Next weekend’s Final Four is the 72nd all-time series between regions that have had an equal amount of time (never both). As someone who has bet on these tournaments for several years, I’ve realized that there’s more to betting NCAA basketball games than meets the eye. Making a bet on the Final 4 is something of an art form, especially when betting against the point spread. There’s a lot that goes into choosing the team that you think will win, and more than just looking at the regular season record and conference standings.
Three of the last six NCAA basketball tournament champions have lost their first two games by at least double digits, and that includes Butler, the 2006 national runner-up, and Nevada, the 2006 runner-up. Despite those painful memories, pokerjazz77 there is something inspiring in watching what some of the greatest basketball players in the history of the sport do over and over again.
involves a different kind of skill set, and the set of fans that support their favorite teams. Obviously, there’s a large base of fan out there that believe their team is destined to win every time they step on the court, but there are many more casual fans that are drawn to the game for a different reason. Perhaps it’s the underdog stories that make underdog basketball fans passionate and make them unlikely fans of the Final Four teams.
As an example, I have bet on more than a few Final Four games in the past couple seasons and I can tell you that there is quite possibly a better money line to bet on the Final Four than there is for the National Championship game. The reason for this is very simple: for the National Championship game, you have a fifty percent chance of winning the bet, while for the Final Four, you only have a forty fifty percent chance of winning the bet.
There are many reasons why people bet on the Final Four, but the majority of reasons are usually based on who the teams are, who the teams have been the past few years, who are the teams any expert will tell you, but for this particular article we are going to ignore that as we go over the easy money line. The Final Four is the softest final four since Bob Knight took the Kansas Jayhawks to the final four in 2001. In fact, the teams that Kingdom club in 2002 and 2004 Georgetown were the only two Final Four teams in that entire decade to make it to the Final Four with the exception of Kentucky in 2003.
There are quite a few Final Four regular season match ups over the next couple of tourneys that are relatively even. However, out of the Big Six conference, there are only three teams in the tournament to watch out for in the regionals. These are the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Connecticut Huskies and the South Carolina Gamecocks. All three have the potential to upset, and all three have the skills to win easily.
The Connecticut Huskies are the group that everyone wants to see and they seem to be the ones that are the best chance for upsets in the region. While they were a very lucky bunch in 2005, and got quite a bit of hype after going 15-1 in the Big East tournament, the Final Four is somewhat of a disappointment for them. In the past, they might have been a bit higher but for the mistakes they made down the stretch. bossamerica.com ranked the Connecticut Huskies as the #2 seeds in the region.
The South Carolina Gamecocks are the #3 seeds and have a fairly high price as well. Although they played incredibly well in the regular season, they ½ came up against the eventual champion in the regional finals and lost quite handily against the Tar Heels.
The third seed in the Midwest, the Michigan Wolverines, aren’t anything to write home about. They only earned the right to be in the tournament with the win in the Michigan Classic. If there is a low seed representative in the field, there aren’t too many in the mix.
As far as the favorites, Florida is still the team to beat as they should be the top seed no matter what. They should be the favorite in most of the regionals that will be played over the next few weeks. They don’t have the same powerhouse of a team from a couple years ago and that is discouraging people from betting on them. However, Florida is still pretty inexperienced and will need to make some strides to get to the Final Four.