This year’s NCAA tournament wasn’t living up to its billing heading into the Elite Eight. Then, the tournament took a dramatic turn in the right direction.

However, the results of an epic Elite Eight have yielded an interesting, yet underwhelming Final Four.

The storylines are fun, with Texas Tech and Auburn making their first Final Fours, and Virginia looking to go from the biggest dud in the tournament’s history, to national champion. But, will anyone watch?

Without a major program — and I’m still not putting Michigan State in that category — there’s a fear that this Final Four will be a low-rated final, after generating major gains in the early portion of the tournament. Regardless of the popularity of the Final Four, there’s still some betting action. Here’s the best bets for the Final Four picks against the spread.

Texas Tech vs. Michigan State (-2.5)

First one to 60 wins? Texas Tech is showcasing its swarming defense against some of the better offensive teams in the country. I was impressed with the Red Raiders against Gonzaga, especially with the Bulldogs owning a major advantage in height.

The Red Raiders depend on a strong rebounding presence to go with a defense that clogs up the middle. However, against the Spartans, they’re squaring off against a team well-known to be physical. The Spartans can match Texas Tech’s physicality, which will pose a major problem for Texas Tech.

I love how Texas Tech has overachieved this season, but I don’t believe the Red Raiders can score enough to keep up with Michigan State. The Spartans’ ability to rebound, to go along with a better offense should propel the Spartans to a win. — Go Chalk with Michigan State

The Virginia Cavaliers should bounce back in the NCAA tournament in 2019. Flickr

Auburn vs. Virginia (-5.5)

If you asked Virginia’s players last year if by losing to a 16 seed, they would then win a national title the next year, they probably would take it. And that could actually happen this year.

The Cavaliers have a legit defense to go with an efficient offense. To me, the Cavaliers are the most complete team left in this tournament. Auburn has been an incredible story in the later stages of the season, especially with a dynamic offense. However, with Virginia slowing down the game, I’m not sure the Tigers will be able to maintain their rhythm.

Virginia has the unique ability to slow down any opponent. I hate to take two favorites, but the Cavaliers have the better team in this instance. The Tigers will make some runs, but in the end, I just don’t see the Tigers able to maintain their speed advantage against Virginia. — Go Chalk with Virginia

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