Can anybody beat Kentucky? That is the overriding the question that hovers over the 2015 NCAA tournament. Join us as we weigh in on Kentucky's NCAA odds and serve up our basketball betting verdict.
Kentucky Hot Faves
Kentucky beat Auburn 91-67 to improve to 33-0 and 18-0 SEC on the season on Saturday. They maintained their perfect record relatively easily and roll into the SEC final as the indisputable favourites to win, not to mention the team to beat in the NCAA tournament, matched at +110 NCAAB odds. If they remain perfect, the Wildcats will become the first undefeated national champions since Indiana pulled off the feat in 1976.
Kentucky vs. The Field
Winning begets winning, so they say. It becomes contagious. A habit. It's almost as if the team that gets on a roll forgets how to lose. That's the deal with the Kentucky Wildcats right now. The mood in the locker room is confident, optimistic and mutually respective. They have a brilliant coach and exemplary team ethos. And there's also the enviable skill, quality and depth of the squad that stacks up well against the rest of the field. There are those experts that would go so far as to suggest this roster is the greatest of all time in college basketball and nobody is going to beat them this year. It's the guiding principle behind many bettors backing them on their NCAA Basketball picks right now.
Such grandiose statements may be warranted given their record on the season is nigh perfect, save for the SEC final which is yet to be decided. But they're impossible to back up ahead of the tournament for many reasons, mainly because the perceived strength and weakness of each and every Conference is different. Are they really as good as their record or only as good as the measure of their opposition?
Not that any of these speculations prevented odds makers from cornering the tournament in their camp though. For the sake of argument, let's look at those that could potentially usurp Kentucky as national champions this season. After all, nothing is more satisfactory in sports betting than predicting the upsets.
No Team Is Infallible; Upsets Can Happen
One doesn't have to look far to find an upset in NCAA Tournament history. Only last year the seventh seed Connecticut won the tournament by beating, ironically, Kentucky.
Looking closely at some of Kentucky's games this season, there were some narrow escapes, wins by the skin of their teeth. For instance, LSU gave them a good run for their money losing by a couple of points. As did Texas A&M and Buffalo. In theory, therefore, one has to concede that Kentucky are beatable if a team can rise to the occasion. Bad days in the office do happen.
Here are our Top 3 Selections to Consider Over & Above Kentucky
Wisconsin strike an interesting pose on the NCAA Basketball odds board as the second favourites, but they are a country mile off at +700 futures odds. Don't let that deter you, however, if you fancy tickling their basketball odds. The Badgers beat Purdue 71-51 and roll into the Big Ten final with verve and swagger that could give them an edge in the competition. Certainly, they are a reasonable alternative to Kentucky for your sports picks.
There are those that are spotting Duke at +1000 on their sports picks as the dangerous floaters (so to speak) in the competition. At the very least, the expectation is they'll reach the final four, after which anything can happen really. Who's to say that a strong run through the tournament will not propel them further? Sure they had a 12-game losing streak snapped and that does take the shine off their basketball odds. But that's not necessarily the end of the world. Having suffered a loss now could make them sharper and more focused for the tournament.
Virginia's setback against North Carolina is not unlike Duke's in that it takes the shine off their basketball odds somewhat for the tournament. That said, it shouldn't make them any less competitive. On the contrary, they could bounce back with a stellar run. They've been one of the strongest sides this season and that doesn't change because of a handful of losses. Just like Duke, Virginia Cavaliers are expected to go deep in the tournament and that makes them an attractive +1000 basketball pick to win it all.
Outsiders Picks: Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova and more
Teams like Kansas, North Carolina and Villanova, teams close to the top favourites on the basketball odds board for the NCAA Men's 2015 Basketball tournament are sure to be teams to spot in the bracket. Especially if they come up against any one of the faves and one has to believe they'd be up for the task of shaking the bracket. This grouping may not make the shortlist of top basketball picks amongst experts to become national champions but they are the sort that can rise to the challenge. Case and point: North Carolina defeated Virginia 71-67 in the ACC Semi-finals and advance into the Championship game for the first time since 2013. If we're looking at one outside pick. the North Carolina Tar Heels at +3300 would be the long shot recommendation.
So there you have it: some basketball picks and predictions for you to consider. May the best team win.