2022 March Madness predictions: College basketball expert picks, odds, lines for Elite Eight games Saturday

With three No. 1 seeds eliminated before the Elite Eight, double-digit seeds dancing deep into the bracket and upsets aplenty that most likely busted your bracket several times over, the 2022 NCAA Tournament has been wild. That March drama has a chance to continue Saturday as the Elite Eight gets underway, kicking off the first of a two-day forum that will almost certainly invite more chaos ahead of next week’s Final Four.

Kicking off the weekend is perhaps the best matchup of the Elite Eight as No. 2 seed Villanova and No. 5 seed Houston square off for rights to claim the South Regional. The lower-seeded Cougars are the favorite (by a smidge) in the eyes of oddsmakers fresh off a convincing win over No. 1 seed Arizona on Thursday, but they draw a Wildcats team that is won by an average margin of nearly 13 points in the tournament.

The finale of Saturday features another giant killer in No. 4 seed Arkansas, which sent No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga home in the Sweet 16 after leading for nearly the entire second half in one of the most impressive outings of any team in this year’s tournament . The Razorbacks draw No. 2 seed Duke and retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski with a Final Four berth on the line. After surviving a scare against No. 3 seed Texas Tech, the Blue Devils are a slight favorite to advance into the next round.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the rest of the month for NCAA Tournament coverage through the end of the Final Four. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the Elite Eight games on Saturday.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

NCAA Tournament: Elite Eight picks for Saturday

(2) Villanova vs. (5) Houston

Saturday, 6:09 pm | TBS, March Madness Live: As of Friday morning, Houston owns the second-best odds of winning the NCAA championship after dispatching — quite handily, I should add — No. 12 seed UAB, No. 4 seed Illinois and No. 1 seed Arizona to open the tournament . But Villanova’s run has quietly been just as impressive with three convincing wins topped by a Sweet 16 victory over a Michigan team that had the personnel to give the Wildcats fits but couldn’t capitalize. I trust their experience and ability to play and win different ways, so in a close one, I’ll just take the points with Nova. Pick: Villanova +2

Spread

HOU -2

NOVA +2 NOVA +2 NOVA +2 NOVA +2 HOU -2

straight up

HOO

NOVA NOVA NOVA NOVA HOO

(2) Duke vs. (4) Arkansas

Saturday, 8:49 p.m. | TBS, March Madness Live: Arkansas handled No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, outclassed the Zags with its physicality and athleticism. And while that almost certainly will not be the case against Duke, which has multiple first-round NBA Draft prospects on the roster, I do think coach Eric Musselman and his team can cover here even against a Blue Devils team that appears to be hitting its stride just in time. Pick: Arkansas +3.5

Spread

ARK +3.5

DUKE-3.5 ARK +3.5 ARK +3.5 DUKE-3.5 ARK +3.5

straight up

DUKE

DUKE ARK DUKE DUKE DUKE

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