Down to the Elite

March Madness Models - Elite 8 Picks

Jesse Fischer • March 28, 2015

You know the drill: these picks are based off of my models, and I will finalize them on twitter to make sure you don't think I'm pulling a "Chad Ford".

ATS Picks

Here is what my ATS models expect compared to the Vegas spreads1:


Let me review the matchups:

  • Arizona (-1.5) vs. Wisconsin - In a rematch of the the elite 8 OT thriller from last year Arizona is the slight favorite. My numbers and personal opinion give the nod to Zona but it could be as close as last year's 1 point ending so no strong bets here.
  • Kentucky (-11) vs. Notre Dame - Will someone give Kentucky a game? I'll agree with the models in that we might finally see someone lose by less than 10 to Kentucky here with the public pushing up the spread from the recent blowouts.
  • Michigan State (-2.5) vs. Louisville - The models like Louisville (as they have all tourney). The same question applies as last game: "Is Izzo worth up to 3.5 points?". I side with the models and guess that fate catches up to Michigan State here (at least in terms of the spread).
  • Duke (-2.5) vs. Gonzaga - This game looks as close as it can get. The models are split on 1 point wins in either direction. Anyone can win this matchup and the 2.5 spread seems high.

O/U Picks

Here are over/under model expectations compared to Vegas1:


Let me review the matchups:

  • Arizona vs. Wisconsin (131.5) - This line opened at 134. I would have had the Under on that. 131.5 is quite the drop so this might be close. I'll still go under as I don't think Wisconsin can have the efficiency like they did against North Carolina as mentioned here.
  • Kentucky vs. Notre Dame (136.5) - Kentucky keeps hitting the Under because no one can score on them, will it ever change?
  • Michigan State vs. Louisville (128.5) - No one expects much scoring here. It's just a matter of how low they will go. The numbers say a very slight Under. Historically when Pitino and Izzo have met the games have been low scoring: 116 and 101 - so I'll agree.
  • Duke vs. Gonzaga (144.5) - The models are split, no bets here but my gut says based on the last set of games for these teams it's going to be under.

Final Picks


  • Kentucky (-11) vs. Notre Dame - Irish
  • Michigan State (-2.5) vs. Louisville - Cards
  • Duke (-2.5) vs. Gonzaga - Zags


  • Arizona vs. Wisconsin (131.5) - Under
  • Michigan State vs. Louisville (128.5) - Under

Coming up: Elite 8 Recap

  1. These lines are taken on the morning of 3/28 via Vegas insider 2