College Basketball Betting

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March Madness Betting Update

And then there were four. Even though this year’s March Madness has yielded plenty of upsets and surprises, the four remaining teams are all bona fide blue blood programs in the sport: Duke, North Carolina, Villanova, and Kansas. Before we preview the Final Four action, however, let’s look back at what has happened to get us to this point in the tournament. 

Whetting the appetite of upset-hungry college basketball fans, the opening day delivered a massive blow to the No. 2 seed, Kentucky, who were upset by the Peacocks of Saint Peter’s in a hard-fought 85-79 overtime battle. Overcoming their 18.5-point underdog status against the Wildcats wasn’t enough for head coach Shaheen Holloway and company; they went on to eliminate Murray State and Purdue in their next two rounds to become the first No. 15 seed to ever advance to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately for them, their run came to an end when they suffered a 20-point loss at the hands of North Carolina in the quarterfinals. Capitalizing on his new-found success and notoriety, Holloway has reportedly been the center of Seton Hall’s interest as they attempt to lock in the Pirate alum as their next head coach. 

In addition to eight-time national champion Kentucky, another squad that has to be sorely disappointed with their March Madness performance is the reigning runner-up, Gonzaga. Arguably the most successful college basketball program in the country in recent years, the Bulldogs will have to wait at least one more year to lift the ever-elusive national championship trophy following a heartbreaking 74-68 loss to Arkansas as 9.5-point favourites in the Sweet 16. 

Odds to Win March Madness 

Tipping off the Final Four action in New Orleans will be second-seeded Villanova taking on top seed Kansas on Saturday, April 2 at 6:09 PM ET. Following the conclusion of that tilt, a Tobacco Road rivalry will feature UNC and Duke in the other semi-final at 8:49 PM ET. Here’s a deeper look into each remaining squads’ March Madness odds

Duke Blue Devils +140 NCAA Odds 

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has become synonymous with college basketball over his illustrious coaching career. This is his final season as the Blue Devils’ skipper, so perhaps his players have found a little extra motivation to postpone that retirement ceremony for as long as possible. Having multiple NBA-ready underclassmen on the core roster can often result in a dissonant flow on the hardwood, but that hasn’t been the case with this year’s iteration of the Blue Devils.  This unit has gelled seamlessly on their way to the Final Four, overcoming tough opponents such as the likes of Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas in their last three matchups. 

Out of the remaining teams still alive in the tournament, Duke has been by far the most efficient, leading the entire bracket in field goal percentage at 53.8% while shooting a respectable 39.1% from long range. It’s no wonder that they’re favoured at +140 for the title as of press time. Their Final Four opponent, however, is no slouch, averaging a whopping 82.5 points per game in its four tournament contests so far. The Duke/UNC rivalry is probably the biggest in the sport, so expect a barnburner in this one. Coach K’s unit is a 4-point favourite over the Tar Heels (-185 on the moneyline). The total is set at 151 for these prolific offenses. 

Kansas Jayhawks +185 NCAA Odds 

Despite having some close shaves in the second and third rounds with Creighton and Providence, Kansas never appeared to be truly threatened since this tournament began. Not being quite as well-known as Coach K, Jayhawks’ head coach Bill Self is nonetheless one of the most successful coaches of this century. Since taking over the program in 2003, Self’s teams have never been seeded lower than fourth in the bracket, having earned the top seed designation a mind-blowing nine times in that timespan. With no significant freshman contributions this season, this roster is experienced and knows how to play together, making Kansas a true title contender at +185 NCAAB odds. 

Villanova Wildcats +450 NCAA Odds 

No one has been more successful than Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats when it comes to collecting college basketball hardware over the past five seasons; they’ve won the national championship twice during that time. Unfortunately for them, guard Justin Moore, who’s been instrumental in their successful quest to reach the Final Four, will be unavailable going forward in the tournament due to a torn Achilles that he suffered in Elite 8 play against Houston. Even so, this is one of the most resilient programs year in and year out, so don’t expect a Kansas cakewalk to the championship game. Villanova will look to overcome their 4.5-point underdog status against Kansas in the semis. With Villanova playing a slower, more methodical style, the total is set at 133 points. 

North Carolina Tar Heels +500 NCAA Odds 

Even though they’re technically an eighth seed, you can hardly call one of the most successful programs in the history of the sport (six national titles) a Cinderella story. The Tar Heels prevailed over the Blue Devils in their last regular season affair as 10.5-point underdogs, so we’ve already witnessed just how good this team can be at surpassing expectations, especially against their in-state rivals.  

Their second-round overtime meeting against top-seeded Baylor was an unforgettable roller coaster in which North Carolina gave up a massive 25-point lead in the second half to the Bears. They’ll need to remain focused throughout the game against an impressive Duke squad to reach the championship bout. Stopping the likes of projected first round 2022 NBA draft selections Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Wendell Moore, and Mark Williams, will be no easy task, but it’s one for which the Tar Heels are well prepared.

*Odds as of March 31, 2022

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