- Kansas has the shortest odds of any team to win their region.
- Tough matchups make betting on other favorites a risky bet.
PHILADELPHIA – The Kansas Jayhawks roll into their Sweet Sixteen matchup against the Providence Friars with the most likely path to the Final Four of any team remaining. That path and tough competition remaining for other perceived favorites make them the best bet to win the National Championship.
Regional Advantage Key For Jayhawks
Legal sports betting odds have Kansas as the largest favorite to win their bracket left in the tournament. Amongst the favorites, Kansas is one of two teams as the outright favorite to come out of their quadrant of the bracket.
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According to ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index the second (Iowa 13th), third (Auburn 14th), and fourth (Wisconsin 28th), best teams have already lost. In their places are three of the four lowest-ranked teams according to BPI.
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Tough Matchups Make Other Regional Favorites A Bad Bet
Gonzaga was the number one overall seed in all of March Madness, and for good reason. Gonzaga is the top-ranked team according to BPI, but the remaining teams in their region are ranked considerably higher than those of Kansas’ Midwest.
Duke (10th), Texas Tech (12th), and Arkansas (20th) would all be at worst the second-best team if they were in the Midwest.
In fact, their rankings may not even be the part that causes the most hesitation for Gonzaga bettors. Gonzaga lost to Duke back in December and was also held to their third lowest-scoring game of the season in their regular-season matchup against Texas Tech.
They beat Texas Tech by 14 points, but it should be noted that Texas Tech shot 37.5% from the field and only 7-13 from the free-throw line.
Arizona has the third shortest national championship odds but faces an incredibly difficult task to even reach the Final Four, let alone win two more games if they get there.
With a Sweet Sixteen date against Houston (BPI’s 2nd ranked team) and an Elite Eight matchup against either Villanova (6th) or Michigan (26th), the relatively short odds do not provide a lot of betting value.
The favorite in the most upset-heavy region of the tournament is Purdue in the East. Purdue faces the lowest-ranked team remaining when they play Saint Peter’s (97th!), but a matchup against either UCLA (11th) or UNC (21st) in the Elite Eight and potentially Gonzaga in the Final Four are causes for concern.
With the easiest path remaining, Kansas may be the best bet to win College Basketball’s National Championship.
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Brett is a passionate sports writer who majored in Sport Management at Florida State University. He combines his knowledge of stats with his understanding of game theory to find the best values when sports betting. Brett enjoys golfing, playing cornhole, and hanging out by the pool when he’s not locked in watching games.