During the NCAA basketball regular season, a clear-cut championship favorite failed to emerge as several so-called dominant teams showed weakness and displayed flaws at several points during the year. Now, after a week in the NCAA Tournament, we have more of an idea as to who the real contenders for the title are, but with wild card teams still in the mix, it’s hard to be so sure. Of course, odds makers have selected their Final Four favorites, but do we agree? Let’s spend some time taking a look at, and breaking down the favorites from each region.
Midwest Region: Bovada.lv Favorite – Louisville 5/7, Casino Review’s Pick – Duke 11/4
Bovada likes Louisville at 5/7 in the Midwest region, but to consider them that large a favorite is a bit too generous considering that Duke and Michigan State are both more than capable of knocking them off. The Oregon Ducks could even pose a threat to the Cardinals in the Sweet 16 round, so these odds are definitely overvaluing Louisville. Duke and Michigan are both much better picks in this region at 11/4 and 7/2 respectively. Bettors will have an opportunity to make more cash will these higher value wagers and they’ll have a better chance to win with these experienced tournament teams.
West Region: Bovada’s Favorite – Ohio State 1/1, Casino Review’s Pick – Arizona 2/1
After the No.1, 3, 4 and 5 seeds all went down in early rounds, its understandable that odds makers are leaning towards the highest remaining seed in Ohio State. However, once again the favorite is overvalued here at 1/1. With the way Arizona has played and with the type of athletes they will bring against the Buckeyes, the Wildcats have a very good shot at knocking off Ohio State. If you need proof, simply look back at what Iowa State did to OSU. Arizona has a similarly skilled team and if Aaron Craft doesn’t hit another buzzer beater, Ohio State could be in big trouble. Take Arizona here at 2/1.
South Region: Bovada’s Favorite – Florida 5/6, Casino Review’s Pick – Michigan 5/2
Interestingly, odds makers favor the third-seed Florida in the South, presumably because Kansas hasn’t played particularly well in the tournament so far. However, one team they are overlooking is Michigan. Not only were the Wolverines ranked as the nation’s top squad for a short time, but they’ve certainly turned it on recently, dominating their first two opponents, including the talented VCU Rams. You’re getting better value with Michigan and just as good of a chance to win, so take the Wolverines at 5/2.
East Region: Bovada’s Favorite – Indiana 11/10, Casino Review’s Pick – Miami 19/10
The Hoosiers barely survived an upset against Temple over the weekend, so I’m not so sure I would continue to stick my money with them going forward, especially when there is a much better looking contender in the East region in the Miami Hurricanes. The Canes have rolled through the tournament so far and with their balance and bevy of talented athletes, they could easily go all the way. You’re also getting about twice the odds and double the value with Miami, so stay away from Indiana here.