With 16 teams left in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, it’s a good time to take a look at which team is the best bet to make it to the NCAA Championship Final, which team is the worst bet, and which team is the best long shot bet.
Kansas was the favorite to make it to the NCAA Championship Final but failed to get past Northern Iowa in the 2nd Round of the tournament. Now that Kansas is out, favoritism has fallen to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Is KU a good bet in the sportsbook to reach the NCAA Championship Final now that they are the favorite?
NCAA Tournament: To Reach Championship Final
Best Bet: Ohio State Buckeyes +400
Syracuse is at +200 to reach the final, which is one of the reasons Ohio State is the best bet in the sportsbook. Yes, Syracuse probably is the better team but are they twice as better than Ohio State? I don’t think so.
Therefore, if you believe that the ‘Cuse and the Buckeyes both reach the Final Four, then you have to believe that Syracuse is twice as good as Ohio State if you’re going to bet them to beat the Buckeye’s in the Final Four. I don’t. I believe that the Buckeyes are just as good as Syracuse because Evan Turner, Jon Diebler and David Lighty are as good as any three players on Syracuse’s team.
I love the 4 to 1 odds. Bet on Ohio State in the sportsbook.
Best Bet #2: West Virginia +300
West Virginia should have no trouble beating the Washington Huskies this Thursday. Then, against Kentucky or Cornell this weekend, the Mountaineers figure to have the upper hand. They aren’t as talented as Kentucky but they are as good as Kentucky because of their experience. Beat Kentucky and the Mountaineers will face Duke or a team that they should handle with ease. Either way, I like West Virginia to end up playing in the NCAA Championship Final. They can beat Duke and if it’s St. Mary’s, Baylor or Purdue, they should be the favorite. The 3 to 1 odds aren’t bad on this team.
Worst Bet: Kentucky -140
Kentucky is very good. John Wall is one of the Top 5 most talented players in the NCAA Tournament, Coach Calipari has taken teams to the Final Four before, and the Wildcats have run rough-shod over the first two teams that they’ve faced in the NCAA Tournament. So, Kentucky has every right to be the favorite to reach the NCAA Championship Final, but I detest the odds. First, they have to take down West Virginia in order to reach the Final Four. Then, they will have to beat Duke or St. Mary’s (in my opinion!). West Virginia will be tough and so would Duke should Kentucky reach the Final Four. If the odds were better, I’d be all over KU in this category, but the odds just aren’t good at all and their bracket is still plenty tough with a game against the Mountaineers looming this weekend.
Best Underdog Bet: St. Mary’s CA +2500
St. Mary’s CA is the best underdog bet to reach the NCAA Championship Final because Michigan State is without Kalin Lucas, Tennessee won’t beat Ohio State and K-State will have to deal with Syracuse.
If St. Mary’s CA can find a way to upset both Baylor and Duke this weekend to reach the Final Four, then St. Mary’s CA would face either the Kentucky Wildcats or the West Virginia Mountaineers. The feeling here is that they would have a shot against Kentucky because of their experience and that they could outright beat West Virginia because of their ability to stop an opposing team’s guards and box out for rebounds.
At the odds, St. Mary’s is easily the best underdog bet in the sportsbook to reach the NCAA Championship Final.
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