This year's bracket-busting Final Four isn't exactly what anyone expected, but that shouldn't make it any less fun and compelling from a betting perspective. The tournament resumes on Saturday night at 6:09 pm ET.
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. San Diego State (5)
San Diego State -2.5 (-115)
You would be hard-pressed to find many brackets that had either of these teams making it this far, let alone picking both correctly, but these squads rate better than most would expect.
As noted in some prior betting guides, the San Diego State Aztecs and Florida Atlantic Owls were among just 12 teams that fit numberFire's historical criteria of past NCAA champions in terms of qualifying nERD, offensive rating, and defensive rating. Only their seeding held them back from making the short list of title contenders, as 21 of the last 22 seeds have been a 3 seed or better.
Florida Atlantic also cracked our top 10 most underrated teams entering the tournament.
So, despite this unexpected matchup, maybe we shouldn't be that surprised that these teams are still alive in the final weekend.
But only one will advance to the title game, and my money is on the Aztecs to do so.
If we check out KenPom, BartTorvik, and our own nERD power rankings, San Diego State is the better team across the board. The Aztecs are 14th, 9th, and 14th, respectively, across the three systems, whereas the Owls are 17th, 24th, and 20th.
San Diego State's biggest strength is its elite defense, as they rank third overall in adjusted defensive efficiency, per BartTorvik. While they're not as dominant in adjusted offense (60th), let's not forget that they were good enough to knock off Alabama, the top overall seed. Even their Elite Eight win over Creighton is notable, as the Bluejays were another underseeded team that hit our historical benchmarks of prior champions.
FAU is perhaps the more balanced team, cracking the top 40 in both adjusted offense and adjusted defense, but that means they aren't dominant in either area, either. While their tournament wins over Tennessee and Kansas State jump off the page, the Volunteers were one of the coldest teams entering the big dance, while the Wildcats were among our most overrated teams.
This should be a close matchup, but San Diego State is the superior team, and this modest spread shouldn't scare us off.
Miami (5) vs. Connecticut (4)
Connecticut -5.5 (-110)
The Connecticut Huskies have looked absolutely unstoppable in this tournament, winning their four games by 24, 15, 23, and 28 points, respectively.
And it's not like they've faced a bunch of cupcakes, knocking off quality opponents in Saint Mary's, Arkansas, and Gonzaga. Their 28-point win over the Zags was particularly impressive, as the Bulldogs were a top-10 team across all our aforementioned ranking systems.
UConn's dominance pushed them up the boards on KenPom and BartTorvik, and they're now ranked as the top overall team in the country.
On the other hand, you can make the case that the Miami Hurricanes are the most surprising team left standing. They sit 22nd (KenPom), 26th (BartTorvik), and 34th (nERD), making them the lowest-ranked team left in the field in every case.
If that wasn't enough, Miami was also our second-most overrated team in the bracket, and by our numbers, they were actually closer to the equivalent of an 11 seed.
Connecticut ranks 3rd in adjusted offense and 11th in adjusted defense, per BartTorvik, so it's easy to see why they've been such a buzzsaw over the last two weeks. While Miami's offense is certainly no joke -- they rank 6th -- the Hurricanes have easily the worst defense of the four remaining squads (109th).
Miami deserves plenty of credit for beating a pair of title contenders in Houston and Texas. But it's hard to see their magical run continuing against yet another powerhouse -- particularly one that seems to be peaking at the perfect time.