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Wisconsin Early Favorite on Some Books, Others Open with Pick ’em

Scott Morris | April 5, 2015

The Wisconsin Badgers might have ruined the dream matchup between Duke and Kentucky for the national title, but the Badgers have earned their way to the national championship game on Monday after a strong performance to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats 71-64, as a 5-point dog.

After defeating Kentucky, Wisconsin opened on some sports books as 1-point chalk in Monday’s national championship game versus the Duke Blue Devils. Other sportsbooks have listed the game as a pick ‘em, with the point total between 140.

Wisconsin had already defeated Arizona in the Elite 8 to make it to the Final Four and with its win over Kentucky, the Badgers would be a logical choice to be the favorite when they play Duke for the national title.

Duke reached the national title game with a resounding win over Michigan State by 20 points as the favorite by 5.5 points.

With Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker leading the offensive attack for Wisconsin, the Badgers have proven to be very resilient. They team is tough, has good shooters, good play at the guard positions and a number of options on offense.

Kaminsky showed his skill early in the second half against Kentucky and then hit four free throws over the last 25 seconds of the game to seal, the win for the Badgers.

Wisconsin is 2-3 SU and 5-0 ATS in its past five games in the NCAA Tournament versus No. 1 seeds.

The Badgers now face yet another No. 1 seed in Duke with its star big man Jahlil Okafor. The freshman sensation scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds on December 3 when Duke defeated Wisconsin in Madison 80-70, as 4-point road dog. Tyus Jones a freshman guard scored 22 points to lead Duke in the win over Wisconsin.

Sportsbooks opened the point total at 140, expecting the pace of the championship game to be similar to what took place in both games on Saturday. Duke and Michigan State combined to score 142 points, while Kentucky and Wisconsin combined for 135 points. Each of the semifinal games on Saturday cashed on the OVER, but each was within 4 points of the closing line.

This might not be the dream matchup bookmakers were hoping for between Duke and Kentucky, but both these teams are tough and deserve to be where they are.

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