NCAA Final Four Odds: Will Syracuse’s Cinderella Story Continue?
Posted on: March 29, 2016, 04:04h.
Last updated on: March 29, 2016, 06:07h.
The NCAA Final Four odds are set, and if Las Vegas is correct, fans are in store for a nail-biter and one that might get a little bit ugly.
After two weeks of tournament play, March Madness is down to #1 North Carolina out of the East region, #10 Syracuse out of the Midwest, #2 Villanova from the South, and #2 Oklahoma coming from the West.
The two games take place this Saturday in Houston in a doubleheader that tips off at 6:09 pm ET.
The Sooners play the Wildcats first, with the Tar Heels and Orange as the nightcap.
Heading into the tournament, even the experts struggled to come to an agreement on which teams would reach Texas.
With no clear favorite, UNC, Villanova, and Oklahoma come as no surprise in reaching the Final Four. All three were ranked #1 in the Associated Press poll at some point during the regular season.
What is surprising is the newfound success Syracuse has discovered, a team that went 9-9 in ACC conference play but has surged at precisely the right time.
#1 UNC vs. #10 Syracuse
The 32-6 Tar Heels arrive in Houston as the heavy Las Vegas favorite to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Led by the most efficient offense in the nation, the consensus in Nevada has UNC at 5/7 to win the title.
As for Saturday’s contest, the books believe UNC will cruise to a somewhat easy win over Syracuse, the Tar Heels currently spotting the Orange 10 points. Most college basketball analysts agree that Carolina’s high-powered offense, which includes, at least, four players of the starting lineup scoring in double figures in each tournament game, will be simply too much for the team from New York to overcome.
But Syracuse (23-13) has been in this underdog role for much of the tournament, and most recently came back from 14 down in the Elite Eight to beat #1 seed Virginia.
Listed at 1,000-1 at the Westgate SuperBook to win the title in January, a devoted Syracuse fan took the chance and placed a $100 wager. Should the Orange win two more games, that fan will be rewarded $100,100 for his loyalty.
#2 Villanova vs. #2 Oklahoma
Expected to be the closer game of the two, Villanova (33-5) and Oklahoma (29-7) is anyone’s guess. Las Vegas has the Wildcats as the slight favorite by giving two points to the Sooners, but that surely won’t bring any comfort to Jay Wright’s Villanova squad.
Both teams were forced to overcome their region’s top-ranked seed, the Wildcats topping Kansas 64-59 and the Sooners beating Oregon 80-68. According to ESPN’s Basketball Poker Index, a rating system that analyzes data, Villanova has a 50.3 percent chance of winning to Oklahoma’s 49.7 percent.
The two squads are playing what is perhaps their best ball of the season, and the showdown on paper appears to be ready to write an instant classic.
However, there’s a reason the tournament comes labeled as “madness.”
The best bet might be to throw out all those NCAA Final Four odds and go with your gut because the only thing to be expected in March Madness is the unexpected.
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