Online sportsbooks have remained in agreement that the Kentucky Wildcats are the odds on favorite to win the NCAA Tournament.
What makes this interesting is that the public appears to disagree: Case in point, 62% of bets are on fellow 1 seed Wisconsin in Saturday's final four showdown, and the line has dropped a full point since opening at +6. Wisconsin are now 5 point underdogs.
The moneyline (outright winner) market tells a similar story. 60.5% of bets on SBR Odds have come in at an average market price of Wisconsin at +200, which means for every $100 you wager, you win $200. This market opened with Kentucky favored by a price of -275 and has lowered by 40¢ to -235.
Unsurprisingly for online sportsbooks, the public is also in favor of the over at 131. A manager at a top five online sportsbook confirmed that their sharp player base has contributed more volume on the under.
Joe Public sports bettors have a tendency of leaning toward the favorite and the over, but with high profile darling Kentucky coming close to defeat and Wisconsin covering the last two spreads installed by online sportsbooks, it is not a shocker that more sports bettors are backing Wisconsin to defeat Kentucky and bust many brackets (68% of SBR posters on Kentucky in NCAA Bracket Contest).
Another interesting fact - courtesy of SBR sportswriter LT Profits - is that since 2001, this is only the fourth time two 1-seeds have met in a final four round, so perhaps conventional betting patterns can be discarded altogether.
Other Sportsbook Bets
With the Final Four set and scheduled for tip-off Saturday, prop betting markets are starting to be posted back on the board by online sportsbooks. Among these prop bets are wagers on the Most Outstanding Player (MOP), each team vs. the field, and the exact finals match up.
Of the players most likely to be named NCAA Tournament MOP, here are the best sportsbook odds you can find:
Karl Anthony Towers of Kentucky (3.5 to 1)
Jahil Okafor of Duke (5 to 1)
Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin (8 to 1)
Branden Dawson of Michigan St (20 to 1)
The most likely finals match up is Kentucky vs. Duke - Betting on this combination will cost you $110 to win $100. Those who believe in fading the public can be paid 7 times their investment if Wisconsin and Michigan State lock horns in the final.
Sportsbook Review will update the NCAA Tournament Prop Bets page as more exotic bets are released.