Final Four Preview: First Time for New York Sports Betting

Final Four Preview: First Time for New York Sports Betting
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

New York sports betting mobile operators and bettors are gearing up for Saturday’s Final Four and Monday’s national championship as March Madness 2022 takes its final bow at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

If it’s anything like the first four days of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, everyone involved will be pleased with the first Final Four in which mobile sports wagering is legal in the Empire State.

In the first semifinal, second-seeded Villanova (30-7) will face top-seeded Kansas (32-6) at 6:09 p.m. Eastern. In the nightcap, second-seeded Duke (32-6) will face its Tobacco Road rival, eighth-seeded North Carolina (28-9), at approximately 8:49 p.m. Both games will be on TBS.

New York bettors wagered more than $427.97 million for the week of March 14-20 with the state’s eight online operators, an increase of more than $21.53 million from the week earlier. Those figures were released Monday by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

The state’s weekly total handle was the highest since the week ending on Super Bowl Sunday and the fifth-highest in the state since mobile sports betting was launched on Jan. 8.

The action for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament began in full force from March 17-20. For updates on the best New York sports betting promo codes, keep checking EmpireStakes.com.

Odds, prediction for Villanova-Kansas

These matchups have a New York feel.

In the first semifinal, Villanova head coach Jay Wright is looking for his third national title in the past six years. Wright came to the school on the suburban Main Line outside Philadelphia in 2001, following a stint at Hofstra University in Hempstead from 1994-2001.

For Kansas, assistant coach Norm Roberts was head coach at St. John’s University in Jamaica from 2004-09 and is a 1987 graduate of Queens College, where he is still the school’s third all-time leading scorer.

PointsBet New York currently has Kansas as a 4-point and -200 moneyline favorite against Villanova. The Wildcats are a +165 moneyline underdog with over/under total points of 133.

EmpireStakes.com Prediction: The loss of junior guard Justin Moore to a torn Achilles tendon in the regional final to Houston last Saturday hurts big time for the Wildcats. Figure on the revamped starting five (Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon and now Caleb Daniels) playing ironmen minutes. Even with that, Wright figures to need get major efforts off the bench from some combination of juniors Chris Arcidiacono and Bryan Antoine and freshman Trey Patterson.

Kansas has played some of its best basketball of the season over the last four games of this tournament and has been led throughout it by super senior guard Remy Martin. Ochai Ajbaji, a high-flying 6-5 guard, had an All-American season.

Bill Self has been the Kansas coach since 2003. His 2008 Jayhawks team won the national championship.

Jay Wright will find a way to get to Monday. His kids are tough, know their roles and will wear you down. For March Madness betting, figure on the Wildcats pulling through. Villanova 65, Kansas 61.

Odds, prediction for North Carolina-Duke

In the second semifinal, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will go up against his arch nemesis North Carolina in the first-ever meeting between the schools in the NCAA Tournament.

Krzyzewski has been at Duke since March 18, 1980, after spending five years building the program at his alma mater, Army, in West Point. The rest is history, as he embarks on his final or second to last game as Duke’s head coach.

First-year head coach Hubert Davis is no stranger to New Yorkers as he was the 20th overall pick by the New York Knicks in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft. He played with the Knicks until 1996.

This will be the rubber game between the two ACC schools as both have won road games by double digits during the regular season.

Duke has its usual assortment of McDonald’s All-Americans, led by freshman Paolo Banchero and sophomore big man Mark Williams.

North Carolina will counter with big man Armando Bacot, a ferocious rebounder, and 6-9 Brady Manek, who has great range from beyond the 3-point arc. Sophomore Caleb Love has been explosive during the tournament.

Duke is a 4.5-point and -191 moneyline favorite over North Carolina at PointsBet currently. The Tar Heels are +160 moneyline underdogs with an over/under total points at 151.

EmpireStakes.com Prediction: Duke wanted this rematch in the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn after getting blown out in the second half at Duke in Coach K’s final regular season home game. They didn’t get it and the Blue Devils lost to Virginia Tech in the ACC final. The stakes are even higher here and Duke gets it done. Coach K won’t be denied. Duke 87, North Carolina 81.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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