The Final Four is here. A team has emerged from each of the four regions in the NCAA tournament and they are meeting this weekend in Indianapolis looking for two more wins to claim the National Championship. Three #1 seeds were able to avoid an upset through their region with Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin all earning their way to the Final Four. They are met by a Michigan State team that is a #7 seed, but a team that was only an underdog once throughout this tournament (against #2 Virginia) after having a great end to the season, losing to Wisconsin in the Big10 Finals.
Kentucky is 38-0 and a couple more wins would give them the perfect season. Something that hasn’t been done since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Their road is not easy though, as they first battle the consensus 2nd seed Wisconsin Badgers before playing either Duke or Michigan State in the finals.
2015 NCAA Basketball Winner Odds
Here are the odds for each team to win the tournament heading into the Final Four. These odds were taken from BetOnline.ag:
- Kentucky Wildcats -140
- Wisconsin Badgers +400
- Duke Blue Devils +400
- Michigan State Spartans +700
As you can see the Wildcats are the overwhelming favourites to win the tourney, but it’s by no means a guarantee.
I’ll break down each team against their odds of winning the tournament.
The Wildcats are 5 point favourites over the Badgers in their Final Four game. This is a very tough matchup for Kentucky and I honestly think this game could go either way. Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker have the ability to score against this top Kentucky defense and with such an efficient offense, Wisconsin has the patience and the ability to put up points against Kentucky, which most other teams simply cannot do.
Even if Kentucky does get through the Final Four, whichever team waiting for them will be up to the challenge. For these reasons I’m staying away from Kentucky at -140.
For almost the exact same reasons I’m going to stay away from Wisconsin as well. Even if they pull off the upset against Kentucky, they will only be marginal favourites against Michigan State and it will likely be close to a pick’em game against Duke.
Duke at +400 I like. They are 5.5 point favourites against Michigan State, so there is a very good chance of them being in the Finals. Once there Jahlil Okafor gives them a legitimate chance to matchup well against the enormous Kentucky team or against Kaminsky/Dekker if Wisconsin is in the finals instead. I don’t see this Duke team being a big underdog against either team, so rolling the dice on them beating Michigan State and then having a shot in the Finals is my best bet.
Michigan State +700
I actually think Michigan State has a decent shot against Duke. But against the size of either Wisconsin or Kentucky I think they would be severely outmatched. Branden Dawson had all he could handle against Montrezl Harrell of Louisville and although he performed admirably, shutting down Harrell in the second half of the Elite Eight, Kentucky just has too many options with their size and Wisconsin’s Kaminsky and Dekker are on another level to Harrell. I give Michigan State a decent shot against Duke, but almost none in the finals so I’m staying clear of them.
My Play: Duke +400 @ BetOnline.ag
Just based on the ease of schedule I like Duke here.