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Betting the Spread this Weekend?

When the Final Four gets underway at the Georgia Dome this Saturday, all eyes will be on the hardwood. Most will lap-up the action eagerly waiting to see who advances to Monday’s national championship game.

Will it be business as usual for Louisville or will Wichita State turn the page to the next chapter in its Cinderella story? Will Syracuse’s trap defense halt Michigan like it did Indiana or will the Wolverines follow in the footsteps of the Fab Five?

Whilst there’s plenty riding on the final outcome of the game – including brackets the world over – there’s more to this weekend’s games than just the straight up action.

If you’re looking to bet the spread this weekend, BettingSports.com has some valuable information for you to consider first.

(9) Wichita State vs. (1) Louisville

Saturday, 6:09 PM ET

Wichita State isn't getting much love against the spread.

Wichita State isn’t getting much love against the spread.

Saturday’s opening game will be the more popular of the two as neutrals the world over will tune in hoping to see Wichita State (30-8) take another step towards the unthinkable as it tries to beat top-ranked Louisville (33-5).

In terms of spread betting, this one opened at 9.5 in favor of Louisville. That number has already risen to 11 at Bovada, and figures to raise some more before tip-off on Saturday, with some sites reporting that 60 percent of bettors are backing the Cardinals to cover the spread.

While the Cardinals have been running over opposition this season, are they good to cover here?

On the surface of things, you’d have to say yes. Louisville (23-14-1 ATS) has failed to cover the spread just once during (Big East and NCAA) tournament play, and the side has covered in 10 of the last 11 games. That makes them invincible, right? Not quite.

Wichita State (20-14-1 ATS) has covered in each of its four NCAA tournament games this season. Those numbers add to a very good overall record against the spread, one that’s not far off Louisville’s own record.

The teams are close in a number of other ways too.

Louisville is 8-3-0 ATS when playing on a neutral court this season. Compare that to Wichita State, which went 7-3-0 ATS on neutral courts. That’s too close to call.

Now consider this: Louisville has gone 22-13-1 ATS (.611) when playing as the favorite. Wichita State is 5-2-0 ATS (.714) when playing as an underdog. Could the Shockers be at an advantage here? Maybe, especially when you consider the school is 4-0-0 ATS when playing as the underdog during the MVC and NCAA tournaments.

Verdict: Wichita State deserves a lot more consideration against the spread than it’s getting. Louisville may take this game, but covering the spread – especially as it rises – is going to be a tough task.

(4) Syracuse vs. (4) Michigan

Saturday, 8:49 PM ET

Michigan opened as the favorite over Syracuse but the spread is slowly slipping away.

Michigan opened as the favorite over Syracuse but the spread is slowly slipping away.

Saturday’s second game is fixing to be a tight, hard-fought affair. Bookmakers expect this to be a lot closer than the earlier contest between Louisville and Wichita State, with the spread opening at 2.5 points. That number has dropped to two with Bovada, as around 57 percent of bettors back the Orange.

Parity will be the name of the game when Syracuse (30-9) hooks up with Michigan (30-7). These two No. 4 seeds have more than a little in common.

Syracuse (19-15-1 ATS) has fared marginally better that Michigan (19-16-1 ATS) against the spread, but the difference is simply the one extra valid game the Wolverines have played. Separating the two sides here is nigh on impossible.

The Wolverines have gone 4-0-0 ATS during the NVAA tournament while the Orange is 3-1-0 ATS, a slight advantage to the Midwest team.

Syracuse is 4-3-0 ATS (.571) when playing as an underdog. Meanwhile, Michigan is 16-14-1 ATS (.516) when entering the game as a favorite. That gives the Orange a slight advantage, again making it difficult to separate the two.

The main advantage could come down to the Georgia Dome. Michigan has gone 8-1-0 ATS (.889) on neutral floors this season, while Syracuse has only managed to record a 6-4-0 ATS (.600) tally. That’s about the only area of the spread where there is any separation.

Verdict: This one’s far too close to call so the best piece of advice here is to back the outright winner against the spread also. This one could be down to 1.5 by the time the teams take to the hardwood on Saturday, which leaves barely any room for maneuver.

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