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Early Money Favors Underdogs in Final Four

March 30, 2015

The Final Four is set for Saturday and bettors are already backing the underdogs from the Big 10. Three of the four teams left standing were expected to be in Indianapolis this coming weekend, according to the selection committee of the NCAA. Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin all were No. 1 seeds in their regions and all won their respective region.

The fourth team, Michigan State was seeded No. 7 but won the East Region despite playing just one of the top three seeds in the region.

Michigan State defeated Louisville in overtime 76-70 as 2.5-point chalk. The Spartans will now face Duke in their Saturday Final Four game. The Blue Devils defeated Gonzaga 66-52 as a favorite by 2-points.

The opening line on most sportsbooks has Duke favored by 5.5-points, while others have the game Duke -5. There are even a couple of places with Duke at -4.5.

In the second game of the Final Four, the Kentucky Wildcats at 38-0 on the season, opened as 6.5-point chalk over the Wisconsin Badgers. Early action has come in on Wisconsin dropping the line to as low as Kentucky -5.5. The Wildcats might by on the verge of an undefeated season and national championship, but are only 1-3 against the number in this tournament.

Books have taken large sums of cash on Wisconsin +6.5 and +6. The public does not like laying big numbers and will take a shot at a dog coming through.

To start, most of the money has come in on Wisconsin in its matchup with Kentucky, while Michigan State is taking nearly all the beginning action in its game against Duke.

The narrow escape that Kentucky had in the Elite Eight against Notre Dame has changed the mindset of some. Even thought the Wildcats remain the overwhelming favorite to win the national title, they are taking far less money than Wisconsin to cover the number.

Bookmakers said that if the two right teams win on Saturday to reach the final on Monday, it could mean a historic handle for them. If Duke plays Kentucky for the national title, a record handle could take place.

Early odds on the National Championship
Kentucky -120  5 to 6
Wisconsin 7 to 2
Duke 7 to 2
Michigan State 8 to 1