UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
NCAA Tournament Picks Elite 8 2017
2017 NCAA Tournament Odds Elite 8
To the Elite Eight we go with eight teams, four games, and still plenty of story lines and upset potential. Powerhouse programs like North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas are still in the running while the Cinderella stories of South Carolina and Xavier keep going.
Somewhere in between are dark horses contenders in Oregon, Gonzaga, and Florida. Gritty defense, aggressive offense, or star power. Each team has relied on aspects of their game to carry them through. And for most, it was about performing under pressure. It all comes down to matchups and whichever team can impose their style of play and outlast the other, both physically and mentally. We give a brief preview at the remaining four games.
No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 11 Xavier (West)
There’s no stopping this Cinderella story. The eleventh-seeded Musketeers upset Arizona as 3-1 underdogs. Again, they used their pressure offense and defense to break the Wildcats where they lost poise and made mistakes while the Musketeers who made the right plays when it mattered most. The top seeded Bulldogs came from their own nail biter against the 4th-seeded Mountaineers with both defenses being on point. The ‘Zags made the big plays down the stretch. Gonzaga is the likely winner but it's tough to bet against Xavier who has Trevor Bluiett playing like a man possessed. It'll be a close gruelling contest with the 'Zags pulling away late. Still, if Xavier's number goes higher, a small shot is not that crazy.XAVIER +330
No. 1 Kansas vs No. 3 Oregon (Midwest)
The first-seeded Jayhawks have an air of 2008, the last time Kansas won it all. Led by Frank Mason III who reminds many of Sherron Collins from that championship team, the Jayhawks have looked like the best team in the tournament destroying their last three opponents by an average of 30 points. The Ducks meanwhile just got by lively underdogs in Michigan on the backs of Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey. For the Ducks to have a chance against Kansas, they'll have to do the heavy lifting again while they hope to beat Kansas's talented forwards off the paint and glass. Mason and the Jayhawks will set the tempo early and control an Oregon team that can score in spurts. Jayhawks have this.KANSAS -305
No. 4 Florida vs No. 7 South Carolina (East)
Fresh off one of the tournament's best games, the Florida Gators take on another underdog team in the seventh-seeded Gamecocks. Ke'Vaughn Allen had the game of his life dropping 35 points including the buzzer-beating clincher against Wisconsin. He'll have to do an encore if he and the Gators hope to edge the Gamecocks, who are playing their best basketball and peaking at the right time. Their high pressure defense took out Duke and Baylor holding them to measly shooting performances. Their SEC rivals don't have the same offensive talent as their last two opponents and have been known to go on offensive droughts. This is the type of matchup that favours South Carolina and at underdog odds they are a great bet.SOUTH CAROLINA +140
No. 1 North Carolina vs No. 2 Kentucky (South)
No surprises here. The top-two seeds of the region square off in a rematch of last December's game that the UK won. It may be a repeat performance here as John Calipari's Wildcats have the edge on defense although UNC also holds a slight advantage on the front court where their pair of Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II can fill it up in a hurry like they did against Butler in the previous round. Kentucky also boasts a pair of stars, NBA prospects Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox can also take over a game while the rest of the team play lockdown defense. In a 50-50 matchup, go with the team with better defense, a previous win, and the plus money.KENTUCKY +125
It's like picking a winner but it isn't. Betting the money line can be mistaken as a simple game of this when it's more of picking which odds are better. Bets should be made based on value more than confidence. Odds calculators can be found online that translate odds to winning probability. Based on matchups, previous performances, history, statistical analysis, and your own gut, weigh if the team's winning chances are accurate and make a bet based on which team's chances you feel should be higher.
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