Throw the algorithms, computer models, expert handicapping advice, and current trends out the window. The NCAA tournament final is just around the corner, and the final four teams are ready to leave it all on the court.
No.1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks is the only top seed remaining; however, No.2 Duke Blue Devils own the sportsbooks expectations as the betting favorite odds (+160 – $100 returns $160). The Jayhawks are the bookmaker’s second favorite with a price tag of +180, and the team opposing them this weekend, Villanova, is third best at +450.
The overlooked underdog, No.8 ranked North Carolina, completes the board at +500 to cause an upset (again) versus Duke and win Monday’s national title game.
Final Four NCAAB Tournament Winner Odds with Fanduel
Duke Blue Devils +160 (#2)
Kansas Jayhawks +180 (#1)
Villanova Wildcats +450 (#2)
North Carolina Tar Heels +500 (#8)
NCAA Final Four Betting Favorites
Kansas was initially the betting favorite heading into the Elite Eight stage of the tournament, but those odds have taken a turn, and Duke has leapfrogged the Jayhawks at +160 – 20 points less than Kansas at +180.
It’s not difficult to comprehend the line movement in favor of Duke. The Blue Devils have been on fire entering Saturday’s Final Four meeting with the Tar Heels by covering three consecutive games against the betting spread.
The rivalry between Duke and North Carolina is what makes the weekend matchup interesting. Many expected Mike Krzyzewski’s last game at the Cameron Indoor to be his final game versus the Tar Heels, and it was North Carolina who caused an upset.
Now, in a turn of events, the two teams will meet each other for a highly anticipated rematch where Krzyzewski can exact his revenge and take the Blue Devils to a National Championship in the meantime. Duke is favored by -4 against the spread at most sportsbooks.
#1 seed Kansas has been highly touted as potential champions all season long, and they steamed through Providence and Miami to reach the big stage. With a mere six losses all season, Bill Self’s team lost 5 of those 6 meetings versus NCAA Tournament teams, and three of those squads were seeded #3 or above.
The spotlight seems to be shining on Duke, led by Krzyzewski, heading into the weekend, but Kansas makes the most sense with a price of +180 to silently win it all.
Final Four Underdogs. Will They Bark?
Despite their +450 price tag at Fanduel, can we really refer to Villanova as an underdog?
The Wildcats shut out a Houston Cougars team that looked unstoppable, and most critics and fans alike expected Houston to enter the Final Four for a second-year running. However, the likes of Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels have lived up to the hype, sitting just one game shy of another National Championship appearance.
With that said, it isn’t easy to envision the Wildcats outperforming Kansas in the semi-finals. The Jayhawks have looked exceptional versus a higher level of competition during March.
The most thought-provoking underdog is undoubtedly the North Carolina Tar Heels – the #8 seeded team has performed like a #1 seed when making Saint Peter’s and UCLA look like they didn’t belong.
Will History Repeat?
The Tar Heels have once already destroyed Duke during the final game of the regular season, so the expectation that they can repeat history isn’t an unlikely event. It’s a coin toss game, and with a +4 spread for Carolina, I wouldn’t be opposed to betting on this team causing an upset.
The hype around Duke has positioned them as betting favorites. Despite who comes out on top between the Blue Devils and North Carolina, I believe the Jayhawks will own the advantage over a depleted team returning to face them just 48 hours later. Take the Jayhawks to win it all at +180.