Top-Seeded Kansas Remains Clear Favorite in Midwest Region

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 3:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2017 3:59 PM UTC

The field for the Sweet 16 is set and Kansas, Purdue, Michigan or Oregon will advane to the Final Four out of the Midwest Region. Check out updated odds to reach the semifinals and to win the NCAA Tournament.

Top-seeded Kansas is favorite at +122 odds via 5Dimes online sportsbook to advance from the Midwest Region to the Final Four. The blue-blood program, which won its 13th straight Big 12 championship this season, must first get past fourth-seeded Purdue on Thursday night. Led by Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan, the Boilermakers are listed at +395, third choice behind Michigan (+355).

The seventh-seeded Wolverines are red-hot, winning seven in a row, including the Big Ten Tournament. Oddsmakers opened Michigan a 1-point favorite for its Sweet 16 showdown with third-seeded Oregon. The Ducks needed a big rally to beat Rhode Island last time out and struggled in stages to oust Iona in the opening round. Head coach Dana Altman’s squad is +430, nearly identical to the price (+450) oddsmakers dangled for it to win the region prior to the Big Dance. Some are not convinced the team can overcome the loss of rim protector Chris Boucher, injured with a torn ACL during the conference tournament

As for title chances, the Jayhawks are second choice overall at +500 odds, just shy of favorite North Carolina (+490). Oregon and Michigan are next out of the Midwest Bracket tied at +1800. This is a bit surprising given the Ducks are last to win this corner of the bracket but liability is probably high with them a shorter-priced contender much of the season. Most sportsbooks listed the Wolverines +3300 a week out from the tournament and anywhere from +8000 to +10000 in the preseason. Oregon and Michigan comprise four teams offered as ninth choice overall. Purdue, meanwhile, owns the fourth-longest odds of the remaining 16 teams at +2000.

What’s the best bet? Tough call. Value certainly exists with Oregon at better than 4-to-1 to win the Midwest. As we noted in our game preview against Michigan, since 2011 the Ducks are 32-11 SU and 29-13-1 ATS in the months of March and April. Against non-conference opponents in this span, they are 11-4 SU and ATS. But the winner of the Kansas-Purdue game is a 1- or 2-point favorite Saturday according to KenPom’s adjusted rankings against either Michigan or Oregon. The Boilermakers at +395 is the best value, but you have to believe they can upset the Jayhawks first. The moneyline on that matchup is nearly 2-to-1, so going one game at a time may be in your best interest.

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