This might not have been the championship matchup that those who bet online were expecting when the 68-team field was announced for the men’s Division I tournament. But with the unpredictable nature of the 2022-23 season, it somehow seems fitting that No. 4 and 5 seeds are the last two teams standing.
San Diego State, winners of nine games in a row, take on a red-hot UConn team at 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday night for the national title at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game will be televised on CBS.
The teams took much different paths to the title tilt with UConn winning every game by double digits and San Diego State needing last-second magic to survive and advance in each in the last two games.
When looking at the March Madness expert picks, UConn is a 7½-point favorite against San Diego State. That is far from the only number that will be drawing action as there are plenty of proposition bets to keep an eye on.
The March Madness odds listed UConn at +2500 in the odds to win the national title with San Diego State coming in as the favorite to win the national title. San Diego State was priced at +10000 in the championship odds
The UConn duo of Adama Sanogo (+125) and Jordan Hawkins (+275) are the front-runners to be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player but for those making March Madness picks, there are some other choices to consider.
NCAA: National Title Game Props
- Jordan Hawkins (UConn) 2½ 3-pointers O/U -110/-120
- San Diego State First to 20 Points +160
- Adama Sanogo (UConn) 15½ points O/U -115/-115
- San Diego State to stay within 7-9 points of UConn +550
Dialing Long Distance
Hawkins has done his best Ray Allen impersonation at times during the NCAA tournament. The sophomore has been especially effective in the second half of games as the Huskies have pulled away to win each game by more than 10 points.
San Diego State is one of the best teams in the country when it comes to defending against 3-pointers. However, in the semifinals against Florida Atlantic, the Owls found room to operate from the perimeter.
Nicholas Boyd was 4 of 7 from 3-point range and Alijah Martin 3 of 7.
Hawkins is 19 of 38 on 3-pointers so far in the NCAA tournament so it seems reasonable to ask him to have at least three 3-pointers against the Aztecs.
Hawk feeling good 🔥#Made4March | @golive23 pic.twitter.com/H8Sn5ai9w5
— UConn Men's Basketball (@UConnMBB) April 2, 2023
Pick: Jordan Hawkins over 2½ made 3-pointers (-110)
Off And Running
For those who enjoy taking a risk, why not go with San Diego State to be the first team to 20 points?
Sure, the Furman game is the only one in the NCAA tournament when the Aztecs got to 20 points before their opponents. However, in the other games, it was up for grabs when it came to the first team to hit the 20-point mark.
When looking at the other side, in UConn’s tournament opener, Iona would have reached 20 points before the heavily favored Huskies if Berrick JeanLouis made both of his foul shots with 7:55 left to play in the first half. The Gaels missed their next two shots before a Joey Calceterra 3-pointer gave UConn the 20-19 lead.
The next time out, Saint Mary’s got to 20 points first before the Huskies began to assume control of the game.
In each of UConn’s last two games, the contest was tied at 19.
Andre Jackson put UConn ahead 21-19 in the Gonzaga matchup while Calcaterra made a layup to give the Huskies the 21-19 lead on Miami.
With the college basketball odds listing a price of +160 for the Aztecs to be the first to 20 points, it could be worth taking that chance that UConn gets off to a slow start.
Pick: San Diego State is the first team to 20 points (+160)
Sanogo Going To Work
After scoring a combined total of 18 points in the previous two games, Sanogo wasted little time carving up the Miami defense.
Twice left unguarded, Sanogo made the Hurricanes plan. The junior was 0 for 4 from 3-point range in his previous seven games before hitting a pair of 3-pointers to give the Huskies control of the game early.
Nathan Mensah figures to draw the assignment on Sanogo and it seems fair to assume while San Diego State isn’t going to make denying Sanogo perimeter looks the top priority on defense, the Aztecs figure to at least challenge Sanogo when he has the ball near the top of the key.
The prop bet of 155 points does seem a bit on a low side, even if the Aztecs keep Sanogo from connecting from 3-point range.
Pick: Adama Sanogo to go over 15½ points (-115)
Aztecs Plan on Hanging Around
UConn is on a major roll right now, winning all five NCAA tournament games by more than 10 points.
It is not always pretty, but the average margin of the last five games lost by San Diego State is seven points. The Aztecs find a way to stick around in games.
The Aztecs found a way to win each of the last two games by one point. If that happens again, they will be celebrating in San Diego with the Aztecs winning the national title. However, it would be pretty good action to go with San Diego State to stay within 7-9 points of the favored Huskies. That would pay out at +550 according to the sportsbook.
Pick: San Diego’s margin of defeat between 7-9 points (+550)