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Elite 8 predictions, expert picks, best bets for NCAA tournament

The 2023 NCAA Tournament has been tremendous thrilling so far. Will the last-second fireworks preserve exploding? The development continued within the Sweet 16, with UCLA falling to Gonzaga in spectacular vogue. I nonetheless cannot imagine the Zags gained! 

We’re betting on each single sport not directly, form or type all through all of March Madness. You learn that proper: Every. Single. Game. Whether it is in opposition to the unfold (ATS), on the moneyline or selecting an Over/Under — we’ve got you lined. 

Let’s press onward towards groups slicing down the nets with our Elite Eight picks ((*8*)).

RELATED: NCAA men’s tournament bracket


No. 9 FAU vs. No. 3 Kansas State

There is a slight disconnect between what the superior metrics say (FAU by 1) and the road (Kansas State -2). The final time we noticed one thing like that, the numbers gained, as Tennessee beat Duke

FAU does not have an important participant, simply a whole lot of good ones. Giancarlo Rosado got here off the bench to guide them with 15 factors in a late win over Memphis; Johnell Davis went for 29 factors within the win over FDU and Michael Forrest scored 11 factors in opposition to Tennessee after not scoring within the first two video games. 

Kansas State is on a charmed run, getting overwhelmed on the defensive glass in each sport whereas nonetheless prevailing. Additionally, they’ve had little bench participation all season (325th within the nation), however bought 26 factors from that unit within the extra time win over Michigan State

I like Kansas State right here, however each informal higher goes to again them due to Markquis Nowell’s heroics. As lengthy as Nowell’s ankle is OK, the best guess right here is to again him in what might be an up-tempo sport. 

Pick: Markquis Nowell Over 17.5 points

Pick: Markquis Nowell Over 8.5 assists

No. 4 UConn vs. No. 3 Gonzaga

Nobody has regarded pretty much as good because the Huskies by means of three video games, with victories by 24, 15 and 23. However, none of these groups had an offense that ranked within the Top 40 efficiency-wise. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has the best offense within the nation. 

Yes, UConn is 15-0 in non-Big East video games, however the two best offenses within the convention gave the Huskies suits this season. Xavier (seventh in offensive effectivity) went 2-0 in opposition to UConn; Marquette (sixth in offense) went 2-1. 

The matchup to observe is the unstoppable Drew Timme (85 factors in three video games) vs 6-foot-9, 245 pound Adama Sanogo. Timme is the Kevin McHale of faculty basketball — his low submit strikes are unimaginable — and Sanogo could have issues. Of course, Timme should work tougher defensively, and if the Zags ship a double at Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins (10-21 on threes within the tournament) will get open seems to be. 

The poor Gonzaga free throw capturing terrifies me —  259th within the nation — they usually had been simply 9-of-17 in opposition to UCLA. Still, when the world goes a method (UConn), I’ll go the opposite. 

Pick: Gonzaga (+2 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 2 points (or win outright)


No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 5 San Diego State

I’m pot-committed to Creighton, as I had futures on the Bluejays from April that I wrote about on Fox Sports, they usually’re 3-0 ATS within the tournament with a median margin of victory of 9.6. 

The concern right here is that this can be a large step-up at school for Creighton as they haven’t confronted a high 80 protection within the tournament. Now they go in opposition to the rugged Aztecs, who rank fourth in defensive effectivity. 

SDSU took a punch from Alabama – trailing 48-39 with 11:30 left – after which peeled off a 12-0 run they wouldn’t relinquish. Alabama shot 3-for-21 on 3’s (14.3%) as SDSU’s perimeter protection is the third best within the nation defending the lengthy ball. Furman shot 6-for-26 from deep (23.1%); Charleston 5-for-24 (20.8%). Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman nailed 5 by himself in opposition to Princeton. 

Creighton cut up with UConn, an elite 3-point protection, and each instances the sport went Under. This sport terrifies me for Creighton. SDSU is deeper – three video games, three completely different main scorers – and it’s a rematch of final 12 months’s first-round sport, when SDSU was in management, Creighton shot 2-for-14 (14.3%) from deep, however the Aztecs collapsed late due to missed free throws and Creighton gained in extra time 72-69.

I bear in mind, as a result of I had the Aztecs. Seven-footer Ryan Kalkbrenner had 16 factors and 10 assists, and fouled out SDSU middle Nathan Mensah. Bluejays guard Ryan Nembhard missed the sport with a wrist damage. He struggled in opposition to Princeton on Friday after a 30-point effort in opposition to Baylor. Lean to Creighton.

PICK: Under 132.5 points (at time of pick) scored by both teams combined at FOX Bet

No. 5 Miami vs. No. 2 Texas

The greatest subplot right here is the foot damage suffered by Texas huge man Dylan Disu. After scoring 28 factors and gathering 10 rebounds in a win over Penn State, he harm his foot in follow and needed to depart the Xavier sport after two minutes. 

His lack of ability means extra minutes for 23-year-old Christian Bishop, who was greater than up for the duty, delivering 18 factors and 9 rebounds off the bench. He began for Creighton two years in the past in March. His battle inside with Miami’s Norchad Omier (31 factors, 44 rebounds in three video games) might be enjoyable. 

Last 12 months within the Elite Eight, Miami led eventual champ Kansas by six at halftime earlier than getting run off the courtroom within the second half (47-15). They shot 3-for-21 from deep (14.3%). 

Texas could have the sting in followers as they performed in Kansas City, Mo., two weeks in the past within the Big 12 tourney and smoked Kansas by 20 and beat TCU and Oklahoma State. Tough to guess in opposition to Miami’s unimaginable guard play as they led an 89-point effort in opposition to Houston – no person scored 80 in opposition to the Cougars this season – and picked up 20 offensive rebounds in opposition to Indiana. Two unbelievable performances, or just the start? With the esteemed Jim Larranaga on the sidelines, I give a robust lean to Miami first half. But it is powerful to not again this potent Texas offense. 

Pick: Texas (-4 at FOX Bet) to win by 4 or more points

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst, and he additionally writes in regards to the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on each present on the community. In 2017, McIntyre started producing playing content material on the NFL, faculty soccer and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a playing podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the web site The Big Lead, which he bought in 2010.

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