‘Bear Bets’: The Group Chat’s thoughts on men’s Final Four

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Bear Bets is back!

FOX Sports’ digital gambling show returned this week to discuss the Final Four of the men’s college basketball tournament. 

The Group Chat also reconvened, as Chris “The Bear” Fallica was joined by Sam Panayotovich and Will Hill to discuss the women’s NCAA Tournament and which bets they like the most this week.

Let’s get right into their bets!

UConn (-11.5) is a massive favorite in its matchup against Alabama, as it looks to win a second straight title. Do you think UConn continues its domination in the Final Four? What other plays do you like in this matchup?

Hill: Maybe take Alabama

“I think you’re getting a couple extra points, maybe a point, 1.5 points extra with Bama. They’re probably going to shoot what, 40 3s? Maybe they can hit 18, 19 of them to hang in the game. I think if you’re a Bama, and you’re serious about winning the game, [take a big early lead].

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this ticked up to 12.5 right before game time because you’ll find a 13 somewhere just because of the book saying, ‘No more.'”

The Bear: Over 160.5

“I know it’s ridiculously high, but I might be inclined to play that simply because if the thought is, the only way Bama can stay in this game is if they knocked down a bunch of 3s, you’re going to see them continuously shoot 3s. UConn is going to get to the line a ton because of all the offensive rebounds they’re probably going to get.”

Sammy P: Over 160.5

“This is the lowest Alabama point total in like six weeks. We’ve seen these totals going back to February — 174, 176.5, 175, 175.5, and this is one of the better Over teams in the country. Alabama is 6-1 in the Over in its last seven games. This total is pretty low for a Bama game, and I understand because UConn is better defensively than almost every team in this bracket, but if Alabama can dictate the pace, they’re going to score 75 points.”

In the other Final Four matchup, North Carolina State (+9.5) is looking to continue its Cinderella run against Zach Edey and Purdue. Do you think NC State can pull off the upset? What other plays do you like?

The Bear: Lean Purdue -9.5

“DJ Burns has been the most affable, liked player in the tournament. It’s been a great story from a Cinderella. But wow, you’re up against the guy who people can’t really figure out how to officiate. It’s kinda hard to imagine this game going without Zach Edey getting Burns in foul trouble.”

Hill: Lean Purdue -9.5

“For the reasons Bear mentioned, 23% from 3 for the opponents against NC State is just ridiculous. … Sometimes the ball goes in. Sometimes it doesn’t. It just hasn’t for the teams against NC State, for whatever reason. Keeping Burns out of foul trouble will be difficult. If you have to take him off the court, what do you have?”

Sammy P: Under 146.5

“I know a very sharp group that came in right on post at 147 Under. They hit Under 147 and 146.5. Most of the books are at 146, 145.5. That early move on the Under is completely correlated with how good Purdue has been defensively. You really can’t get much around the rim. And then, late in games, Purdue’s not shooting 3s. They’re shooting 2s because they’re at the foul line.”

Is there anyone you would bet on to win Most Outstanding Player of the tournament? 

Sammy P: Only Donovan Clingan (+200) or Tristen Newton (+500)

“It could be another player but I mean, if you were gonna make like a pie chart, it’s probably 50% Clingan, 20% Newton and everyone else is in that last 30%. The thing about Alabama is they’re awful at guarding the rim. They actually guard the 3 OK, but they’re just barbecue chicken, like Shaq said, underneath.”

If the 1-seeds win on Saturday, what do you think the spread will be for a Purdue-UConn matchup on Monday?

The Bear: UConn favored by around six points, would take Purdue if it’s more than that

“Assuming UConn comes out and looks good, I would wait because I think you could probably get +6.5, +7. I’d be inclined to take Purdue.”

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