Three Reasons Why Providence Can Make NCAA Men’s Final Four

Please shop around for the best odds


Feb 27, 2023

The Providence Friars are a polarizing college basketball team this season.

Depending on who you ask, they’re either good enough to make a deep run in this year’s NCAA Tournament or they’re getting bounced in the first round. The Friars are currently 21-8 and tied for second place in a strong Big East conference. Odds are good they’ll be either a No. 6 or 7 seed when the brackets are released in a couple of weeks.

This year’s Friars bunch is much more well-rounded than last year’s — a team that lost to national champion Kansas 66-61 in the Sweet 16 — and I truly believe head coach Ed Cooley has his squad playing its best ball at the right time. After all, it takes time for three high-level transfers to acclimate and come together on the floor.

Here are three reasons why Providence is a decent bet to make the Final Four:

The Friars boast one of the nation’s top offenses. They score almost 80 points per contest and rank 18th in total offensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. Five players average double figures, headlined by future NBA player Bryce Hopkins, a 6-foot-7 forward that can score inside and out. And this is a group that prides itself on crashing the offensive glass and creating second and third-chance opportunities. If they’re knocking down open threes, they’ll be a pretty tough out.

Wins over UConn, Creighton and Marquette highlight a decent résumé and the Big East gauntlet should have Providence ready for all styles come March. And losses to Miami, TCU and Xavier away from home all left them with specific lessons. Cooley’s club isn’t great away from The Dunk — not many college teams are elite on the road — but the Friars will likely finish with a 9-3 mark down the stretch heading into the conference tournament.

This is the heartbeat of every betting conversation. What’s the price? Providence is anywhere from 15-1 to 31-1 across New England, so shop around per usual. WynnBET is currently dealing +1500 at the Encore Boston Harbor, DraftKings has +1800 in Connecticut and New Hampshire, and FanDuel has the best price in the world at +3100 at Mohegan Sun. There’s no way the Friars should be higher than 30-1 to win four NCAA Tournament games and I’m way too ready to take advantage of those bloated odds.

Providence +3100 Final Four (FanDuel)

RECORD: (124-135, +16.2)

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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