One of college basketball’s old rivalries will be rekindled this weekend when the Duke Blue Devils face the North Carolina Tar Heels in Final Four action as 4-point favourites at 888Sport. The two schools have battled each other on the hardware for over 100 years but will be meeting in the NCAA Tournament for the first time when they clash on Saturday night. In Saturday’s other Final Four matchup, the Kansas Jayhawks are perched as 4.5-point chalk against the Villanova Wildcats, who sport lag as 6.00 longshots to claim their third national championship in six editions of March Madness.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the odds and trends as the Final Four tips off. Sports bettors looking to get in on college hoops action for the first time can check out our guide to the best online sportsbook reviews to learn all they need to know about NBA betting in Canada.
|March Madness National Championship Odds|
|Duke Blue Devils||2.50||2.55|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||5.50||5.80|
Coach K Poised to Go Out on Top
After posting losses in two of their final four regular-season home games, including a 94-81 loss to UNC, it looked that Mike Krzyzewski’s lengthy career as the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils would end on a forgettable note. However, this team has risen to the occasion during Coach K’s final trip to the Big Dance, racking up four decisive victories on their way to their first Final Four appearance since 2016.
Saturday will be the 100th Duke-UNC meeting in the Coach K era. Things have been CLOSE 👀
Wins- Duke: 50 | UNC: 49
Points- Duke: 7,784 | UNC: 7,763
Don’t miss it Saturday at 8:49pm ET on TBS pic.twitter.com/IRPkCypbHM
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 31, 2022
With three of the four top seeds already bounced from the tournament, the Blue Devils have emerged as favourites on the national championship odds, narrowly outpacing the Kansas Jayhawks as a 2.50 bet at Betway. However, before they can think about cutting down the nets, the Blue Devils must first get past the archrival North Carolina Tar Heels in Saturday night’s betting matchup at Caesars Superdome.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 6, 2022
Last month’s loss to UNC marked the Blue Devils’ third defeat in four meetings with the Tar Heels. Duke has also been a massive betting disappointment in recent dates with North Carolina, covering just twice in their past 10 clashes, and just once in their past six while favoured by four or more points. Things get no easier against a Tar Heels squad that has leveraged stingy defence to book their ticket to the Final Four for the third time in six editions of this tournament. UNC is coming off a crushing 69-49 win over the Cinderella Saint Peter’s Peacocks in Elite Eight action and has limited opponents to just 66 points per game so far at March Madness.
Armando Bacot makes history 💪 pic.twitter.com/vYpM19GvXz
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) March 27, 2022
The Tar Heels have also received an all-around team effort on both sides of the ball, led by Armando Bacot. The junior big man is coming off a spectacular 20-point, 22-rebound performance in last weekend’s win over the Peacocks, and has now recorded double-doubles in 10 of his past 11 outings. Despite their steady play and recent success against Duke, the Tar Heels enter the weekend sitting well off the pace as a 5.80 bet to win the national championship at Bet99.
Recent stingy play, and a strong recent track record at the Final Four add significant value to Villanova’s odds of claiming a third national championship in six years
Don’t Sleep on the Wildcats
Earlier on Saturday, the Villanova Wildcats aim to extend their undefeated streak in Final Four action to three games when they battle the Kansas Jayhawks. Winners of nine straight, the Wildcats have also covered in each of their four tournament outings to date. That marks an impressive turnaround after covering in just five of their previous 16 games.
Villanova giving up 44 points in the Elite 8! Big East teams bringing that DEFENSE in the tournament! Providence opponents scored an average of 56 … even UCONN gave up a total combined score of 70 the entire tournament.
— Darrell DC Carter (@llerraDC) March 27, 2022
Impressive runs at March Madness are nothing new for the Wildcats. Neither are their opponents at this year’s Final Four. Indeed, the Tar Heels manhandled Kansas in a 64-59 Final Four victory before knocking off the tar Heels by a 77-74 score to claim the 2016 national championship. Villanova followed that up with a decisive 95-79 win when they faced Kansas in the Final Four two years later, on the road to their second national title in three years.
THE JAYHAWKS ARE READY FOR NOLA 🙌
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 29, 2022
The Wildcats would be unwise to lean on past successes in this weekend’s date with the Jayhawks, who have played shutdown defence during a sensational nine-game win streak. Kansas has surrendered just 62.2 points per game during its 9-0 run, fueling their climb to short 2.75 second favourites on the national championship odds. However, it is difficult to overlook the value that the Wildcats offer at the sportsbook in light of their recent success in the Final Four and their resurgent performance at this tournament.
Best Bets: Villanova Wildcats (6.00) at Betway
- 888Sport100% up to $250 on your first depositBet NowNew customers only | €10 min deposit | The bonus will be applied once the full deposit amount has been wagered at least once with cumulative odds of 1.5 or greater. Wagering must be cleared within 60 days.
- Sports Interaction100% Bonus up to C$500Bet NowNew customers only. Min $20 deposit. Max $500 CAD bonus. Rollover is 5x deposit + bonus.
- Bet99100% Deposit Bonus up to $600Bet NowMinimum deposit of $20
- Betsafe100% up to C$1000 welcome bonusBet NowNew customers only|Min. deposit $20|Bonus amount is 100% of the deposit up to $1000|Wager the qualifying deposit and bonus amount 5x within 30 days to convert bonus winnings into real money.