College Basketball Tournament Regional Finals Preview: Odds, Trends for Monday Games

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Which teams will get to cut down the nets tonight? Four teams will battle for the first two Final Four bids on Monday, as the Elite Eight tips off from Indianapolis.

No. 2 Houston and No. 12 Oregon State will get the action started at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT on CBS, followed by a nightcap between No. 1 Baylor and No. 3 Arkansas at 9:57 p.m. ET/6:57 p.m. PT on CBS.

“Elite Eight is typically more straight bets,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “Parlays dominate the early rounds because there’s so many teams to choose from. The handle will be strong, and the straight bets will get beefed up quite a bit this round.”

In the early showdown, Oregon State is the first No. 12 seed to advance to the Elite Eight since Missouri in 2002. On the other side, Houston gets its fourth straight double digit-seeded opponent to start off March Madness, the first time that’s happened in NCAA tournament history.

Houston (-360 moneyline) opened as an 8-point favorite at William Hill over Oregon State (+300 ML). The line quickly shifted to Houston -7.5 before coming back up to -8 today. The total has dropped a point, falling from 130.5 to 129.5.

“I think we’ll need Houston at the end of the day, Oregon State will probably be a public dog,” Bogdanovich said. “With Oregon State, how many games in a row are they going to be getting this many points? The Pac-12 is rolling, I think all three Pac-12 teams have a chance at being public dogs this round.”

Not only is Oregon State capturing 62% of the total number of tickets and 66% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. Houston, but the underdog is also receiving 58% of the total number of tickets and 62% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets in this contest.

Two notable wagers have come on in the Beavers. One New Jersey bettor put $12,500 on Oregon State +8.5 (-125) for a total potential payout of $22,500, while another New Jersey bettor placed $10,000 on Oregon State ML +320 for a total potential payout of $42,000.

Even with the total decreasing, the over still has the advantage with 64% of the total number of tickets and 61% of the total dollars wagered.

In the second Elite Eight clash, both Baylor and Arkansas will look to snap their Final Four droughts. Arkansas last made the national semifinal in 1995, whereas Baylor hasn’t reached a Final Four since 1950. They’ve had much different paths leading up to this affair—Baylor has won all three of its NCAA tournament games by double digits and Arkansas has won its last two by a combined four points.

William Hill bettors backing Baylor caused one of the more notable Sweet 16 spread shifts against Villanova, and a similar pattern has unfolded this time around as well.

“We opened 6, and it’s now up to 7.5,” Bogdanovich said. “Sharp money is on Baylor. Parlays are heavy on Baylor. Looks like we’re definitely going to need Arkansas. This will be a physical war for sure. If it was earlier in the tournament, the total probably would have been higher. But now, they guard every possession like it’s life or death, usually the bigger the game means the lower the total.”

Baylor is -360 chalk on the moneyline, with Arkansas +300 to pull off the outright upset. The total has seen noticeable movement, as it currently sits at 148 after first being displayed at 150.

The majority of William Hill bettors believe the Bears will roar their way to the Final Four. Baylor is drawing 72% of the total number of tickets and 78% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. Arkansas, as well as 78% of the total number of tickets and 94% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets. That’s highlighted by a Nevada bettor staking $15,600 on Baylor ML -280 for a total potential payout of $21,171.40.

There’s alignment on the total too, with the under seizing 57% of the total number of tickets and 67% of the total dollars wagered.

Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for tonight’s Elite Eight games below.

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