The last eight teams will meet this weekend with a chance to punch their ticket to Houston for the Final Four. We get our first two Elite Eight matchups on Saturday night beginning at 6:09 pm ET.
Filling out a bracket is the main attraction for most sports fans this time of year, but the fun doesn't have to stop there. It's also the perfect opportunity to place some bets on the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
And don't forget to make your picks for the Xfinity Mobile Pick'Em & Roll. All you have to do is answer questions about the remaining round's outcomes. The more you get right, the more cash you could win. Get your picks in each round for your chance at a share of $10,000!
Join the contest now for your chance to win!
Which bets should draw our attention this weekend? Let's find out.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Florida Atlantic (9) vs. Kansas State (3)
Florida Atlantic +1.5 (-106)
Florida Atlantic ML (+106)
If you've followed our March Madness coverage at all, chances are you've heard that the Kansas State Wildcats were one of the most overrated teams entering the tournament. And yet, here they are in the Elite Eight, and they're slight favorites over the lower-seeded Florida Atlantic Owls.
While I sided with Kansas State over Michigan State on Thursday -- a game where they were arguably undervalued -- the data suggests that we should turn our backs on the Wildcats this time around.
Despite Florida Atlantic's modest seeding, they actually rate as the marginally better team according to both KenPom and our nERD rankings. FAU ranks 17th (KenPom) and 20th (nERD) nationally, while Kansas State is 21st and 22nd, respectively. Although BartTorvik disagrees and places the Wildcats over the Owls, it's by just two spots.
Given how evenly matched these squads are, it probably isn't surprising that Florida Atlantic cracked our underrated teams list as just a 9 seed.
But what might be most intriguing about Florida Atlantic is that outside of their poor seeding, they fit numberFire's statistical qualifications of past NCAA champions -- something that Kansas State can't say.
Put it all together, and picking the underdog Owls looks like the play.
Our model sees value in both FAU +1.5 (59.3% probability) and the FAU moneyline (56.3%), and it views them as the best wagers of the day. Considering the slim spread, opting for the moneyline might be the way to go, as the +106 pricing implies just 48.5% win odds.
Connecticut (4) vs. Gonzaga (3)
Connecticut -2.5 (-105)
It's tougher to find betting value in the second matchup, but the Connecticut Huskies have been bulldozing the competition in this tournament and should be able to cover this small spread.
Following UConn's dominant win over Arkansas on Thursday, KenPom and BartTorvik have bumped them up to third overall in their rankings, and it sure looks like the Huskies could go all the way. They've won their three tournament games by margins of 24, 15, and 23 points.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are no slouches, of course, and check in at sixth (KenPom) and eighth (BartTorvik). It's been a bumpier road to get this far, though, following nail-biters against TCU and UCLA.
While both the Zags and Huskies are top-three in adjusted offense, per BartTorvik, there is a sizable divide between the two defensively. Whereas the Huskies are 14th in adjusted defense, the Bulldogs are 80th -- one of the weakest marks among the teams left in the tournament. Most notably, Gonzaga is just 234th in effective field goal percentage defense.
While Connecticut hits all the historical criteria of an eventual champion, per our metrics, Gonzaga's mediocre defense is why they don't make the shortlist.
Overall, this spread is probably about right between two of the country's top teams, but UConn rates as the better all-around team and hits the statistical benchmarks of a potential champion. Plus, they could be peaking at just the right time. Our model gives the Huskies a 56.0% chance of advancing.