Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Michigan State have made their way to the Final Four, and two teams are decided favorites to meet in the national championship game. While the Badgers and Spartans have played well during March Madness, the betting odds suggest that the Wildcats and Blue Devils will face off in the last game of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, Kentucky’s championship odds (-150) make them the heavy favorite to win the title, according to Bovada.lv. Duke (+325) and Wisconsin (+375) are considered to have close to an equal chance of winning it all, while Michigan State (+800) is the longshot of the Final Four.
Below are update Final Four betting odds at Las Vegas sportsbooks, including point spreads and over/unders.
Kentucky (-5) vs. Wisconsin, 131
After winning their first 38 games of the season, it’s no surprise that Kentucky is favored against Wisconsin. The only team in college basketball history to start the season 38-0 has never been an underdog in 2014-2015, and they are giving five points to the Badgers. Wisconsin might have as good of a chance as any team to upset the Wildcats. Kentucky was favored by double digits in their previous four tournament games.
Most of Kentucky’s victories have come in dominant fashion. Their first three tournament wins came by an average of 25 points per game, and none of their wins in the SEC Tournament came by less than 15 points. Prior to the tournament, Kentucky played six games against ranked teams, winning by an average of 16.3 points per contest.
But Kentucky almost didn’t make it beyond the Elite Eight. They trailed Notre Dame for most of the second half and didn’t take the lead for good until six seconds were left in regulation.
Wisconsin hasn’t been blowing out their opponents in the tournament, but they’ve consistently won by a comfortable margin. The No. 1 seed in the West region defeated No. 16-seeded Coastal Carolina by 14 points. Their next three victories all came by seven points each.
Kentucky hasn’t lost straight up, but they haven’t been nearly as good against betting lines, covering just half of their point spreads. Wisconsin is 20-17-1 against the spread.
Duke (-5) vs. Michigan State, 138.5
No Final Four team had an easier time winning their region than Duke. The No. 1 seed ran through the South, winning by an average of 17 points per game. Their toughest game was their six-point win over Utah in the Sweet 16, though the outcome was never much in doubt. The Blue Devils beat No. 2-seeded Gonzaga by 14 points in the Elite Eight.
Even though Duke reached the Final Four with relative ease and they’re playing the No. 7 seed, they aren’t heavy favorites over Michigan State. The oddsmakers seemed to agree that the Spartans deserved a higher seed, and they proved as much by winning the East region.
Michigan State had the most difficult road of any Final Four team. Having to defeat the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seed in their region, the Spartans didn’t win any tournament game by more than seven points, including an overtime victory in the Elite Eight.
Throughout the season, head coach Tom Izzo’s team has played in a lot of close games. Including the NCAA Tournament, eight of Michigan State’s games have gone to overtime, and they haven’t won by double-digits since Feb. 17. Duke has played in two overtime games, and only two of their 33 victories have come by less than five points.
Duke defeated Michigan State by 10 points when they met at a neutral site on Nov. 18. The Blue Devils are tied for the sixth-best record in the nation against the spread, going 22-14-1. Michigan State is right behind them, having covered 22 of 38 betting lines.