SPORTS

March Madness hits fever pitch with the Final Four

TAGs: Final Four, gambling, March Madness, ncaa

final-four-ready-to-rockTwo weeks ago, a lot of you were probably riding high in excitement, brimming with confidence over your March Madness bracket. You think that you’ll hit all your picks, all 63 of them, despite the odds of that happening are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1, or more than nine quintillion to one, according to Michael Weimerskirch, a math professor at Augsburg College.

But confidence is sometimes misguided, especially when the Madness begins.

For the lucky few that escaped the past two weeks of March Madness with their brackets relatively intact, consider yourselves lucky. But for the rest of us weeping over our busted brackets, we can all find solace knowing that the Final Four is only two days away, which means that we can recoup whatever ounce of dignity – and money – we lost by looking at the odds being laid out for the two games.

The 1 seed Kentucky Wildcats, predictably so, are the overwhelming favorites to pluck the feathers of the 4 seed Louisville Cardinals, with the former laying 8.5 points against the latter. Then again, don’t be too quick to count out these Cardinals. After all, they still have one of the game’s premier coaches in Pitino and on top of that, they’re riding a pretty impressive eight-game winning streak, a sure sign that the team is peaking at just the right time.

The other half of the Final Four has a pair of two seeds, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Ohio State Buckeyes, ready to lay the smackdown on each other. The game should be a lot closer than the Kentucky-Louisville game with the Buckeyes favored by 2.5 points against the Jayhawks. The tale of these two teams will boil down to size versus versatility. In the end, this game should go down as a nail-biter for fans and bettors alike.

In addition to the point spreads, the Final Four also has some pretty interesting prop bets that should be paid attention to. Prop bets are a fun way to wager money without significantly affecting your rooting interest for any team. Whether it’s picking the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament or who gets to shoot more 3’s in a game between Ohio State and Kansas, there are plenty of prop bet opportunities to look at for this weekend’s Final Four.

One of our favorites is the MOP odds and this year, Bodog.eu, as did a lot of other books, has Kentucky’s Anthony Davis leading the race for the coveted MOP award with 3/1 odds, followed closely by teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with 6/1 odds. Not a big Kentucky fan? Well, there’s Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson getting 7/1 and 9/1, respectively. And if you’re feeling especially lucky, why not try punching the moon and lay some wood on Louisville’s Chane Behanan and his 36/1 odds.

Whatever course of action you take for your Final Four weekend, be sure to be in front of your LCDs, HDTVs, or what-have-yous, when tip-off happens.

Root like crazy, weep in the corner, or just plain have a damn good time.

The Final Four is here, and in the words of the immortal Dickie V, “it’s going to be wild, baaaaabbbyyyy!”

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