’s bunch aren’t the quickest or most gifted athletes, but they are fundamentally sound and tenacious. No team works harder than Wisconsin and this year’s team has pulled of three straight impressive performances. Against Oregon, they proved they can trade punches with a potent offense; versus Baylor, they proved they can out-muscle one of the country’s most physical front lines. The Wildcats’ brand of smothering defense is second to only Florida. Nick Johnson, Aaron Gordon, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have been unstoppable thus far. Finding a way to limit Frank Kaminsky in the paint will be critical for ‘Zona. This could come down to the final possession.


This has the makings of a classic heavyweight fight. UConn’s guard tandem of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright have been deadly in three tourney tilts. Toss in lanky forward DeAndre Daniels, who racked 27 points and 10 rebounds against Iowa State, and you have a Huskie team peaking at the right time. Tom Izzo’s Spartans can play any style of basketball they want. However, they are at their best when they defend the perimeter and crash the glass. Adriean Payne is one of the tournament’s true stars; at 6’10” 245 lbs, he can shoot, score, rebound, distribute, and defend (NBA scouts take note). Keith Appling and Gary Harris must lock down Nappier and Boatright or things could get ugly for Michigan State.


This one will be fun to watch. The young ‘Cats are finally starting to play together. Freshmen Julius Randle, James Young, and the Harrison twins always had blue chip talent, but their basketball acumen is now high enough to beat anyone. They overcame a sloppy start to knock off hated rivals and defending champion Louisville by staying patient and hitting 22-27 free throw attempts. Michigan is fueled by three-point shooting; they’ve gone 25-48 from beyond the arc in their last two wins and will need to maintain their hot shooting to take down the bigger Wildcats. Senior Jordan Morgan’s defense on Randle will be a matchup to monitor.